BCCI officials are at war internally    Getty Images (representational photo)
BCCI officials are at war internally Getty Images (representational photo)

New Delhi [India]: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting president C.K. Khanna on Tuesday alleged that the cricket body’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary levelled ‘ludicrous’ allegations against him over Justice (Retd.) R.M Lodha-led committee recommendations and other issues. Khanna’s reply came after Choudhary alleged that BCCI acting president was “completely silent” on Lodha reforms and only interested in getting complementary match tickets.

In a strong worded letter, Khanna countered Choudhary’s charge and said, “Your attempt to demonstrate that I have somehow been silent on the obligations placed on us with regard to the order and judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is ludicrous.” Khanna further wrote: “I must point out that, while you attempted to falsely portray that you were the only one for reforms while the others were against it. We attempted to get a consensus of the members for carrying out Hon’ble Justice Lodha Reforms and incompliance with the orders pass by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. You also attempted to portray an incorrect representation of the Minutes of the meeting of the Special Committee.”

Khanna also said that Choudhary very conveniently left out him (Khanna) from the special committee which was formed to weigh the pros and cons of the Lodha reforms. “Moreover, leave alone the fact that you chose not to include me in the Special Committee to identify the areas of difficulty but you had even constituted the Special Committee unilaterally against the directions of the General Body where it had been decided that you and the Honorary Treasurer would jointly constitute the committee. If a decision is required to be taken by a group of people, mutual trust becomes very valuable commodity, whether it is two people or the entire General Body. Your actions and conduct eroded that trust,” Khanna said.

He went on to explain that Choudhary’s recording of the draft Minutes of the SGM was also not in good spirit. “The members implicitly trust the Hon’ble Court and therefore put their views before the Hon’ble Supreme Court for consideration. Your subsequent recording of the draft Minutes of the SGM was also not in good spirit. Each member and office bearer here is a respected citizen in his/her own right. Dismissing them and being non-communicative with office bearers doesn’t work well for any organization. As such it would be incorrect to assume that others have not carried out their duties and obligation,” the BCCI acting president said.

In a scathing letter to Khanna, Chaudhary had said that the acting president neither have a view, nor have interest in taking the reforms forward and is instead “unhesitatingly and enthusiastically” discharging his authority as president over trivial matters. Choudhary had also alleged that Khanna doesn’t take much interest in cricket matters and also responsible for BCCI’s heavy spending on IPL tickets.

Giving clarification on this allegation, Khanna wrote, ” Amitabh ji, It is very easy to lay the idea of the proposal for purchase of IPL tickets at my feet but then it was possibly incorrect of me to expect you to present the facts correctly. This was a proposal that had the backing of the IPL chairman as well and I did not see either you, Shukla Ji or Anirudh Ji objecting to the same. It was also not the case that I was initiating this process, the same has been done many times in the past, in the best interest of the BCCI. Needless to say, even in your tenure as an elected office bearer also the same practice was followed.”

The BCCI president also alleged that Choudhary and the CEO Rahul Johri had announced the teams selected for the forthcoming series without following the Rules and Regulations of BCCI and warned him not to repeat the mistake for the India-Sri Lanka series.

“You once again (though you had expressed regret earlier) in spite of my communication to both, you and the CEO, you have gone ahead and announced the teams selected for the forthcoming series without following the Rules and Regulations of BCCI. Further, you have unilaterally appointed observers and other appointees for the India- New Zealand series. You are expected not to repeat this for the India-Sri Lanka series and follow the past practice and protocol of appointments for the same after obtaining prior approval from me, unless mandated by the COA,” Khanna wrote.

Chaudhary had also accused Khanna of neglecting important board issues because his “favourite subject has consistently been passes for international matches and even IPL games”.

“About passes, Amitabh it is not the case that I am the only person who speaks about passes. There have been occasions that have necessitated my communication about the same. I am glad that you brought the topic of the passes in relation to Apple. You will be mindful of the fact that though you are looking at a potential future partnership with Apple, we currently have a partnership with Oppo and with Vivo! I personally do not see any reason for us to oblige the competitors of our partners. I value partnerships be it on behalf of an organization or on my personal behalf. Even Mr. Rahul Johri, CEO mentioned in his mail and I quote ‘I thought Apple from a Compliance Stand Point cannot take out anything for free’. However, like I said earlier, it was your quota and you are free to decide how to distribute the same. If you feel that is best for BCCI, you are free to have your opinion. However, all office bearers have their own rightful opinions of what is in the best interest of the BCCI,” Khanna clarified.

Soon after tech giant Apple requested the BCCI for 20 hospitality passes to attend a T20I match between India and Australia earlier this month; clouds of conflict had appeared between Chaudhary and Khanna.

Chaudhary’s letter came in the wake of Khanna’s refusal to sanction some of these passes from the president’s quota for the match in Hyderabad on October 13