E-auction decision sparks sparring within BCCI

Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI Acting Secretary (left) and Vinod Rai, BCCI CoA Chief (right) - E-auction decision sparks sparring within BCCI - InsideSport

All is not well within the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Nobody is happy with anybody. That is the present state of affairs within the BCCI. So suggests the reports emerging from the Cricket Centre – and other centers of power in Indian cricket.

The Committee of Administrators Chief Vinod Rai has questioned the functioning of acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary. The board officials are putting the CoA chief under the scanner along with the acting secretary. The duo responsible for implementing and supervising the key decisions in the board is being accused of taking decisions beyond the brief of their respective roles in the board.

The board officials are furious over the announcement of e-auction of the BCCI media rights. The BCCI while inviting bids for media rights of international and domestic cricket matches in India on Tuesday last has also stated that the rights will be allocated via an e-auction on March 27. An advertisement inviting tenders was published in leading national dailies.

This has infuriated the BCCI officials, who have accused the CoA chief of “throwing all norms, rules and conventions out of the window in making such an important decision. You (CoA) were appointed to supervise the (BCCI) administration. You have yourself started acting as an administration. You should remember that even as an administrator your role is limited to implement policies. You cannot become a policy maker, or change policies in an arbitrary manner,” a senior BCCI official has told insidesport.co in an obvious reference to Rai.

“What transparency will e-auction ensure when your own functioning in not transparent,” questioned another senior ex-BCCI functionary.

The board officials are in particular miffed with the CoA for its “unilateral” decision on BCCI Media Rights tender process. “Media rights is the key source of (BCCI’s) revenue. The advertisement (to invite interests) published in the newspapers was like a shocker for most of us. This is an important policy matter. It is shocking that they did not just decide on the tender process, but also changed the tender process completely without event consulting any one,” says the veteran cricket administrator.

The majority of officials who have spoken with insidesport.co have common questions on the entire process to issue the advertisement. “CoA is just a supervisor. The secretary is appointed by the court to officiate for day to day functioning of the board. The court has not dissolved any of the BCCI committees. It is strange that these committees are completely ignored,” laments another official.

“Ask the CoA and the secretary did they call all the BCCI office-bearer for a discussion of this crucial financial matter? Did they take the acting treasurer into confidence? Did anyone call the marketing committee? The norms say the decision taken at the marketing committee should have been ratified at a special general body. Can someone show us the minutes?” says the furious officer on condition of anonymity. “This was a democratic body. These people have made it a total farce. Today we cannot even come on record and state something. There is so much vindictiveness that if state something in public, they will make my association to suffer.”


The majority of board members stand by the CoA for questioning the acting secretary for scheduling a day-night Test in October during the home series against the West Indies. The CoA in a stinging email to Choudhary has questioned his decisions and functioning.

However, in the same breadth, the officials had also accused Rai of himself bypassing the system. Choudhary, reportedly, has sought Ravi Shastri’s opinion for the day-night Test. The Team India Chief coach had reportedly given his nod for the Test on an experimental basis.

“Who is Ravi Shastri? Is he above the empowered committees of the board. The secretary should understand he himself is there in an officiating capacity,” says the senior BCCI administrator. “He (Choudhary) had also appointed Saba Karim without following the right process. Even if we do not question the appointment, Saba Karim is a BCCI employee whose role is to perform his duties within in the board policies. Instead, you (Choudhary) are drawing him into a policy makers role. It is difficult to understand what all is going on in the board.”

The furious officials had also questioned Choudhary for not calling a “fixture committee meeting” to decide on the West Indies series itinerary and the day-night game?”

Those in office are being accused of making unilateral decisions. Others are crying foul. There are allegations that norms and policies not being followed. Camaraderie and team spirits seem to be the things of the past. The battle for supremacy between the CoA, the BCCI executive and the powerful names in the corridors of BCCI power more glaring than ever. The scenario is raising a much serious question – is the BCCI administrative set up heading for a collapse?