- BCCI secretary and CoA chairman trade punches over freshly drawn player contracts for Team India
- BCCI Secretary Amitabh Choudhary was not privy to the matter and never in the loop about players’ list and terms of the new contract system
- CoA chairman Vinod Rai counters Choudhary’s claims, says the office-bearers were involved in the whole process
The acting secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Amitabh Choudhary, has taken offence to the freshly unveiled player contracts and is planning to challenge the terms that were apparently finalised by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) without ever consulting any of the board’s three top office-bearers.
Amitabh Choudhary says CoA didn’t involve BCCI in the contract making process
Amitabh Choudhary has made it clear that he was neither consulted nor appraised during the negotiating process with the players, and is likely to approach the apex court to intervene in the matter. A list of 26 players were awarded four different types of contracts, including the newly introduced A+ category for five high-performing players who represent India in all three formats.
The acting secretary’s claims stem from the fact that despite being the convener of the senior selection panel, he was not in the knowledge of the players’ list which was drawn up by the MSK Prasad-led three-man selection panel.
“I was not a part of any decision-making process,” Choudhary told ESPNcricinfo. “As far as I know, no one from the BCCI (office-bearers) was part of the process. I am the convener of the national selection committee. I confirm there was no meeting of the selection panel on the subject.”
Terming the whole episode as “contempt of court” and “breaking of law”, Choudhary made no bones about the fact that he would bring the issue to the knowledge of the court. “On such a major national issue, where I legally would have been the cutting edge, the interface, and if I don’t have a clue, I cannot keep waiting for the time when I will file an affidavit because it would lead to a lot of damage,” he said.
The man responsible for the mess as per Choudhary, Vinod Rai, also the chairman of CoA, vehemently denied his allegations and stated that all the BCCI office-bearers were kept in the loop considering the recommendations on the new contracts structure was sent to the BCCI finance committee as early as last September. Rai also said that the finance committee is yet to respond to his deliberations and hasn’t made any contact with the CoA in the last five months.
Vinod Rai said it was “unfair” to keep postponing awarding the contracts to the players especially since they could not be insured otherwise. “Players have been playing since last October without any contract. The bigger issue was without the contracts the BCCI could not insure them.”
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