I Didn’t Write That Letter: Chaudhary on BCCI Missive to ICC

Amitabh Chaudhary washed his hands off the letter that urged ICC to sever ties with countries which harbour terror.

3 min read
The Indian cricket board’s acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary washed his hands off the BCCI letter.

The Indian cricket board's acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary on Monday, 4 March, washed his hands off the BCCI letter that urged the ICC and its member nations to sever ties with countries which harbour terror, side-stepping queries on whether it was prudent to raise the issue.

The BCCI's request was turned down by the International Cricket Council (ICC), saying it has no role to play in matters like these.

When asked whether it was a mistake not to have named Pakistan specifically in the letter, Chaudhary at a press conference in Mumbai said, “I have not written the letter”.

The letter to the ICC, in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in Pulwama that killed more than 40 CRPF personnel and for which the Pakistan-based Jaish-E-Mohammed took responsibility, was framed by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri in consultation with the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

"The chairman of the ICC (Shashank Manohar) has made a statement to address the issue and he has simply said that it is a matter which is beyond ICC's domain," said Chaudhary.

"I would like to put everything to rest that there is no difference of opinion. There was a written communication by the BCCI CEO with the ICC. There were two points in that communication – the first point related to the security and well being of the players and of the fans also," he said when asked whether the BCCI had erred in making this proposal.

Citing contents of the letter, Chaudhary said the BCCI's primary concern ahead of the World Cup is players' security.

"The second matter related to suggesting that India and other members of the ICC take no part with teams which comes from areas where certain phenomenon emanate from, but the letter didn't mention which areas.

"To which the ICC chairman, after discussing it with the Board which is the only policy making body of the ICC, stated that it is not within the domain of the ICC to make a comment or make a decision.

"The BCCI's concerns were, as I said, primarily, according to the letter, security concerns relating to players and fans which the ICC has wholeheartedly agreed to address. And the ECB representative Colin Graves was of the same view," he added.

‘Conflict Between BCCI and WADA an Issue’

The acting secretary said resolving the conflict between BCCI and the World Anti Doping Agency was an urgent matter to ensure that the ICC is not declared non-compliant by WADA.

"That is an issue. The world body (WADA) has been in dialogue with ICC for some time and the issue is that all participating nations in the ICC must align with the national testing authority.

"The only member of the ICC which has so far resisted it, and for reasons well known, is the BCCI and therefore there is a slight urgency on that matter. The ICC has been informed and the ICC chairman is of the view that he will soon have a dialogue with the BCCI itself considering the urgency of the matter lest the ICC be declared non compliant."

He said the selectors are working on the workload schedule of key Indian ODI players in view of the World Cup that immediately follows IPL from 30 May.

"At this stage, it is not proper to divulge but we also have the selectors working on this," he said when asked whether the IPL franchises had agreed to the plan in principle.

The issue of advancing the IPL match timings are also a work in progress, he said.

IPL CEO, Hemang Amin, said the issue was under evaluation.

"Last year we had advanced the timings for the play-offs to start at 7pm. We are still considering whether to advance it a bit or keep it at 8pm because it also affects the afternoon game. For the last so many years we have been playing 12 to 15 afternoon games so it impacts that.

"The players' well being will have to be considered if we are advancing it because if we advance the 8pm game to earlier then we have to advance the afternoon game as well. Hopefully, within a week or so we will announce the timings once we get the balanced schedule ready," said Amin.

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