Kevin Pietersen to deliver MAK Pataudi lecture, acting BCCI secy makes a fuss
A name that should not have created any debate has generated a controversy with BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary objecting to Kevin Pietersen’s choice for the MAK Pataudi lecture.cricket Updated: May 18, 2018 21:57 IST
Kevin Pietersen, well-known for his cricketing views, will deliver the MAK Pataudi lecture in Bangalore on June 12. Pietersen is currently commentating on the Indian Premier League. He will be the first non-Indian to deliver this prestigious lecture. Sunil Gavaskar, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Farokh Engineer have been the five previous speakers.
A name that should not have created any debate has generated a controversy of sorts with BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary objecting to Pietersen’s choice. But Choudhary’s angst has been thrown out of the window by the all-powerful Committee of Administrators who run the cricket Board.
Former England captain Pietersen is one of the biggest voices in world cricket. Having played 104 Test matches, the South African-born England batsman has played all forms of cricket across the world. Pietersen was one of the four shortlisted by BCCI GM (cricket operations), Syed Saba Karim. The other options were: Sourav Ganguly, Nasser Hussain and Kumar Sangakkara.
Choudhary, who has been snubbed by the CoA in recent times, proposed ‘Indian’ speakers like Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Erapalli Prasanna and Abbas Ali Baig. But the CoA preferred Pietersen.
“We (the CoA) have the highest regards for our Indian cricketers. Last year, we had Farokh Engineer deliver the lecture. If anybody had suggested Contractor or Borde should deliver the lecture, after Kumar Sangakkara declined, I would have readily accepted it. It’s just that BCCI has finalised one name of the original four names short-listed,” said CoA chief Vinod Rai.
In a letter to the CoA, Choudhary wrote: “ … I understand Tiger Memorial Lecture is not an elocution contest and reasonable communication skills are all that we should look for. GM (Cricket Operations) expression of happiness on it (choice of speaker) had left me wondering on whether the lecture was indeed MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture or Sir Len Hutton Lecture or for that matter Sir Frank Woolley Memorial lecture.”
Karim’s choice of speakers was based on his search for ‘former Test cricketers of stature who are currently involved as either commentators, coaches or administrators.” Pietersen fitted the bill perfectly and the CoA ‘didn’t want to complicate things by addressing Choudhary’s complaint’.