'As a woman in the CoA, it was my moral duty to ask for the resignation because my women’s team is there, my women support staff is there, and there are women staff working in BCCI. He (Johri) will roam around freely in the office.'
Former India captain Diana Edulji, part of the two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), says Board of Control for Cricket in India's CEO Rahul Johri must be be asked to resign over allegations of sexual harassment.
The COA headed by Vinod Rai on Friday had announced the formation of an independent three-member committee to probe the sexual harassment allegations against Board CEO Johri. The committee was formed after allegations of misconduct by Johri came up on social media.
Edulji believes Johri's presence in the BCCI will make all women -- herself, players and office employees -- uncomfortable, said a report in the Indian Express.
"As a woman in the CoA, it was my moral duty to ask for the resignation because my women’s team is there, my women support staff is there, and there are women staff working in BCCI. He (Johri) will roam around freely in the office. What message are we sending to these girls? How can I sit in the meeting with him? I can’t look in his eyes. You can’t say now he can’t sit in the meeting, then how will CoA work? After all, our main goal is to implement the Lodha recommendations," she was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
"I went to a doctor the other day and he asked me ‘kya, tumhara CEO girls ko harass kar raha hai aur tum kya kar rahe ho?’ (your CEO is harassing girls and what are you doing about it?) The other day, I went to the CCI (Cricket Club of India). There were parents and women members asking me about it. I can’t face all this. My heart felt something wrong going on and I just stood by it. Tomorrow, the man (Johri) will sit beside women cricketers and Virat Kohli in a press conference – what sort of image that sends across? People will say we just didn’t do anything," she further added.
The Rai-led COA, which has former women's captain Edulji as the only other member, said that Johri has submitted his response to the show-cause notice issued against him after an anonymous account of the alleged incident came up on social media.
The panel set up by the COA comprises former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, who has been named chairman, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh and former CBI Director P C Sharma.
It has been given 15 days to submit a report and will also examine "all allegations of sexual harassment against Johri while he was employed with the BCCI".
Edulji and seven BCCI state units wanted Johri to be sacked but Rai said a probe is necessary before a call is taken on that.
She claimed that the Indian Cricket Board’s interests are paramount for her and the current controversy shouldn't affect the BCCI.
"Nobody is larger than the organisation. BCCI interest is first. BCCI image should not be affected; nobody should take away that."