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THE CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rahul Johri, wanted Italian-tailored suits, costing Rs 2.5 lakh each, for the Men in Blue. But the board shot down the proposal. Besides the reluctance of the board’s old guard, who saw it as an extravagance, the keen eye of the courts on BCCI’s spending is also seen as a reason for the cricketers being denied the stylised formal attire, tailored by a brand of international repute.
Johri floated the idea of getting 50 new suits, for the cricketers as well as BCCI’s top executives, in an email to BCCI president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke and other staff members on November 19.
“The Indian team is in a serious need of new sets of formal attire. The cost per set will be approximately Rs 2.5 lakh. And we intend to order 50 sets. Request your go-ahead,” he wrote.
Following a Supreme Court order, the BCCI cannot take any decisions until the board and state associations accept the Lodha Committee’s recommendations. BCCI secretary Shirke, who consulted board legal counsel Abhinav Mukherjee, pointed this out. “Am afraid we cannot enter into any new agreement or contract as per the Supreme Court order,” he said in his reply.
Mukherjee, in his mail, said the Lodha Committee should be consulted. “I suggest that this issue needs to be verified with the Lodha Committee. The committee, in its report, stated that the vendor should be appointed through a tender process. But it seems this is done by a private negotiation. Ideally, we should refer this to the committee,” he wrote.
But BCCI president Thakur quickly intervened to say there was no need to consult the Lodha Committee. “We are not going ahead with this,” he said in his reply.
The CEO’s proposal has not gone down well with the board’s old guard, who have opposed “corporate culture”. “There is a big difference between corporate culture and BCCI culture. On November 19, an email was sent — that too for a suit. And on November 20, there was a BCCI case hearing in Supreme Court. Nobody is saying no to the new idea, but one should understand the situation the board is in before coming up with any suggestions,” said an active member.
The Indian Express tried to get in touch with Shirke, but he was not available for comment.