Women’s coach selection: Anirudh Chaudhry, Diana Edulji question decision to hold interviews

It would have been appropriate to hold the interviews after the Supreme Court (on January 17) hearing to avoid running into legal tangles, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry writes in a letter.

CoA chief Vinod Rai (left) had given the green signal hold the interviews despite objections raised by Diana Edulji (right).   -  PTI

The decision taken to hold interviews to determine the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team before a Supreme Court hearing of January 17 has been questioned by two prominent members overseeing the administration of the BCCI. Board acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji have raised objections to this, a step given the green signal by CoA chief Vinod Rai.

As a result of the interview process, W. V. Raman has been appointed the coach of the Indian women’s team.

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

Chaudhry said it would have been appropriate to hold the interviews after the Supreme Court hearing to avoid running into legal tangles. “Would it not be appropriate to wait till the 17th of January, ie; the next date of hearing before the SC and keep the present matter of coach selection in abeyance till then and have either [Ramesh] Powar continue or have someone else take charge till then?” Chaudhry wrote in a letter. “It would avoid unnecessary legal issues and unwanted controversy,” he added.

‘Without jurisdiction’

Chaudhry believed the BCCI could not approve an appointment in the current situation. “Since there is no decision of the CoA in the matter of the selection of the coach, the process and an appointment if any in the present facts and circumstances, are without jurisdiction and without authority and an appointment that may be a result of this process can in no manner be called an appointment for and on behalf of the BCCI,” he said.

Edulji wrote to Rai on Thursday morning, asking him to put the interview process on hold. Rai, however, gave the go-ahead after taking former Supreme Court judge B. M. Srikrishna’s opinion on the legality of the move.

Anirudh Chaudhry (right) felt BCCI's "decision-making seems irregular." Photo: Vivek Bendre

‘Fundamental issues’

Chaudhry felt Edulji, who had asked the interview process to be put on hold earlier as well, was being circumvented by Rai’s decision. “The email sent by Diana Edulji, member of the CoA, which was copied to the office bearers as well, has touched upon some very fundamental issues. It has given us an unprecedented insight in to the working of the CoA, the professional management and the legal team of the BCCI,” Chaudhry wrote.

Read | Incongruity between BCCI, CoA signals administrative muddle

“I regret to state that it does not paint a rosy picture about the state of affairs with regard to the administration of BCCI. To put it mildly, the decision-making seems irregular, the outcome of which may prove to be illegal. The execution, blind or otherwise, of those decisions casts serious doubts on either the intention or the competence of those who execute it.”

The CoA, appointed by the Supreme Court, has been divided over the coach selection process. While Edulji wanted Powar to continue as coach at least till the New Zealand tour that begins next month, Rai instructed the BCCI top brass to invite fresh applications for the position. This was after Powar’s brief stint as interim coach ended last month.

Powar, too, had appeared for the interview in Mumbai.