Choudhary hits back at CoA on day-night Tests

CoA chief Vinod Rai had last month in a stern letter asked the acting BCCI secretary to put the day-night Test proposal on hold and spelt out a procedure before taking a final call.

Amitabh Choudhary

File image of Amitabh Choudhary during the 2018 IPL auction.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Almost two weeks after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai stalled BCCI-acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary’s proposal of hosting the first floodlit Test match in India against the West Indies later this year, Choudhary has hit back at Rai.

In an email written to Rai, and marked to the BCCI office-bearers along with chief executive Rahul Johri, Choudhary has clarified his stance. Rai had last month in a stern letter asked the acting-secretary to put the day-night Test proposal on hold and spelt out a procedure before taking a final call.

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“Your major contention that the undersigned was taking ‘policy decisions’ without taking all stakeholders in the loop is clearly not supported by facts and perhaps you were not made aware of the relevant records,” Choudhary wrote in the email, accessed by Sportstar.

“I would most humbly like to inform you that if anything the undersigned was actually only trying to take a step forward in executing a policy decision which had been unanimously taken at the BCCI Working Committee meeting held on 24th June 2016 where day-night matches with pink ball were introduced for the first time in Duleep Trophy with the express and stated purpose of using the said experience to have one of the home Tests in 2016-17 season converted to a day-night Test match.

“Besides, it would be useful to know that all other Test-playing nations have already started playing day-night Test matches except India and Bangladesh. If anything, India as the tallest and foremost cricket nation should actually have been leading the way considering the country is perhaps impacted most acutely by loss of spectator support for Tests, as demonstrated earlier.

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“It is also pertinent to mention that in my email on the subject, I had recommended that we would request the Tour, Programs and Fixture Committee to take a call accordingly on the subject and the same was done since that is part of the process for executing such policy decisions. Furthermore, with the cumulative ODI/T20I/IPL figures of only five top players such as M.S. Dhoni - 566(318/89/159), Virat Kohli-414(208/57/149), Rohit Sharma - 413(180/74/159), Shikhar Dhavan - 260(102/31/127) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 202 (86/26/90) mounting to a mammoth 1855 matches, an overwhelming majority of which were night matches, the issue of body clocks of players is adequately addressed.”

In the email, Choudhary has also pointed out contradiction in the CoA’s modus operandi, citing lack of involvement in the CoA’s proposal of creating a new designation in the BCCI vertical — General Manager (Marketing).

“On the day-night Test match matter, while on the one hand a premium is put on the views of office-bearers, when the concerned email on day-night Test match had already been marked to them, in the very next frame an appointment contract is sought to be authenticated for a post which has no sanction either of the General Body, which is sovereign where cricket in India is concerned, or even the Working Committee,” Choudhary wrote.

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