Indian team's media manager (second from left) seen celebrating with the team post their T20I series win against England © AFP
Indian team’s media manager (second from left) seen celebrating with the team post their T20I series win against England © AFP

Indian cricket team’s media manager Nishant Jeet Arora has been accused of leaking details from the talks inside the dressing room to the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Anurag Thakur. It must be remembered that Thakur was sacked as the president of the Indian cricket board following his inability to adhere to the recommendations made by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee, earlier this year. The complaint against Arora has surfaced after the conclusion of India’s series against England which comprised of 5 Tests, 3 ODIs and as many T20Is. Interestingly, at least two senior Indian cricketers have raised the red flag.

According to a report in DNA, at least two senior players have spoken to the newspaper about the team media manager leaking dressing room discussions to Thakur. The players say that Arora has been ‘over-indulgent’ in the matters concerning the dressing room and has been reporting them ‘verbatim’ to the former BCCI president. However, this is not the first time that Arora finds himself in controversy, as last year a complaint was made to the BCCI ombudsman retired Justice AP Shah about the Indian national team’s media manager’s ‘conflict of interest’.

A senior player said, “Is he (media manager) there to make things easy for us or to irritate us? There is so much of mistrust between players about who is leaking our personal conversation to the outside world.”

“Media manager’s job is to deal with the media but this guy (Arora) is all over the place… inside dressing room, during team celebrations, in team discussions regarding playing eleven etc,” the senior player added.

At least two senior players have told a top BCCI official about Arora’s over-indulgence in team matters and leaking them to Thakur, who was removed from his post in the BCCI on January 2.

A BCCI official said, “It was also brought to our notice that his cousin brother, Ritesh Malik, was staying in the same team hotel in US and was seen mingling around with players in restricted zones. It was only after Arora was confronted that his cousin left the hotel after three nights.”

Team sources have also informed that a ‘senior player had given Arora a “dressing down”’ during India’s two-match T20I series against West Indies in Four Lauderdale, Florida, USA, claiming that he was in the belief that Arora had tried to create differences between him and the head coach.

In April 2015, Arora joined the BCCI as an executive in Thakur’s office in Delhi. Arora’s company Final Score Management Pvt Ltd was handling the account of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) which was headed by Thakur. Sometime later, Arora was appointed as the media manager of the BCCI.

BCCI officials in Mumbai are in knowledge of Arora still handling the social media accounts for their former president Thakur.

Arora has denied leaking dressing room information to Thakur, as well as clarified that his cousin had booked the hotel room in USA on his own.