In what could be termed as an open confrontation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary today, in a strongly-worded letter, refused to sign the appointment letter of the new General Manager (marketing), which was finalised by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.
Chaudhary, in his letter, made it clear that as per convention, an appointment of this nature, which brings in a huge financial liability for BCCI in terms of salary, should be placed before the general body for ratification.
Recently, the two-member COA held interviews with shortlisted candidates referred by BCCI's head-hunting agency Kornferry and a former Page 3 journalist, who later worked in a reputed film and music production company was apparently shortlisted by Rai, for a whopping fee of Rs 1.65 crore per annum.
The BCCI office bearers, were not kept in the loop, during the interview process and Rai sent an email to Chaudhary for getting his signature.
Also most of them asked questions as to why a marketing manager was needed in the first place and also someone from "Page 3 and film production background with no distant connection with cricket or sports marketing."
However, the letter that Chaudhary wrote to Rai makes it clear that Chaudhary, already peeved with the former CAG's tersely worded letter on Day/Night Test wanted to give it back.
"Initially, I had considered desisting from responding to your comments on day night Test match issue respecting your position and thinking it was better to take matters forward rather than accentuate differences and also since that is how I have been functioning vis a vis COA," Chaudhary wrote in his letter.
Chaudhary openly confronted in his letter alleging COA's unilateral way of functioning.
"However the instant manner where an appointment contract is sent for my authentication even though I have once again not been part of the decision making process on the appointment and in the same having been done without concurrence of office-bearers, if not the General Body surprises me, more so when the said appointment is on a post which was not only hitherto non-existent but also not one of the positions recommended by Justice Lodha Committee. Like all appointments, this too, places a financial liability on BCCI," he wrote.
Chaudhary also questioned how a two-member committee can decide on an appointment leaving 37 state units out of picture and also appoint a candidate, who wasn't initially shortlisted.
In his letter, Chaudhary in a veiled manner also questioned Rai's logic of players body clock being affected by Day/Night Test matches stating that Mahendra Singh Dhoni (566 Intl), Virat Kohli (414), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (202), Rohit Sharma (413) and Shikhar Dhawan (260) have played an astounding 1855 matches of which majority were 'Day and Night games'.