The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) head Vinod Rai has slammed the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary for proposing a day-night Test match in October against West Indies without informing the COA, according to reports.
Choudhary reportedly consulted coach Ravi Shastri, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, acting president CK Khanna and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, ex-India wicketkeeper Saba Karim and operations manager Gaurav Saxena, but kept the COA out of the mail chain. The said emails are with both The Indian Express and The Times of India.
According to The Times of India, a series of e-mails Choudhary addressed the above mentioned people saying that the low attendances during India’s Tests at home last season calls for a change.
Subsequently, he sent a mail saying “all seem to be in sync provided the advice of only the last session being played under lights is ensured,” continued the The Times of India report.
In response, Rai wrote a scathing mail to Choudhary, questioning the policy decisions.
“You seem to have discussed with all the stakeholders, who in your scheme of things constitute four persons sitting in the (BCCI) cricket centre - a very misplaced viewpoint.
Even if it be cricket of which all of you certainly have greater knowledge than me, (I’m excluding Diana (Edulji, former India women’s team skipper), who has greater knowledge than all of you! I represent the viewing population. They are your greatest stakeholder,” he wrote.
Rai also said that the issue will be on hold till the whole process is decided. This includes venue, timing, security arrangement, costs and so on.
But perhaps the most striking aspect was the argument over the players’ body clock adjustment to the new format.
“Ravi may have been consulted but I would like to consult the players whose body clock over five consecutive days will have to get accustomed to a new timing,” Rai wrote.
According to The Indian Express, Choudhary, Johri and Karim came up with the suggestion to have one game as a day-night one as long as the dew factor didn’t hamper proceedings. Coach Shastri was all for it suggesting a start around noon.
“I firmly believe for Test cricket to survive in India the venues must be chosen smartly. Above all, Tier two cities must be used for tier two teams without compromise. As far as day night cricket goes it can be tried out as an experiment with a game starting at 12 and where the last session is played under lights. It will be interesting to see how much part dew will play. Again against a team like the West Indies it has to be played in a tier 2 city without a doubt. To get in the crowds it doesn’t matter if it’s a day game or daynight game. What (is) important is 2 tier city,” he was quoted as having written.
The BCCI or COA are yet to make an official statement on it, but for now, this seems to be on hold.