Sourav Ganguly ‘worried’ at the way CoA is running Indian cricket, writes to BCCI

Worried by the latest turn of events in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has turned to the three office-bearers — acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry — to resurrect the image of the board as he feels that the image of the BCCI is currently taking a heavy beating under the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).

In a letter to the office-bearers, accessed by Hindustan Times, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president has gone on to elaborate the various instances which has brought this fear in him and why exactly he thinks that the reputation of the BCCI is in danger.

Starting with the recent allegations of sexual harassment against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, Ganguly says that while the reports in itself are worrying, the manner in which it has been handled by the CoA has left a lot to be desired.

“I don’t know how far it’s true, but the recent reports of harassment has really made the BCCI look poor, more so the way it has been handled. The committee of COA from four has come down to two and now the two seems to be divided,” he wrote.

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While CoA chief Vinod Rai wanted an independent enquiry in the matter, co-member Diana Edulji made no bones about the fact that she wanted Johri to be immediately removed from the position of CEO.

Ganguly, also the head of the technical committee, has spoken about the sudden change of rules in domestic cricket as per the whims and fancies of the CoA. This comes after the CoA decided to relax the one-year rule for wards of government employees to be considered local players recently. Not only was the move made mid-season, but also done with keeping the technical committee in the loop. The move also didn’t go down well with the acting secretary and treasurer as they felt that it didn’t have merit to treat government wards as ‘special citizens’.

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“Cricketing rules are changed in the middle of a season,which has never been heard off. Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect. One of my friends who is involved in matters relating to functioning of board asked me who should they go to (for a problem), I had no answer. I had to ask who should I invite for an international game from a particular association as I did not know what was going on,” he rued.

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While the CoA had said that the cricket advisory committee — comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — exceeded its brief of picking just the chief coach by also naming Rahul Dravid the overseas batting consultant and Zaheer Khan as the bowling coach, Ganguly finally decided to put an end to the mystery.

“My experience in the matter of coach selection was appalling (the less said the better),” he wrote.

He ended by saying that the image of the board had been built after years of hard work and superb administration and he feels that currently things are going downhill. Indian cricket administration as per Ganguly is in danger and needs immediate attention.

“I write this mail to you all with the deep sense of fear as to where Indian cricket administration is going. Having played the game for a long period of time, where our lives were ruled by winning and losing, and the image of Indian cricket was of paramount importance to us, we wake up looking at how our cricket is faring even now. But with deep sense of worry, (I used the word worry) I beg to state that the way things have gone in the last couple of years, the authority of Indian cricket to the world and the love and belief of millions of fans is on the way down.

“Indian cricket with its massive following has been built over the years of hard work from superb administrators and greatest of cricketers who have managed to bring thousands of fans to the ground. I at the present moment, think it’s in danger. Hope people are listening,” he signed off.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, one of the office-bearers said that he shared Ganguly’s sentiments and understood where the former India skipper is coming from and the situation in the board is indeed appalling.

“I completely empathise with Sourav, totally understand where he is coming from and deeply share the fear and worry that he has expressed. The current BCCI administration is not in a good place and the attempts at protecting an official at the cost of the Board’s image and a toxic work environment do not inspire any confidence in the administration. What is most worrying and actually terrifying is the description of his experience in the matter of coach selection as ‘apalling.’

“The CoA in their stubborn and egotistical approach of excluding the constituents of the Board and the BCCI committees in decision making is the absolute antithesis of the Supreme Court’s Judgments and orders. Things have come to such a head that Sourav, who normally keeps to himself, has felt the need to air his views in the hope that people are listening. It is sad that one man’s obstinacy and refusal to see sense over the last year and half has caused such a rapid deterioration that people fear for the BCCI’s future despite its obvious advantages,” he said.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 17:23 IST

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