by Elton Gomes
Concerned over the latest turn of events in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), former India captain Sourav Ganguly wrote a scathing letter to the cricketing body’s office-bearers.
Ganguly has urged acting president C.K. Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry to revamp the image of the board as he feels that the current image of the BCCI has been suffering under the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.
In a letter to the office-bearers, Ganguly shed light on the various instances which he feels could endanger the BCCI’s reputation.
Speaking to Sportstar from Kolkata on Wednesday, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president said that such a letter was the need of the hour. “I wrote it (the letter) because it was important. That is the voice of everyone. You speak to the broadcasters, you speak to other people and they will tell you the same thing,” Ganguly told Sportstar.
What Ganguly said
In his letter, Ganguly began by stating the recent allegations of sexual harassment against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. Ganguly said that he was concerned about the allegations, and the manner in which it was being handled by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has made the BCCI look “poor.”
“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,” Ganguly wrote, Hindustan Times reported.
The former Indian skipper further said that he has a “deep sense of fear and worry” about how cricket is being run in India. He believes that the game’s popularity is “in danger” because of the current administration. “My experience in the matter of coach selection was appalling,” Ganguly wrote. “The less said the better,” Cricinfo reported.
Ganguly was appointed as head of the BCCI’s technical committee, which has traditionally framed rules, regulations, and playing conditions for domestic cricket. The committee’s recommendations on how to include teams from North-eastern states into the Ranji Trophy were ignored.
“Cricketing rules are changed in the middle of a season, which has never been heard of,” Ganguly wrote. “Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect,” as per the Cricinfo report.
He ended by saying that the image of the board had been built after years of hard work and superb administration, but he feels that things are currently headed downhill. Ganguly said, “… 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,” Hindustan Times reported.
He concluded his letter by saying, “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,” as per the Hindustan Times report.
Fallout with Ravi Shastri?
After Anil Kumble stepped down as coach following a fallout with skipper Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri replaced Kumble despite Ganguly opposing his appointment.
Prior to the selection process, a BCCI functionary reportedly approached Virender Sehwag and convinced him to apply for the position. The former India opener gave his all in the interview, while Shastri merely gave a Skype appearance.
The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, and Ganguly. The CAC recommended the inclusion of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan in the coaching set-up as batting and bowling consultants, respectively.
However, Shastri paid no heed and insisted on having his own coaching staff. Shastri brought back Bharat Arun as bowling coach, while Sanjay Bangar stayed remained the assistant coach. In With Shastri at the helm, India lost six and won two out of eight Tests played in South Africa and England this year.
Ganguly questions BCCI CoA’s decision to change eligibility rules
The Hindustan Times, on Monday, reported that Ganguly had now pulled up the GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim and the SC-appointed CoA for deciding to relax the one-year rule for wards of government employees to be considered local players in the middle of the season.
In addition, Ganguly also questioned the process followed by the CoA wherein decisions taken at technical committee meetings were allegedly overlooked.
The BCCI secretary had earlier clarified that change of rule after without notifying the technical committee of the board or member associations of the BCCI is unfair and against the process followed. The BCCI however seems to have placed onus on the CoA. A senior BCCI executive told the Hindustan Times: “It is a call taken by the Committee of Administrators.”
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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