Vinod Rai, who heads the two-member Committee of Administrators appointed by the Supreme Court, has sidelined Amitabh Choudhary and the other two office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the better part of the year. The International Cricket Council (ICC), however, is convinced that the Board’s acting secretary is certainly not without value.
According to well-placed sources of The Telegraph in Dubai, where the ICC is headquartered, Amitabh and three others are on the panel to select David Richardson’s successor as the CEO.
One understands that ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, president of Cricket West Indies Dave Cameron and Cricket Australia’s newly-appointed chairman Earl Eddings are the others on the panel.
Like Amitabh, Cameron and Eddings are ICC directors.
The interviews will be held in London around the middle of next month. Apparently, the shortlisting of candidates is yet to be completed.
Richardson, who is in his seventh year as the CEO (he succeeded Haroon Lorgat), has decided to step down at the end of the 2019 World Cup, which concludes on July 14.
A former wicketkeeper, Richardson was a key member of South Africa’s line-up when the country got readmitted to the ICC in 1991.
Recently, in a tete-a-tete with this Reporter in London, Richardson said: “I’d certainly like to spend two-three years in England. Two of my three sons are in this country and my wife and I wish to be with them.”
Prior to becoming the ICC’s CEO, Richardson had served 10 years at a stretch as GM-Cricket. So, it has actually been one long innings.
One should add Richardson, 59, has been a respected and popular CEO.
Returning to Amitabh and the treatment he’s been getting from Rai...
The reality is that Rai’s attitude towards Amitabh and the other office-bearers — acting president Chandra Kishore Khanna and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry — is being reflected in the manner Board CEO Rahul Johri and GM Syed Saba Karim are dealing with them.
Bluntly put, the two employees of the Board just don’t seem bothered about Khanna, Amitabh and Anirudh.
Early on, Rai alone ignored the office-bearers. Johri followed and, now, even Saba Karim is happy toeing the line adopted by the chief administrator and the CEO.
To cite the latest example, instead of explaining (as sought by Amitabh) how women’s ODI captain Mithali Raj’s highly controversial email was leaked, Saba Karim simply attached her and T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s emails in his reply.
Both emails, by the way, had been reproduced in these columns!
Mithali’s email, which damned then head coach Ramesh Powar and Administrator Diana Edulji, had only been addressed to Johri and Saba Karim.
Either Mithali, Johri or Saba Karim could have leaked it to an English TV news channel which had nothing to say on Johri either before, during or after the probe into allegations of sexual harassment against him.
The probe panel gave a 2-1 verdict in Johri’s favour.
Meanwhile, Amitabh has sent an email to Rai marked to Diana and the two other office-bearers as well, seeking a clarification on who exactly advised the former that he should not attend the Asian Cricket Council (ACC)’s AGM in Lahore last month.
Amitabh has been the nominee on the board of the ICC and the ACC from early last year, shortly after Anurag Thakur was removed as the Board’s president on account of stalling the game-changing recommendations of the Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha Committee.
The Supreme Court also removed the Board secretary, Ajay Shirke.