The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri is set to head to the US along with the Indian team for the start of the West Indies tour and the supposed reason given is, discussion of future tours with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). But board officials are surprised by the turn of event considering that the CEO met the officials recently in the ICC annual conference in London just after the World Cup ended.
Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) have gone out of their way to coddle the CEO. The official went on to add that the upcoming tour to the US isn’t the only instance when the CEO had been treated differently, it has almost become the norm.
“The CoA has gone out of its way to coddle the CEO for reasons best known to them. Three examples stand out. First is the manner in which the sexual harassment matter was dealt with. Second is the reported payment of about Rs 5 crore to the CEO as a sort of a bonus despite him having not met the criteria for this and third is the permissions for his indiscriminate travel.
“Now he is travelling to the US while there doesn’t seem to be a proper reason for this travel. It is learnt that he isn’t travelling alone and that he is accompanied by other staff. We thought the ICC Annual Conference was already over,” the official pointed.
Echoing the sentiments, another official said: “If discussing future tours was the whole idea, why not meet the WICB officials in West Indies? The Indians will be in the Caribbean Islands from the third T20I onwards till the first week of September.”
Interestingly, acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary’s travels have often been questioned and his trip to Bhutan in 2018 made headlines when the CoA made it clear that the secretary’s presence wasn’t needed for technical functions like availability of cricket equipment, suitability of the clay/soil for preparation of pitches. The acting secretary was also questioned about the need for 32 days of foreign travel in the financial year.
“It is telling that you alone, among the three office-bearers, have undertaken 32 days of foreign travel in barely five and a half months of the current calendar when the other two have not travelled abroad at all,” the mail to Amitabh read.