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Diana Edulji slams CoA chief Vinod Rai; accuses him of diverting attention from allegations against CEO Rahul Johri

Diana pointed at how the CoA has erred in the whole process and goes on to add that Rai tried to make a huge issue out of the coach incident just to divert attention from the alleged allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Rahul Johri.

cricket Updated: Dec 21, 2018 09:04 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Diana Edulji,CoA,CoA chief
File image of Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji. (PTI)

The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) co-member Diana Edulji has once again written to CoA chief Vinod Rai and reiterated the fact that the process of appointing WV Raman as the coach after the ad hoc committee picked three candidates — Gary Kirsten, WV Raman and Venkatesh Prasad — as unconstitutional because as per the suggestions of the Lodha panel, all coach-related appointments were to be made by the Cricket Advisory Committee constituting or Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.

In a letter, accessed by Hindustan Times, Diana has once again pointed at how the CoA has erred in the whole process and goes on to add that Rai tried to make a huge issue out of the coach incident just to divert attention from the alleged allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Rahul Johri.

Also Read: Raman becomes Indian women’s team coach despite Kirsten being top choice

“Even I am concerned on the same length as you are and have been working relentlessly for the betterment of women’s cricket even before the COA was constituted. The entire process of selecting a qualified coach for the women’s team is unconstitutional. I once again reiterate that we have been assigned the role of implementing the Lodha reforms which says the coach of the Indian Team can be only be appointed by the CAC.

“Your unilateral decision of appointing the ad hoc committee is not only unconstitutional, but also illegal. I do not endorse this sham process of announcing the appointment of the women’s coach especially when the CAC had requested for more time and a defined role. Your such unilateral steps do not support and help the underlining cause of betterment of women’s cricket.

“As mentioned earlier today, you have used the women’s cricket as a diversonary tactic to take the heat of the CEO’s sexual harassment allegations and made a big deal out of a non issue,” she wrote.

Diana went on to add that when she enquired with the BCCI legal team if the CoA was in a position to appoint the ad hoc committee — comprising of Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy — the answer came in the negative due to the regulations in the newly registered constitution of the BCCI.

“This is once again a big dent on Women’s Cricket in particular and BCCI at large.

Also Read: BCCI treasurer questions decision to conduct women coach’s interview despite discord in CoA

Shantha Rangaswamy has also on an email addressed to us and the acting secretary mentioned that the issue of women’s cricket was used to attack the CoA member because of the stand she took against the CEO. I would suggest you to read my email to the legal team wherein I had specifically asked a number of questions including the first one being whether COA had the power of forming such an ad hoc committee. Do not confuse my suggestion for a few names as my approval for the ad hoc committee since the first question in that email among many to legal was whether the CoA has powers to appoint the ad hoc committee to which the legal replied that we did not have the powers as per the new registered constitution.

“With due respect to the learned Jurist who gave the legal opinion, I wish to state that permission from CoA was not sought for taking this legal opinion and if the legal opinion was with the CEO and GM Cricket Operations (Saba Karim), then why was the opinion not circulated to us before and brought to our attey only after the interviews started. This is also a financial burden on BCCI without the permission of the COA. If the above cannot be termed as insubordina’on then what can be?” she enquired.

She also asked both Johri and Karim to keep the announcement of the coach in abeyance till the CoA reaches an agreement. She also warned the duo from taking unilateral decisions from Rai.

“CEO and GM Cricket Operations, you are hereby instructed to keep the announcement of the coach of the Indian women’s team in abeyance until the COA reaches a common agreement. Legal (CAM) has also clarified on the email that as per the Supreme Court order, chairman COA has no casting vote, so refrain from taking unilateral instruc’ons from him,” she signed off.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI official expressed that the current state of affairs is exactly a repeat of what saw the board being dragged to court in 2013 and this should have been avoided.

“The solution was very simple. W.V. Raman has been looking after the A team when Dravid is out with the U19s and for the time being, Raman could have been handed over the responsibility since he is already engaged with the BCCI. An attempt to validate an irregular process was not only unwarranted but was exactly the sort of thing that landed the BCCI in the Supreme Court in the first place in 2013. We have successfully come a full circle today,” he said.

Attempts to get in touch with Vinod Rai over message failed as he did not respond.

First Published: Dec 20, 2018 23:33 IST