Cricket board sucked into Shami's marital strife
Wife: how did touts and prostitutes enter players' rooms?
Calcutta: The long-running turf war between the three office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by the Supreme Court, has been upstaged by the flare-up in the Shami household.
Mohammed Shami's wife, Hasin Jahan, began by making allegations against him. Now, the lady has even dragged the BCCI into what has become very messy.
While the BCCI will continue with its policy of not getting involved in matters concerning players and their families, some allegations by Hasin, during the course of an ABP Ananda interview, "must be probed".
Specifically, Hasin has questioned the BCCI on how "touts" and "prostitutes" have access to the players' hotels and their rooms on "tours".
Without pausing, Hasin wanted the BCCI to "answer" how that could happen "very often".
Not just that, Hasin also called upon the BCCI to "investigate" Shami's ties with a Pakistani lady (one had actually been shamed by her in a Facebook post the other day).
There's that sensational bit about money being received by the 27-year-old Shami as well.
Without detailing when, Hasin said that the "BCCI arranged" for Shami's ticket to Dubai. Was the reference to the recent trip to South Africa and back via that glitzy Emirate?
Dubai is the transit point whenever Team India flies Emirates, the airline partner of the International Cricket Council.
"The BCCI stays away from personal matters, but the allegations about touts and prostitutes must be probed. Also, if the BCCI indeed did organise the ticket referred to in that TV interview," Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI's acting secretary, told The Telegraph on Thursday evening.
Shami, it may be recalled, wasn't presented a contract for 2017-2018 when the list was announced by the Vinod Rai-headed CoA on Wednesday.
The omission is "ostensibly" because of the allegations unleashed by Hasin.
Shami, significantly, was the highest wicket-taker during the recent Test series in South Africa. So, the exclusion hasn't been on the merit front.
Choudhary wasn't part of the process of finalising the names for contracts. To the best of his knowledge, "nobody in the BCCI was involved".
Obviously, then, Rai and Diana Edulji alone took the call. Odd, to say the least.
Snubbed, Choudhary (a former IPS officer) could look at ways and means to make his own point or two.
More than the BCCI's acting president, C.K. Khanna, and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, Choudhary is in the midst of a massive territory-centred dispute with Rai, a former bureaucrat.
That explains why Choudhary didn't seek a comment from Rai on Shami's omission. In fact, somebody in the thick of things explained: "There is a complete breakdown of communication between the CoA, which means Rai, and Choudhary."
For the record, in the latest Status Report to the Supreme Court, the CoA has sought the removal of all three office-bearers --- Khanna, Chaudhry and Choudhary.
Till the Supreme Court gives its ruling, expect to see more tamasha, almost on a par with what is raging between the Shamis.
Hasin, for her part, has escalated matters by filing a written complaint against Shami and his parents with Calcutta police.
The allegations range from adultery and cheating to mental and physical torture, domestic violence and a demand for dowry.
Lalbazar's investigation will, of course, be at one level.
Right now, the million-rupee question is who will order the probe into Hasin's BCCI-related allegations --- Khanna/ Choudhary or Rai?
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