The feud between two remaining members of the Committee of Administrators – Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji – seems to be getting worse by the day with the latter accusing the chairman of using issues surrounding women’s cricket as a diversionary tactic to take the heat off the sexual harassment allegations against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, The Telegraph reported on Friday.
The two administrators seem to have been at loggerheads ever since Edulji, former captain of the Indian women’s team, wanted Johri to be removed soon after allegations of sexual harassment in his earlier job profile surfaced on the social media during the #MeToo movement.
Rai, however, decided to constitute a three-member committee to investigate the matter and the committee cleared Johri of any wrongdoing.
The differences seems to have only increased between the two administrators ever since the news of all not being well in the women’s cricket team surfaced soon after India lost the world T20 semi-final against England. First, Mithali Raj accused coach Ramesh Powar of disrespecting her while the latter reacted by highlighting the unprofessional approach and lack of fitness of India’s most experienced player.
Edulji has since been against the entire procedure of looking for a new coach for the women’s team and had insisted that Powar should be persisted with till the original Cricket Advisory Committee (comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly) gets a clarity on their role and interviews the players.
However, Edulji claims that she was kept in the dark about the entire process of seeking legal opinion over forming another advisory committee that included Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaikwad and Shanta Rangaswamy and said Rai didn’t have a casting vote in any matter.
“Your unilateral decision of appointing the ad hoc committee is not only unconstitutional but also illegal,” she wrote in the mail quoted by Telegraph.
“As mentioned earlier today (Thursday), you have used women’s cricket as a diversionary tactic to take the heat off the CEO’s sexual harassment allegations and made a big deal out of a non-issue,” she said.
In the few paragraphs addressed to Johri and GM (Operations) Saba Karim, Edulji wrote, “CEO and GM-Operations you are hereby instructed to keep the announcement of the head coach of the India women’s cricket team in abeyance until CoA reaches agreement.
“Legal has also clarified on email that, as per the Supreme Court order, chairman CoA has no casting vote, so refrain from taking unilateral instructions from him.”
The BCCI, however, issued a press release late in the night confirming WV Raman as the coach of the women’s team and it is still not clear whether the two CoA members finally came to an agreement or Edulji continued to disagree on the matter.