Pataudi Memorial Lecture row continues

The selection of South Africa born former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen to deliver the M.A.K. Pataudi Memorial Lecture in Bangalore on June 12 has annoyed BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary.

Kevin Pietersen has played 104 Tests, 130 One-Day Internationals and 37 Twenty20 Internationals for England.   -  Getty Images

The selection of South Africa born former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen to deliver the M.A.K. Pataudi Memorial Lecture in Bangalore on June 12 has annoyed BCCI’s acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary.

Choudhary has gone to the extent of asking Saba Karim, General Manager, Cricket Operations, BCCI, on whose authorisation did he approach Pietersen and obtain his confirmation.

It so happened that Kumar Sangakkara, whose name was first endorsed by CoA’s Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, expressed his inability to deliver the lecture because of his commentary commitments and that Pietersen has agreed to deliver the lecture at the Pataudi Memorial.

Referring to a sequence of email communication exchanged between the CoA, BCCI office bearers and CEO , Choudhary asks Saba Karim: “The trail had at best allowed finding out the availability of Mr. Sangakkara. May I repeat, Chairman CoA had even said he was open to other names in case of his unavailability. Yet the above email (Karim’s mail to CoA, BCCI office bearers and CEO) explains with gusto that such and such person (Kevin Pietersen) had agreed!”

Choudhary, who had given a list of four names — Chandu Borde, Nari Contractor, Erapalli Prasanna and Abbas Ali Baig — further says: “Considering the determination with which the M.A.K Pataudi Memorial Lecture is being treated with scant regard, the undersigned has the following questions to ask: How was the list of four (Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakkara, Kevin Pietersen and Nasser Hussain) arrived at without adverting to the conversation on the very subject on May 8 in Bangalore.

While foreigners are welcome to add value to this Lecture why was this list overweight in favour of foreigners with their names accounting for 75 per cent of it?

Why was their relevance to the Pataudi lecture per se not explained?

Once the Chairman had authorised only exploring Mr. Sangakkara’s availability, was it not incumbent upon the person authorised to report his unavailability   before proceeding further in view of Chairman’s stated position of being open to other names.

On the basis of whose authorisation was the jump made to Mr. Pietersen, without seeking authorisation to do so? (I have checked and other two office bearers have no knowledge of this.).”