The tiff between the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is becoming hotter and hotter as the time is progressing. Top BCCI officials are feeling strangled with respect to independent decision making, while CoA feels that they are not getting enough respect from those officials.
CoA chief Vinod Rai shed some light on issues like Anil Kumble’s sacking from the post of head coach, yo-yo Test being the paramour for Team India selection and others in a chat with the Times of India.
Here are some of the excerpts from the interview.
On the SC not giving reaction to the eight status reports filed by CoA, Rai said, “Yes, that is because the court has given us and the learned Amicus the responsibility of taking into consideration the suggestions of all state associations, factoring it into a model (draft) constitution and presenting it before the court which we did last December.”
Rai also answered the question of him continuing as CoA chief despite reaching the age of 70, put forth by a BCCI official. Rai said, “The age-cap of 70 years applies to whom? It applies to anybody who is seeking an election (in the Board). I'm not seeking an election. Secondly, the Supreme Court asked me to do a job. I'm doing the job at the total behest of the SC. The day SC says 'please quit', I'll be happy to quit at any point of time. If the Supreme Court, on July 5, says 'OK, we didn't know that you have crossed 70. Please quit, I'll happily and obediently walk out.”
Talking of players’ remunerations, Rai said, “After the respective presentations by Deloitte and Anil Kumble on May 21, 2017, COA had referred the matter of player remuneration structure to the Finance Committee. However, the Finance Committee had asked that the proposal presented be re-worked and presented in the manner sought by the Finance Committee. A lot of back and forth happened. The CoA approved the revised structure. Player contracts were handed to the acting secretary for signature on March 22, 2018. However, till date, the acting secretary has not signed the player contracts.”
Talking about the Anil Kumble controversy, Rai explains, “Kumble had been recommended for two years but he had been given only a one-year contract. That's what we were told. I saw the contract, which was for one year, and it did not have a clause for extension. CoA said 'since there is no extension clause, we have to go through a process and that process involves calling for applications, inviting people or requesting people to put in their applications - whichever way you want to do it.”
On being asked if the whole drama was the prerogative of the CAC, he continues, “The very fact that CAC had taken a decision (in 2016) to appoint a certain individual as coach means it was for them (CAC) to decide. I am not saying the CAC did not take the best decision because I feel that the decision has worked out very well for the Indian team.”
He also put forth his views on the yo-yo test controversy where players were dropped from the team after being selected and failing to pass the said fitness test.
Rai opined, “That's a valid point. It should not happen. First principle of any selection is you decide the zone of concentration. In that, finish with the pre-qualification and then pick the best. You're right in saying the cart was put before the horse. The yo-yo tests should've been done first and the team could've been picked from the bunch that has qualified. I asked the BCCI officials about this and they said they were constrained for time between the IPL and now. I also believe this is a one-off case but the principle that you have just spoken about is the one that will be followed in the future.”