The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has asked the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary to explain his trip to Bhutan, which he undertook recently along with his executive assistant, apparently to “survey the availability of cricketing equipment and cricket grounds”.
In a letter to the acting secretary, the Supreme Court-appointed committee pointed out that the Bhutan trip was undertaken without seeking “the prior approval of the Committee”.
“Having perused a report submitted by the AGM Cricket Operations (whom you accompanied on the trip to Bhutan) to the CEO, it appears that the purpose of the visit was essentially to survey the availability of cricketing equipment, cricket grounds, suitability of soil/clay available for preparation of pitches, etc. All these functions are technical in nature and could well have been done only by the curator and the AGM Cricket Operations. The need for your presence and indeed the presence of your Executive Assistant on this visit is not apparent,” the CoA said in the mail.
The panel also accused Choudhary of “unilaterally” taking decisions with regard to representing the BCCI before a foreign cricket board. The acting secretary’s “32 days of foreign travel” over the past five-odd months – when the other two office-bearers of the BCCI, acting president CK Khanna and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry “have not travelled abroad at all” — came under criticism as well.
“It is telling that you alone, among the three office bearers, have undertaken 32 days of foreign travel in barely five and a half months of the current calendar when the other two have not travelled abroad at all. Whilst the role of the Acting Secretary is definitely distinct from that of the Treasurer and the Acting President, yet it is too much of a disparity that within the country too, you have travelled for 110 days in this period as against only 32 days by the Acting President and 69 days by the Treasurer,” the email said.
According to the Committee, one of the directions it issued on March 15 this year had the objective of ensuring that the CoA “is able (to) take informed decisions as to representation of BCCI abroad keeping in mind the purpose of the visit and the best interests of the BCCI”. Accordingly, the assistant secretary has been asked to explain his Bhutan sojourn.
“In light of the aforesaid, you are directed to provide an explanation as to the following: (a) What was the justification for the visit to Bhutan? No prior proposal/ justification is seen in the records. No invitation/record could be provided by the office, excepting the rather abrupt email attached on how the proposal originated. “(b) Why was the approval of the Committee of Administrators not taken prior to your visit to Bhutan along with your Executive Assistant when you have done so in the past? This is all the more important since foreign visits of Executive Assistants have been specifically forbidden except when it is for ICC/ ACC meetings.” Choudhary has until July 4 to respond. Incidentally, the CoA already disapproved the acting secretary’s proposed travel to England for the T20 matches next month.
As reported by The Indian Express, the e-mail also mentioned that Choudhary had kept the Committee “completely kept in the dark” about the 2021 ICC Champions Trophy’s switch to World T20.