Monday, 30th October 2017

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CoA appears confused, sends clumsy ‘communication’ to ICC

The 'communication' has raised the issue of severing ties with countries that export terror

By Lokendra Pratap Sahi in Calcutta
  • Published 23.02.19, 2:48 AM
  • Updated 23.02.19, 12:03 PM
  • 3 mins read
  •  
The "communication" is far from specific on whether Virat Kohli and his team will play Pakistan. The Telegraph picture

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) hasn’t covered itself in glory by sending a clumsily-drafted and confusing “communication” to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in connection with the forthcoming World Cup and other global events conducted by it.

The CoA, which has been calling the shots in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for over two years, now has three members after Lt Gen (Retd) Ravi Thodge became the newest Administrator.

Chaired by retired bureaucrat Vinod Rai, the CoA also has Diana Edulji on board.

While Rai and Diana met in New Delhi on Friday afternoon, Lt Gen Thodge, who has commanded 1 Corps, was on a conference call.

Addressed to ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, outgoing CEO David Richardson, tournament director Steve Elworthy and Colin Graves, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman, the “communication” is far from specific on playing Pakistan on June 16.

India could meet Pakistan one more time as well.

Apart from a lack of clarity, the CoA’s “communication” has raised the issue of severing ties with countries which export/encourage terror, but that clearly is not an area of expertise of the ICC.

Surely, the ICC cannot take a call on cutting off relations “with countries from which terrorism emanates.” It’s definitely not, say, the United Nations.

Besides, while the “communication” begins by expressing fears “for the safety and security of players and match officials” in the upcoming ICC competitions, including the May 30-July 14 World Cup, it goes on to state: “The BCCI trusts that the ICC and the ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the World Cup.”

So, what indeed is the CoA’s “communication” all about then? Why couldn’t a straightforward “communication” be sent either declaring India would not play Pakistan (there are enough precedents in the World Cup) or that X, Y, Z concerns will first have to be addressed?

Why be vague and attempt to please one constituency? Is the CoA aware that, 20 years ago, India played Pakistan in the World Cup despite the ongoing Kargil War?

India, by the way, is no longer the dominant force in the Board of the ICC, the forum where the “communication” is bound to be taken up.

In any case, as one of the sources of The Telegraph rightly pointed out, if it actually came to a boycott of Pakistan in the World Cup, there would be much wider ramifications as even relations with the hosts, the United Kingdom, may get soured in the process.

Nobody will like that, neither the occupant of 7 Race Course Road nor the person residing in 10 Downing Street.

There are far too many factors at play and it’s evident that the CoA is confused on how to go about Pakistan after the butchering of the 40 CRPF jawans in Pulwama.

Responsibility for the high-casualty suicide bombing was promptly taken by the Pakistan-based JeM. Islamabad has since cracked down on the terror outfit.

In keeping with Rai’s style of functioning, none of the three office-bearers of the BCCI (C.K. Khanna, Amitabh Choudhary, Anirudh Chaudhry) was consulted before the “communication” was sent at 4.02 pm.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that the International Olympic Committee has come down on India like a tonne of bricks after New Delhi denied visas to two shooters from Pakistan post the Pulwama terror strike.

The letter

Dear Sirs,

This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI’s concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of 44 Indian security personnel. In view of the aforesaid terrorist attack, the BCCI fears for the safety and security of players and match officials participating in upcoming ICC events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including the United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates.

The BCCI also wishes to express its concerns over the safety and security of fans of Indian cricket at the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The BCCI trusts that the ICC and ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup.

The BCCI reserves all its rights and entitlements in this regard.

This communication is being issued for and on behalf of the BCCI by the Committee of Administrators for the BCCI, appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Regards,

Rahul Johri

(CEO, BCCI)