05 February 2018 last updated at 12:51 GMT
 
Guha bats again for male cricketer in CoA
Saturday 03 February 2018

Guha bats again for male cricketer in CoA
“If we had got a senior cricketer then, the BCCI would not have been able to run rings around the CoA as it did” 
“I left six-seven months ago. Why has not Mr (Vinod) Rai got a senior cricketer on his committee in these seven months?” asked Ramachandra Guha at the fourth edition of the Times Literature Festival in Bangalore on Saturday (February 3).
Guha, the noted historian who is an ex-member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), was speaking in a panel discussion involving Bishan Singh Bedi, the former India captain, and Suresh Menon, the editor of Wisden India Almanack.
The Supreme Court had appointed the CoA in January 2017 to oversee the running of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and to ensure that the recommendations of the Lodha Committee which were ratified by the apex court were implemented by the BCCI and the state bodies. With Rai as the chairman, the other members apart from Guha were Diana Edulji, the former India Women skipper, and Vikram Limaye. Guha resigned last June, and Limaye’s departure soon after meant the committee has now been reduced to two members.
In his resignation email to Rai, Guha had mentioned eight major points of divergence. Asked if any of the changes he wanted had been incorporated since, Guha said he didn’t want to go into ‘what could have been done and what could not have been done because it is not fair on the people who are there’. He did point out, however, that the absence of a top male cricketer had crippled the CoA since its inception.
“I think the tragedy of the CoA from the beginning was that they didn’t have a senior male cricketer of credibility,” said Guha. “There was a civil servant (Rai), a banker (Limaye), and a historian (Guha) and Diana, who was a very good female cricketer. And she was the only one who understood the game from the female point of view.
“From the first day, I told my colleagues there is nothing stopping you from having a senior cricketer on the committee as a special invitee. Don’t call him a member because the Supreme Court has said four members. Call him a special invitee. I resigned six months ago and still there is no senior cricketer on board. So I think that is tragic.”
Guha was clear about who he thought was responsible for the CoA not having implemented its brief. “In this case, the blame clearly lies with Mr Rai. There were some inhibitions in having a person of credibility from the cricketing world then. When I first mooted this, in our first meeting on February 1, they (the other members) just did not want to see any other guy.
“If we had got a senior cricketer then, the BCCI would not have been able to run rings around the CoA as it did. I think that would have been the way to get the real reforms done. Why have the two vacant places not been filled, especially one of them by a senior male cricketer? Because it is only people who have played cricket at all levels that can (make a difference), otherwise the BCCI officials will keep running rings around you.”
One of the points mentioned by Guha in his resignation email was conflict of interest. Guha felt Rahul Dravid stepping down as mentor of Delhi Daredevils had been the only positive fallout.
“The only reform that has taken place as a result of my quitting is that as conflict of interest, Rahul Dravid gave up his job.”
“I left six-seven months ago. Why has not Mr (Vinod) Rai got a senior cricketer on his committee in these seven months?” asked Ramachandra Guha at the fourth edition of the Times Literature Festival in Bangalore on Saturday (February 3).

Guha, the noted historian who is an ex-member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), was speaking in a panel discussion involving Bishan Singh Bedi, the former India captain, and Suresh Menon, the editor of Wisden India Almanack.

The Supreme Court had appointed the CoA in January 2017 to oversee the running of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and to ensure that the recommendations of the Lodha Committee which were ratified by the apex court were implemented by the BCCI and the state bodies. With Rai as the chairman, the other members apart from Guha were Diana Edulji, the former India Women skipper, and Vikram Limaye. Guha resigned last June, and Limaye’s departure soon after meant the committee has now been reduced to two members.

In his resignation email to Rai, Guha had mentioned eight major points of divergence. Asked if any of the changes he wanted had been incorporated since, Guha said he didn’t want to go into ‘what could have been done and what could not have been done because it is not fair on the people who are there’. He did point out, however, that the absence of a top male cricketer had crippled the CoA since its inception.

“I think the tragedy of the CoA from the beginning was that they didn’t have a senior male cricketer of credibility,” said Guha. “There was a civil servant (Rai), a banker (Limaye), and a historian (Guha) and Diana, who was a very good female cricketer. And she was the only one who understood the game from the female point of view.

“From the first day, I told my colleagues there is nothing stopping you from having a senior cricketer on the committee as a special invitee. Don’t call him a member because the Supreme Court has said four members. Call him a special invitee. I resigned six months ago and still there is no senior cricketer on board. So I think that is tragic.”

Guha was clear about who he thought was responsible for the CoA not having implemented its brief. “In this case, the blame clearly lies with Mr Rai. There were some inhibitions in having a person of credibility from the cricketing world then. When I first mooted this, in our first meeting on February 1, they (the other members) just did not want to see any other guy.

“If we had got a senior cricketer then, the BCCI would not have been able to run rings around the CoA as it did. I think that would have been the way to get the real reforms done. Why have the two vacant places not been filled, especially one of them by a senior male cricketer? Because it is only people who have played cricket at all levels that can (make a difference), otherwise the BCCI officials will keep running rings around you.”

One of the points mentioned by Guha in his resignation email was conflict of interest. Guha felt Rahul Dravid stepping down as mentor of Delhi Daredevils had been the only positive fallout.

“The only reform that has taken place as a result of my quitting is that as conflict of interest, Rahul Dravid gave up his job.”

(Courtesy: Wisden India)

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