The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Treasurer, Anirudh Chaudhry on Thursday raised question over the decision of conducting interview for the Women cricket team coach and said that the result of the process won't be called an "appointment on behalf of the board."
In his email to the Committee of Administrators (COA), the Treasurer said: "Since there is no decision of the COA in the matter of the selection of the women's coach, the process and an appointment if any in the present facts and circumstances, are without jurisdiction and without authority and an appointment that may be a result of this process can in no matter be called an appointment on behalf of the BCCI."
While registering his protest against the interview, Chaudhry added: "Who pays for the process? If any payment is made to a candidate from the BCCI account, who is to be debited for the same? Are we, therefore, a financially prudent organisation if payments can be made without proper approvals and decisions? Would it not be appropriate to wait till the 17th of January (the next date of hearing before the Supreme Court) and keep the present matter of coach selection in abeyance till then and have either Ramesh Powar continue or have someone else take charge till then? It would avoid unnecessary legal issues and unwanted controversy."
In January last year, the Supreme Court had appointed four-member CoA to run the affairs of BCCI. The four members included chairman Vinod Rai, former women team captain Diana Edulji, historian Ramchandra Guha and business executive Vikram Limaye. Guha and Limaye resigned from the committee last year, leaving Edulji as the only member besides the Chairman.
An email chain earlier this month between Edulji, Rai, General Manager cricket operations Saba Karim, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and BCCI legal advisor Indranil Deshmukh over the issue of formation of ad-hoc committee for the selection of a coach for the Women's team, reflected a conflict between the former Indian women cricket captain and the COA chairman.
Despite Edulji's opposition, the BCCI on the evening of December 11 formed an ad-hoc committee to conduct interviews of eligible candidates for the post of head coach as instructed by the CoA chairman. The interview of the shortlisted candidates was conducted on December 20 at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
Questioning the conduct of interview, the Treasurer said: "How was this allowed to happen? Who amongst the management has this much of courage to patently ignore the orders of the Supreme Court and has anyone given him or her protection to do so? What have been the steps taken post the email of Diana Edulji? Who would be debited with the amount spent from the board's coffers on such a decision? From whom will this amount be recovered? Is this financial prudence?"
"A senior advocate appearing for the office bearers on a previous date of hearing had requested the Supreme Court to induct additional members into the COA to fill up the vacancies created by the resignation of two of its members but the senior advocate appearing for the COA had strongly opposed the request. The COA had also issued directions which all but stifled the office bearers or the Board from being represented before the Supreme Court in the matter," Chaudhry added.