Ramachandra Guha, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), has appealed to the KSCA to reconsider its "ill-advised" decision to boycott the annual BCCI awards and the MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture on Wednesday evening (March 8) in Bengaluru. Guha further said the state body would insult the awardees - present and past - by abstaining from the function.
"You have thereby insulted the great cricketers who have won the award this year, including the Karnataka cricketer Shanta Rangaswamy, the first to get the woman's award," Guha wrote in an e-mail addressed to KSCA president Sanjay Desai. "You have also insulted the awards themselves, and you have insulted all past awardees, including EAS Prasanna, GR Viswanath, BS Chandrasekhar, Syed Kirmani and all the greats from Karnataka that [KSCA secretary] Sudhakar Rao and you played with."
Guha called the decision to boycott the functions "foolish and petty", and said it would send a message that the KSCA put its opposition to the reforms ahead of honouring cricketers. "Please do reconsider. Think of the message it will send - that KSCA hates reforms in cricket administration so much that it does not even wish to honour its own great cricketers. Do act like gentlemen and come join in the celebration of cricket and cricketers," he said in the email accessed by ESPNcricinfo.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had earlier invited state associations for the fifth Pataudi Lecture, to be delivered by former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer, and the board's annual awards. However, the last paragraph of the invitation - "Kindly note that the committee of administrators is constrained to convey that only those office bearers who are qualified as per the Supreme Court orders are expected to attend the function" - struck a raw nerve with the KSCA.
In its reply dated March 3, the KSCA said it would be a "humiliation to the very cricketing fraternity" to accept the invitation with constraints and restrictions. "It may seem very rude or undiplomatic, however, looking at the last paragraph of your invitation, we would like to ascertain that we are also constrained not to acknowledge, thank or even remotely think of attending this function," the two-page mail, signed by Desai and Rao, said.
Desai and Rao had also accused the CoA of treating cricketers and administrators shabbily. "Administrators and Cricketers who have contributed their time and energy and also have sacrificed immensely for the development of game over decades are being treated so shabbily by the Committee of Administrators as though all of them are of doubtful integrity," their reply had said.
Many state associations, who are likely to follow KSCA's lead and stay away from the awards, have been critical of the CoA "overstepping" its role defined by the Supreme Court. Last week, these associations, barring Vidarbha and Tripura, sent the CoA separate emails saying they would not comply with its directives till they got clarification from the Supreme Court on aspects like eligibility of an office bearer.