CHENNAI: Struggling to cope with external matters, the BCCI is also finding it difficult to manage internal affairs smoothly. At a meeting of its National Cricket Academy board in New Delhi on Friday, members questioned acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary on not inviting chairman Niranjan Shah. Questions were raised also over the appointment of a physical trainer, where members found a potential case of conflict of interest.
Shah is above 70 and ineligible to continue as office-bearer. Although he has resigned as secretary of Saurashtra Cricket Association, he says there is no bar on him being NCA board chairman. It may appear against the spirit of the Supreme Court’s reform order, but a majority of BCCI members say this is on. They cite examples like Rajeev Shukla, who heads the IPL governing council despite being ineligible to hold office in the BCCI or state units.
The meeting went ahead despite Shah objecting to his omission and according to members who were present, Choudhary was asked why the former secretary was not invited. “His reply was he had instructed the office staff to mail the invite to Shah. The office staff did not send it. He (Choudhary) didn’t mention anything about Shah being ineligible due to the court order. He has been asked to come up with a more satisfactory reply at the next meeting (date not fixed yet),” a member who attended the meeting told Express.
Other than Choudhary, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, CEO Rahul Johri, general manager MV Sridhar, NCA official KVP Rao, NCA board members Prashant Vaidya, Subir Ganguly and Sanjay Desai attended the meeting.
While Shah is indeed not qualified to continue as office-bearer going by the court order on Lodha recommendations, it can be noted that the BCCI has requested the court to remove the clause that restricts persons above 70 from holding office. As acting secretary, Choudhary is aware of it.
The other issue was the appointment of Soham Desai as physical trainer at the NCA. It was pointed out that Desai used to work in Indian team trainer Sankar Basu’s company in Chennai. And it was Basu who set the question papers for the test for trainers, where Desai came second. It was learnt that Sridhar and Johri were asked about this appointment. More on this is expected later.