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‘BCCI not in the business of ending young careers’ – Vinod Rai

Pandya Rahul Rai
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The disciplinary inquiry into suspended India cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul might be delayed as Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, the two members of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), continue to be at loggerheads on how to handle the issue.

While Rai wants Rahul Johri, the BCCI CEO, to lead the inquiry, Edulji is firmly against this approach, saying that Johri himself has faced “grave sexual allegations” in the recent past. (Johri was cleared by a three-member committee in controversial circumstances and allowed to resume work, despite Edulji’s objections.) The disagreement has again played out through emails between the two.

“In view of the grave sexual allegations levelled on the CEO, it wouldn’t be justified if he conducts the enquiry. We should be in no hurry to conduct the enquiry as, then, it will look like a cover-up job. The behaviour of the players has been very controversial and should not be co-related with debilitating the team strength,” Edulji said in an email to Rai, made public in the Indian media.

Rai, meanwhile, retaliated saying that the more the inquiry is delayed, the worse its impact will be on the players’ careers. “Please be assured that the desire to conduct the inquiry is not from a desire to ‘cover up’,” he said in an email on Monday, January 14.

“The interest of cricket in India has to be borne in mind. The off the ground act of the players was deplorable. It was crass as I said immediately after reading the comments. However, BCCI is not in the business of ending young careers for ‘off the ground’ activities.

“It is our responsibility to reprimand them, take corrective action, sensitise them of their misdemeanour and then get them back on to the ground once they have suffered the consequences. We have shamed them by recalling them from an ongoing tour. We have suspended them from further games. We need to correct them and not bring their career to a cul de sac by indefinitely delaying a decision. These misdemeanours require swift action, with a corrective approach.”

The two also disagree on how an Ombudsman should be appointed. The position has been vacant since 2016. The BCCI’s legal team had suggested that the Ombudsman take over the investigation into the players after Johri’s initial inquiry.

Meanwhile, Pandya and Rahul, whose comments on a TV show got them into this mess, have written again to the CoA and BCCI CEO apologising again for their conduct, which was widely criticised as sexist and racist.

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