Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly has written to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) expressing discontent over the handling of sexual harassment allegations against CEO Rahul Johri. Johri was recently accused of harassment and inappropriate behaviour by author Harnidh Kaur, who shared detailed screenshots of horrific incident on her official Twitter handle. Also Read - Shafali Verma Becomes Youngest Woman to Hit Two Fifties on Test Debut, Joins Sachin Tendulkar in Elite List
Ganguly, who is now the Cricket Association of Bengal President, said Indian cricket is in “danger” and he doesn’t know where things are headed. Kaur spoke about the incident in detail which happened during Johri’s stint at Discovery channel. Prior to his stint with the BCCI, Johri had served as Executive Vice President and General Manager – South Asia for Discovery Networks Asia Pacific. Also Read - WTC Final: This Indian Team Has Great Balance, Bowlers Can Trouble Any Batting Unit: Sourav Ganguly
Johri is currently under investigation by a three-member independent panel set up by the Committee of Administrators (COA). The sexual harassment charge against him was made by an anonymous accuser via a social media post, which now stands withdrawn. Also Read - EURO 2020: Sourav Ganguly, Cricket Fraternity Wish Denmark's Christian Eriksen Speedy Recovery
Kaur, who tweets using the handle @PedestrianPoet posted the screenshots of the emails with the message: “had emails sent about a BUNCH of head honchos in media. survivor has asked to not put out all the names. Rahul Johari, your #timesup #metoo.”
Sourav Ganguly’s communication to BCCI, which was accessed by ANI stated:
“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,” Ganguly wrote.
“But with deep sense of worry, (I use 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.”
“I don’t know how far it’s true, but the recent reports of harassment has really made the BCCI look very poorly…more so the way it has been handled. The committee of CoA from four has come down to two and now the two seem to be divided (sic),” Ganguly wrote.
“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. I hope people are listening,” Ganguly further added.
The technical committee chairman also recalled his “appalling experience” during the coach selection process for the national men’s team. Ganguly was part of the advisory committee that recommended Anil Kumble, who had to step aside within one year after a bitter feud with captain Virat Kohli.
Kumble was replaced by Ravi Shastri, who was preferred by Kohli. “Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect… My experience in the matter of coach selection was appalling (the less said the better),” he said.
“One of my friends who is involved in matters relating to functioning of Board asked me who should they go to. 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,” the former India skipper concluded.