The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Absurd directive to manager
- Manoeuvrings ahead of AGM

Calcutta: The manoeuvring ahead of the latest AGM of the Board, to be held here on Thursday-Friday, reached absurd proportions with Team India manager Amitabh Choudhary being directed by a departmental secretary of the Jharkhand government to “immediately” report to headquarters (Ranchi).

A Jagmohan Dalmiya backer, Choudhary heads the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) and is scheduled to return home on September 26. Under no circumstances could he have ‘deserted’ Sourav Ganguly and Co.

Actually, it’s beyond belief that somebody ' obviously belonging to the Sharad Pawar camp ' even thought of a scenario whereby the team would be without its manager.

According to The Telegraph’s sources in the Board and in Jamshedpur, Choudhary received the faxed directive on returning to the team hotel (Sheraton) in Harare after the opening day’s play of the ongoing Test there.

Choudhary had a curt “no comments” when his reaction was sought on Wednesday, but sources insist they’re absolutely on the ball.

Ironically, Choudhary is director of the department (arts, culture, sports and youth affairs) whose secretary ' M.N. Sinha ' signed the directive. Choudhary is an IPS officer who is on deputation.

What’s surprising is that the directive was sent even though the Dalmiya group got a very influential BJP leader to have a word with Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda, largely to ensure “nothing went wrong.”

Even then...

Apparently, the Pawar camp also tried to prevent JSCA secretary B.N.Singh from attending the AGM in Choudhary’s absence. The pressure, one understands, was put by a major industrial house.

“Poor Singh, who wouldn’t ever ditch Dalmiya, had a tough time in Jamshedpur... It’s an achievement that he could resist the enormous pressure,” is how a source based there put it.

It couldn’t be confirmed, but there was a move to have state chief secretary P.P. Sharma represent the JSCA at the AGM. It failed.

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