What’s the best route from India to Antigua? Does it involve a stopover in Seattle for five days? Does the return flight have to go via Miami, New York, and Dubai? These are the questions raised in a mail from Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI’s acting secretary, about the travel plans of Chief Financial Officer Santhosh Rangnekar. Was he “finalising a Boeing deal or learning about Amazon?” Choudhary asks of Rangnekar’s puzzling travel route to discuss cricket with West Indies board. Choudhary wanted to know about the travel allowance given to Rangnekar.
In a mail loaded with sarcasm, Choudhary has lashed out against Rangnekar who had gone on an official trip to Antigua to purportedly resolve outstanding issues between the BCCI and West Indies cricket board. “While I fully endorse the resolution of all outstanding issues, I find the information disconcerting that he took a circuitous and lengthy journey to reach Antigua, and stopped over in, of all places almost on the border of Canada, Seattle for about 5 days! I am hoping he would have a good enough explanation for stopping over in Seattle for this considerable period considering he could not have gone obviously to finalise a Boeing deal or learn about the early stages of Amazon,” Choudhary wrote in his email marketing to COA chief Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and acting president CK Khanna.
As per Choudhary, the route to Anitgua is simple — you fly to London Heathrow, commute to Gatwick and catch a direct flight from there anywhere to the Caribbean.
“Considering such a needless longish route would have entailed other expenditure, the details of TA/DA claimed by him for this visit and the cost of his travel is of great consequence to the BCCI,” Choudhary wrote.
The BCCI pays $450 dollars as TA/DA allowance with business class flight to its top employees. Choudhary in recent past had been denied trip abroad by COA , for a selection meeting of the Indian team in Melbourne. He further wrote, “I am also told that he was in Antigua for about 4 and a half days, which includes a Saturday and a Sunday. Thereafter, he did not again take the internationally accepted route but travelled to Miami where he stationed himself for about two days before returning not via London but via JFK and Dubai. Kindly let me know whether these facts are indeed, no matter how surprising, correct.”
Choudhary wrote as he is board’s nominee to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board of Directors and have been nominated by the Supreme Court for this purpose, he should not have been left in the dark on the important part of travel policy. “It is only natural that I should not have been left in the dark on this important part of travel policy where an official had to travel to the birthplace of Bill Gates apparently for no reason. I request you, however, to kindly provide the above information to me at the earliest,” he concludes seeking who granted such permission to CFO.