Diana Edulji stumps Farokh Engineer with 'little cricket' talk

Engineer, who had taken a dig at now-defunct CoA member Diana Edulji, had a direct confrontation in the middle of the Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture.

Farokh Engineer after the 11th Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  SHAYAN ACHARYA

 

Former India cricketer Farokh Engineer was stumped by Diana Edulji at the 11th Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture here on Wednesday.

Edulji was part of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that ran Indian cricket for nearly two years before Sourav Ganguly’s panel took charge of the BCCI in October.

Last month, Engineer took a dig at the former India women’s team captain saying that she had played ‘little cricket’.

It did not go down well with Edulji who has appeared in 20 Tests and 34 ODIs for India. “You passed a snide remark about me. I would like to tell you that I played 20 Test matches too. That’s not little cricket that I played,” Edulji told Engineer in the middle of his lecture.

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Visibly on the backfoot, Engineer tried easing out the situation, saying: “You certainly played a lot of cricket and I certainly respect and admire ladies’ cricket…”

But then, he also made it clear that the three-member CoA was a ‘complete waste of time’. “When I said that the CoA was a waste of time, I meant that. I don’t think much came out of it really and the money that was paid or spent (in crores) could have been better utilised for grassroots, the young and poor people. There was nothing personal against you,” Engineer said.

The 81-year-old has often invited trouble for being outspoken. In October, Engineer had said that the Indian selectors were busy getting "cups of tea" for Anushka Sharma — wife of India captain Virat Kohli — at the Cricket World Cup 2019.

READ| Never meant to demean Anushka Sharma: Farokh Engineer

Later, Edulji told reporters that she was happy with the CoA.

“CoA was brought in with a purpose. We covered a lot of ground, we tried to improve the standard of cricket, the infrastructure. The players have benefited a lot and that’s why the performance of the teams — both men and women — have been outstanding.

“On the whole, our main purpose was to hold the elections and move on. It couldn’t have gone on for ages. I am glad that the term is over and the BCCI is back to its normal ways,” she said.