THE BCCI have accused Gopal Sankaranarayanan, the secretary of the Lodha committee, as being responsible for a number of ‘source-based press reports’ that have been published in newspapers of late, painting the board and its members in ‘poor light’ and ‘creating confusion’.
In a strong letter marked to all three members of the Lodha committee–Justices RM Lodha, Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran–BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has claimed that these reports are based on ‘informal briefings’ that Sankaranarayanan has been providing the media with regards to the ‘course the Committee is likely to adopt in view of the agenda’.
In his letter, which has been accessed by The Indian Express, Shirke goes on to request the Lodha committee to inquire into the matter and take action against the ‘source’ of these reports which are creating a ‘misleading and negative atmosphere’ in relation to the proceedings of both the committee and the board.
“On inquiring, we are informed that these press reports find their basis in informal briefings to the media given by, Mr Gopal Shankarnarayanan, who is the Secretary of the Committee, on the course the Committee is likely to adopt in view of the agenda. Further, this is also not the first time that such source based reports have been published on the purported views of the Committee on various events,” he writes.
The BCCI have taken umbrage specifically to certain media reports that claimed that senior members of the board could be ‘jailed’ if they went about ‘transacting any business’ during Wednesday’s AGM that hasn’t been directed by the Committee.
“Some of our members have come across certain reports in various newspapers regarding the reported intent of the committee in holding the office bearers of the Board such as the President/Secretary in contempt of the directions of the Committee and jailing them and appointing administrator on the Board and such other actions to be taken against the Board and the office bearers for transacting any business in its AGM, other than that suggested by the Committee,” the letter reads.
Shirke also points to another report that had sources close to the committee claiming that it intended to take the same course of action against the BCCI top brass as with the directors of ‘Sahara’. But he’s quick to clarify that the board is confident that these reports are ‘mere innuendo’ as they have not received any corresponding official communication from the committee.
“We feel sure that these published statements of an intimidating nature, purported to be the alleged intent of the Committee may not be the official stand of the Committee as such high profile committee is not likely to misinterpret the purport of the task entrusted upon it, by the Hon’ble Court,” Shirke writes.
He also goes on to reiterate that the board has complied with a majority of the committee’s recommendations and even met them whenever they have requested for a meeting. “(the board) should not be put in a position that compels it to violate provisions of statutory law thereby rendering itself open to penal consequences and further disables it to perform its functions in the meanwhile which will have a severe impact on cricketing activities, which is also not the mandate of the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the letter reads.
In his letter, which is in response to the communication received by the BCCI on August 31 directing their actions during the AGM to be restricted to issues relating to the past year like audit reports, Shirke also puts on record to the committee that the board is not likely to ‘transact any business which is not authorized nor entitled to do except that which it is legally bound to’.
“Mindful of the concern and diligence displayed by Committee, in the discharge of the task entrusted to the Hon’ble Supreme Court upon the committee. It is reiterated that there is nothing being done by the Board, which does not have the sanction of law or that which may prove to be an irritant or impediment to the Committee,” he writes.