Historian and writer Ramachandra Guha shocked everyone when he resigned from the four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court to manage the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
It was reported that Guha submitted his resignation to CoA chairman Vinod Rai on Thursday morning, citing personal reasons.
The resignation letter, however, revealed a few factors behind the resignation of the 59-year-old historian.
Guha took a dig at big names from inside and outside the dressing room. His revelations and allegations against Rai, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, besides other names, were enough to blow one’s mind.
In his seven-page resignation letter, Guha mentioned the ongoing tussle between Virat Kohli and his boys with the head coach Anil Kumble. He accused Rai of letting the issue boil ahead of a major tournament (ICC Champions Trophy).
“If indeed the captain and the Head Coach were not getting along, why was not this attended to as soon as the Australia series was over in late March? Why was it left until the last minutes when a major international tournament was imminent, and when the uncertainty would undermine the morale and ability to focus of the coach, the captain and the team,” Guha wrote in his resignation letter.
Stardom to dominance
Following the ongoing fuss, Guha further expressed wrongdoing in the BCCI, where senior players like Kohli and MS Dhoni are being given extra privileges than anybody else in the board.
“And surely giving senior players the impression that they may have a veto power over the coach is another example of superstar culture gone berserk? Such a veto power is not permitted to any other top-level professional team in any other sport in any other country,” he added.
Guha also mentioned the sacking of commentator Harsha Bhogle, who was removed for on-air criticism of Virat Kohli.
“Already, in a dismaying departure from international norms, current Indian players enjoy a veto power on who can be the members of the commentary team. If it is to be coaches next, then perhaps the selectors and even office-bearers will follow?”
Dhoni’s grade A contract
Guha seemed to be agitated not only with the current Indian captain, but with the former as well. He highlighted the issue of giving Dhoni an A grade annual contract despite not playing all three formats of the game.
“Unfortunately, this superstar syndrome has also distorted the system of Indian team contracts. As you will recall, I had pointed out that awarding MS Dhoni an 'A' contract when he had explicitly ruled himself out from all Test matches was indefensible on cricketing grounds, and sends absolutely the wrong message,” Guha said, referring to the wicket keeper-batsman who retired from Test cricket in 2014.
Dravid’s dual coaching commitments
India’s Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid also came under the radar of Guha, who find it wrong that former India batsman was serving dual contracts with both the BCCI and IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils.
“No person under contract with an India team, or with the NCA, should be allowed to moonlight for an IPL team too,” Guha wrote.
Along with Dravid, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar also serves an IPL franchise (Kings XI Punjab) and Guha had also raised the issue of conflict of interest early when he joined the CoA.
Cricketers’ business interests
The historian was also not too happy about cricketers’ (former and current) commitments with brands and businesses besides serving the national interest.
Guha wrote about Sunil Gavaksar's business interests in Professional Management Group (PMG), which handles players profiles and Sourav Ganguly’s commitment to a TV channel, where he expresses his expert opinion despite holding the chairmanship of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
“Sunil Gavaskar is head of a company which represents Indian cricketers while commenting on those cricketers as part of the BCCI TV commentary panel. This is a clear conflict of interest. Either he must step down/withdraw himself from PMG completely or stop being a commentator for BCCI,” he said.
“Conflict of interest is rampant in the State Associations as well. One famous former cricketer is contracted by media houses to comment on active players while serving as President of his State Association,” Guha added while talking about Ganguly.