Former India women’s team captain, Diana Edulji, has refused the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award (women) that was conferred on her on Saturday. A cricket board committee comprising acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and journalist N. Ram recommended Edulji’s name for her contribution to the growth and development of women’s cricket in the country.
Edulji, part of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), has declined the honour, ostensibly to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh. “I have learnt today that the BCCI awards committee (consisting of office bearers of the BCCI and Mr N. Ram) has conferred the Lifetime Achievement award on me. Neither me nor any other member of the Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators were part of this awards committee.
“However, since I am a member of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators of the BCCI, I do not think it is appropriate for me to accept this honour at this juncture. I have discussed my decision with my family, friends and well-wishers who wholeheartedly support my decision not to accept the award during my tenure as a member of the CoA. In fact, I had made my decision very clear last year as well when my name was suggested for this honour,” Edulji said in a statement. She thanked the awards committee for considering her worthy of the honour.
A spin-bowling all-rounder, Edulji’s international career spanned 18 years – 1976 to 1993 – during which she played 20 Tests and 34 ODIs. She scored 404 runs and took 63 wickets in the longer format, while in the shorter format she had 211 runs and 46 wickets. But more than the numbers, Edulji was one of pioneers of the women’s cricket movement in the country. According to a BCCI functionary, she became “an automatic choice” after Shanta Rangaswamy had been conferred with the award last year. Unlike last year, the CoA wasn’t part of the awards nomination this term.
Edulji was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award for the awards season 2016-17, while for the current season, 2017-18, former middle-order batter, Sudha Shah, would be the recipient.
The late Pankaj Roy would be given the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously for the awards season 2016-17, while another former India opener, Anshuman Gaekwad, would be getting it for the 2017-18 season.