Saba Karim, BCCI GM Cricket Operations, is due to travel to UK on July 12. (Source: Twitter)
The friction between the Indian cricket board office-bearers and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) continues, with the latest issue being the BCCI general manager for cricket operations, Saba Karim’s proposed visit to the UK. Karim’s DA allotment for a nine-day trip is $4,050 (Rs 2.7 lakh approx), but the BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has requested for some information from the CoA before giving the go-ahead for the release of the forex.
Chaudhry said he is “not aware of the reasons” for Karim’s proposed trip, as “no paper, document or communication other than the letter for me to affix my signature” has been sent to him. He also cited previous examples, wherein the CoA had restricted the BCCI acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary’s England trip and also asked him to explain his Bhutan visit last month. Karim is supposed to go to England to be alongside the India A and U-19 team coach Rahul Dravid, who has lined up meetings with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) top brass next week. Karim’s scheduled departure is on July 12.
But taking a cue from the CoA letter on June 18, which “forbade” Choudhary’s travel to England, the treasurer has written: “I have received an email for signing a letter to be sent to M/s Thomas Cook for the release of foreign exchange to Mr. Syed Saba Karim for his D.A. of an amount equal to USD 4,050/- for his proposed visit to the United Kingdom for a period of 9 days.”
He has asked for following information from the Committee with regard to Karim’s visit:
“a. Prior to approval, the supporting documents that show the purpose of his visit to the United Kingdom and the decision-making process thereof and any invitation from ECB or any communication to the ECB regarding the same.
b. The supporting documents showing that the approvals are in place.
c. Information as to whether any other staff has visited the United Kingdom recently.
d. The possibility that if there was any such travel recently, could such staff person travelling not have done the work that Mr. Karim may be travelling for?”
Referring to the CoA’s earlier mail to Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI treasurer writes: “From the contents of your (Amitabh Choudhary) email, the Committee of Administrators does not see any value addition to the BCCI in your merely watching the three T20 India-England games to be played in England.” Then, while asking the acting secretary to explain his Bhutan visit, the CoA had written: “Having perused a brief 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.”
Aiming a veiled dig at the CoA, the treasurer, meanwhile, wrote: “… in addition to wanting to satisfy my curiosity, I also wanted to be cautious to ensure that no one was attempting to circumvent the letter and spirit of the decision of the CoA for which I may be questioned by the CoA or any other forum/authority since my signatures are required to be affixed on the said letter and the same requires us to abide by the rules framed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act and the provisions thereof.”
Chaudhry said he doesn’t “wish to be misunderstood”, while assuring that he would sign the letter “within three working days” upon receiving the CoA directions.