#MeToo impact: Is Rahul Johri on his way out from BCCI?

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Has the CEO of Board of Control for Cricket in India had his last day in office? The sequence of events and the veterans of BCCI administration indicate the answer is a “certain yes”.

The BCCI CEO, in the midst of a #MeToo storm, has proceeded on leave. The Committee of Administrators have taken full charge of the BCCI affairs. It is stated that Johri has taken the leave to prepare his defence on the sexual harassment and misconduct allegations by his former colleague in the Discover network, where he was the Chief Executive.

BCCI insiders say the CEO Johri is asked to relinquish the post. The leave is being seen as an easy exit.

CoA Vinod Rai was earlier accused of sweeping under the carpet a female BCCI employee’s complaint against the CEO. This time the allegations, though not substantiated, are so serious that CEO is finding little support in the BCCI.

It is apparent that Johri for the moment is a persona non grata in the International Cricket Council. Amidst earlier reports that he was exempted from representing the BCCI in the International Cricket Council meeting in Singapore, it was reported that the Indian board was compelled to take the decision under pressure from the ICC, which did not want to host an official accused of sexual harassment by a female colleague.

Reports suggest, in addition to protests within the BCCI, it were the reservations from the top ICC administration that compelled the Indian board to withdraw the CEO from the ICC meeting in Singapore.

Another BCCI official has pointed out that the BCCI has already started thinking beyond Johri. “If it were only about two week’s leave, there were competent people to run the day to day affairs in consultation with Johri and the COA. Rai taking complete control of the CEO’s office indicates something else,” the official pointed out, adding that the voice of dissent against Johri is growing this time.

Also Read: #MeToo blow: BCCI CEO Rahul Johri forced to pull out of ICC Meet

“It was the same CoA who had stood by Johri when there was opposition from the (acting) office bearers and State associations. But now even Rai seems to have given up. We will be surprised if Johri is back in the BCCI.”

Long leaves for a “tainted” top official in general lead to a peaceful exit in a corporate set up. The indication in Johri’s case are not different either.

The BCCI has been marred by the sexual harassment allegations at least on three occasions in the past three months. The richest sports body in the country, the financial super power of global cricket now seems determined to wash its hands off all the dust.