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Comic that Saba Karim & Johri will decide Mithali’s fate despite presence of Cricket Committee: BCCI official

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI official said that it was nothing but comical to see how Rai seems to have forgotten the existence of the CAC for cricketing matters.

cricket Updated: Nov 27, 2018 10:58 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
mithali raj,bcci,rahul johri
File image of Mithali Raj (left) and India’s T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.(IDI via Getty Images)

In a mail written by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers on August 23, Rai had clearly stated that with the new constitution coming into force, except for the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) — comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — and the duly reconstituted selection committees, all committees/ sub-committees under the old constitution stood dissolved with immediate effect. Despite this mail from Rai himself, it is BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and GM cricket operations Saba Karim — also in-charge of women’s cricket — who are looking into the decision by the Indian women’s team to drop Mithali Raj from the team for the semi-final in the just concluded World T20 against England.

The move has come as a surprise for the BCCI officials who were taken aback when Johri and Karim met both India T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj after there were rumours of discord in the team that led to Mithali being dropped for the crucial semi-final encounter. Interestingly, this after Diana Edulji — one member of the two-member COA — made it clear that team selection matters shouldn’t be got into by the administrators. While Karim has himself represented the country in 35 international games — 1 Test and 34 ODIs — Johri is the CEO and doesn’t have a cricketing background. On the contrary, Mithali has represented the country in 197 ODIs, 85 T20Is and 10 Test matches.

Even more interesting is the turn of event that has seen the CoA once again forget the existence of a three-member CAC panel that has a cricketer who played 200 Test matches for the country — Tendulkar — a captain who led the national team with aplomb — Ganguly — and a former cricketer who played 134 Test matches and 86 ODIs for India — VVS Laxman.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI official said that it was nothing but comical to see how Rai seems to have forgotten the existence of the CAC for cricketing matters, as also ordered by the Supreme Court.

“It is a comic situation that everyone including the Supreme Court recognises the Cricket Advisory Committee’s existence other than the CoA and the CEO. That is the respect Rai has for Sachin, Laxman and Sourav? Someone needs to tell Rai that there was cricket before Karim and Johri and there will be cricket after them,” he said.

ALSO READ: Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur meet top BCCI officials over selection row; coach Ramesh Powar summoned

Sources in the know of developments said that the CoA is awaiting the report that Johri and Karim will submit before taking a call on the whole fiasco. “Both Harmanpreet and Mithali met the duo on Monday and the report that the duo submit will decide how things pan out in this matter,” he told Hindustan Times.

Mithali, the ODI captain, had two back-to-back fifties against Pakistan and Ireland but was rested for the final league game against Australia due to a knee issue and then dropped for the game against England. Ganguly though wasn’t surprised by the turn of events.

“When I saw Mithali Raj being dropped, I said ‘Welcome to the group’. Captains are asked to sit, so just do it. I have done it in Faisalabad. I didn’t play an ODI game for 15 months when I was probably the best performer in one-day cricket. It happens in life. The best in the world are at times shown the door,” Ganguly had said.

Harmanpreet Kaur had gone on to justify the call even after the humiliating eight-wicket loss on Sunday and said: “Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets.”

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 10:57 IST