Aggrieved BCCI bosses meet to discuss CoA functioning

Some of the former members and the office bearers of the BCCI met in New Delhi on Saturday for an informal meeting to discuss the way the cricketing affairs are being run by the CoA.

The Board members — in the presence of former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan — expressed their concern CoA's handling of cricketing affairs.   -  File Picture

Some of the former members and the office bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met in New Delhi on Saturday for an informal meeting to discuss the way the cricketing affairs are being run by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).

Sportstar understands that former BCCI chief, N. Srinivasan, and a few other top officials of the Board were present for the meeting in the national capital while some attended it via teleconference. It is learned that members of 22 state units joined the meeting, with notable names like C. K. Khanna, Aniruddh Chaudhary, Sourav Ganguly.

While Amitabh Choudhary skipped the meeting, former BCCI chief, Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun joined the conference via tele-conference along with CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya, who was representing National Cricket Club. Services’ Satyavrat Sheoran, Baroda’s Snehal Parikh, Punjab’s GS Walia and CCI’s Kapil Malhotra were also present. Hyderabad’s Sesh Narayan, Goa’s ousted Vinod Phadke and MPCA Secretary Milind Kanmadikar also joined the gathering.

Only last week, the CoA virtually took away all the powers from three top officials, and on Saturday, the Board members expressed their concern over media rights of domestic and bilateral games in India and a range of issues.

“The tender for media rights of domestic and bilateral games in India, which six years ago was sold for Rs. 43 crores per match after much discussion and effort and after following a transparent process, is now being decided only by a two member CoA with inputs and briefings from the CEO and the legal team. They have put a minimum bid value which is lower than the existing value of six years ago. The Marketing Committee or the members that constitute the General Body of the BCCI were not consulted. The maximum impact of this decision is on the BCCI and the same members of the BCCI. Members felt that no order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court so far in the case has given the CoA, CEO etc. such sweeping powers to act opaquely and independently on a matter of such great financial magnitude,” the members stated.

Hands and feet tied

According to the BCCI constitution, only office bearers can operate the accounts of the Board. The members therefore wondered how the CoA allowed people who are not office bearers to operate the bank accounts.

“The CoA has indulged in continuous missives to tie the hands and feet of experienced administrators of BCCI by bypassing provisions of the BCCI constitution. As per the constitution of the BCCI, only the office bearers are authorised to operate the BCCI accounts. The CoA for their convenience and because the office bearers raised some questions, directed that people who are not office bearer operate the bank accounts which is in utter violation of the constitution and is against financial prudence. How the bankers of the BCCI allowed this to happen is also a pertinent question,” the members discussed.

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In a statement, the members stated: “It is a matter of great regret that the CoA approved one-time benefit to one of its members and her sister and has failed to disclose this as a transaction with an interested party. While the CoA pontificates on a number of things, when their interest is involved they are silent. The Dhruv Advisors matter was also a case in point. Mr Vikram Limaye, a former member of the CoA became the CEO of the NSE. It apeears that as a quid-pro-quo, M/s Dhruv Advisors an LLP whose managing partner was Mr Dinesh Kanabar, a member of the Board of NSE, had been appointed as tax consultants to the BCCI and the contract had been signed by the CEO with the approval of the CoA. It was only when a story in this regard was published on a news portal, that it was stopped.

'Far-reaching organisational changes'

“The CoA without consulting the members makes far-reaching organisational changes. In this connection, it should be pointed out that whereas all these jobs were earlier being carried out by members acting in an Honorary capacity, the CoA is appointing people at exorbitant salaries without consulting the members and nobody knows what procedures were followed. The role of the head hunting agency was also questioned.”

The fact that the decisions with regard to the National Cricket Academy were taken without any consultation of the members or the NCA committee did not go down well with the members who had attended the meeting.

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri’s decision to hire a personal security guard was also criticised.

“In the history of the BCCI no office bearer or an employee felt the need to be protected professionally. The CEO Mr Johri in consultation with a security consultant got a personal body guard provided to him under the pretext that he was his secretary. One such body guard was recently seen on duty for protection services with an IPL team owner. By billing the body guard under some other head to prevent members knowing about it, Mr Johri in conjunction with the CoA have falsified the accounts.”

The members also expressed serious concern ‘over the attempt by the COA to frustrate the Board’s right to express its views before the Court and the effect of their most recent directions on the process of administration of justice.’

The decision to hire a public relations company for image building was also discussed. “The role of the agency that had been apparently engaged for image building of the BCCI was discussed. There was absolutely no information about any work done by them to uplift the image of the Board and in fact there were reports of them working to malign the image of the members and office bearers, especially before an approaching date of hearing in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. In fact, the agency has been used to promote the image of BCCI employees,” the members felt.

“The CoA in engaging with the other member countries of the ICC directly without advertence to the members or the office bearers seriously jeopardized BCCI’s position in the ICC at the outset and have subsequently botched up the affairs to reduce BCCI to insignificance in the ICC apart from causing financial loss.”

The members also asked the CoA if the ICC has paid the BCCI’s share of revenue for the ICC events that have taken place.

“If no, what steps have been taken to recover the share of the BCCI ?” the members questioned.