In a scathing letter to the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, CoA member Diana Edulji and the board’s apex council member Shantha Rangaswamy blasted the hiring of the support staff of the women’s national team without consultations with the selection committee, which they reckoned was unconstitutional. It was a blatant procedural lapse, they said in a letter that The Indian Express has accessed.
According to the constitution, it’s the selectors led by Hemlata Kala who have the final say in their appointment. But it was the GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim, who is in charge of the women’s team, who oversaw the proceedings, irking the women cricket fraternity.
“I am shocked reading the article quoting the e-mail from women selectors to you regarding the sham process being followed for selection of the video analyst. It is even more worrisome that the person Mr Pushkar Sawant, wanted by Saba Karim (GM cricket operations) and NCA, is already booked on the flight to West Indies. The whole process looks like an eyewash,” Edulji wrote.
Worse, Kala and Co were not even informed about the new group — only their opinion on the appointment of the video analyst was sought. His was the only role for which applications were invited. It was only later that they learned of the appointments of NCA bowling coach Narendra Hirwani and T Dilip, as bowling and fielding coach respectively.
Diana alleged that Karim was showing favouritism. “I have also received an e-mail from Shantha Rangaswamy, a nominated member on the BCCI apex council, which has been marked to you and the selectors, wherein she has stated that these things are been done deliberately to accommodate persons chosen by the powers that be and not following the established practices. A very serious allegation.”
She also cast aspersions on his credibility. “The article and the mail cast serious aspersions and doubts about the dealings of the cricket operations especially Saba who is heading it and despite repeated instructions by COA, he is defying and wanting to place persons to these positions without due process. I am marking this to my colleagues so that they are aware of what is happening behind the COA’s back. I will not be giving my consent to this sham interview that is taking place today for the video analyst as Mr Pushkar Sawant has already been nominated for the tour.
“This is the national Indian Team that is travelling and such shabby treatment is being doled out to them. I wonder if you would do this to the men’s team,” she added.