Diana Edulji accuses Vinod Rai of taking unilateral decisions

Diana Edulji expresses angst over Vinod Rai arbitrarily taking decisions on women’s head coach without consulting with her and accuses him of violating rules and regulations.

Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji were divided over the selection process of women's coach.   -  PTI

W.V.Raman’s selection as Head Coach of the Indian women’s team has caused a major rift between the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji. There has been no semblance of agreement on any issue between the two once the Independent Committee, by majority opinion, cleared the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri of any wrongdoings on sexual harassment charges and Rai endorsed it.

On Thursday, Diana addressed a mail to Rai (copying it to the BCCI office bearers, the BCCI’s professional team and the Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium) saying that a contract cannot be given (because the CAC members in Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S.Laxman were not consulted) to Raman and “if the CEO, CFO and GM Cricket Operations in charge of women's cricket do issue a new contract, then they will be liable for financial damages to the BCCI.”

READ: CoA members tussle over India women coach selection process

Diana has told Rai that it’s “factually incorrect” for him to mention that the CAC members were not available. “They were quite clear that they needed time and their roles defined. Their response is very much justified as they had burnt their fingers in the selection of the men’s coach last year. However, the CEO, GM - Operations and yourself decided to overlook their request.”

“To discuss cricketing matters in my absence, advising the CEO to take action without my approval, knowing that you do not have any veto powers, it is evident that time and again violation of rules and regulations, protocols, constitution have been carried out. Also note, that taking unilateral decisions are more detrimental to the image of BCCI and also to the appointment of CoA that was appointed to ensure the implementation of the reforms.” — Diana Edulji’s response to Vinod Rai.

She further says: “The reason for not allowing the authorised CAC to do their job, instead taking an illegal step and later justifying your actions as the need of the hour and using women’s cricket as an excuse is completely uncalled for.”

Read: W.V. Raman appointed Indian women's team coach

Diana has accused Rai of taking unilateral decisions saying: “To discuss cricketing matters in my absence, advising the CEO to take action without my approval, knowing that you do not have any veto powers, it is evident that time and again violation of rules and regulations, protocols, constitution have been carried out. Also note, that taking unilateral decisions are more detrimental to the image of BCCI and also to the appointment of CoA that was appointed to ensure the implementation of the reforms.’’

READ: Edulji accuses Johri of ‘insubordination'

Diana has also recalled the instance of the men’s team playing a series in the West Indies (after the ICC Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan in the final) without the Head Coach. “The CEO and yourself in the past had changed / extended timelines for an individual who eventually became the Head Coach of Men’s team (Ravi Shastri). Then how is it that you have suddenly found it difficult to give time to CAC which comprises of great legends or extend the contract of Ramesh Powar.’’

She has told Rai that Raman, who is the coach at the NCA and has a contract with the BCCI till June 2019, can be the interim coach of the Women’s team and that the CAC (as per the order of the Supreme Court dated August 9) should be asked to select the Head Coach.

Diana’s rejoinder to Rai came after the latter asked the BCCI CEO Johri to conclude the appointment of Raman as Head Coach of the women’s team because he was shortlisted by an ad hoc committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy (name proposed by Diana in preference to that of Shubhangi Kulkarni).

Rai has also told the BCCI CEO: “We need to take a decision on concluding the contract with Raman as we did with the Indian senior team last year, so that the team and coach can settle down with each other. The appointment of a full time head coach is no longer an option; it has become a dire necessity. The CEO will do so immediately.’’

The BCCI is set to employ Raman at a professional fee of Rs. 1.75 crore for the first year and Rs. 2 crore for the second year, subject to performance evaluation at the end of first year.