The BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has been asked to explain his absence from key ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meetings held recently for which he was nominated as the Indian board’s representative. Choudhary has been served a showcause notice by the three-person Committee of Administrators (CoA), and given a week to respond. In the notice, accessed by ESPNcricinfo, the CoA said that Choudhary’s actions put the BCCI at “considerable risk” as the board went unrepresented.
It is understood that if Choudhary does not respond or if his reply is found to be unsatisfactory, the CoA could bar him from attending any future meetings on behalf of the BCCI. The first of the ICC quarterly meetings is scheduled for October. Choudhary, who is one of the three elected office bearers, is yet to make a comment and did not respond when ESPNcricinfo contacted him.
The first meeting that Choudhary did not attend was the ICC Board meeting during the global body’s annual conference held in London between July 14 and 20. The second was the ACC AGM that took place on September 3 in Bangkok.
The relationship between Choudhary and the CoA has been strained ever since the panel was appointed by the Supreme Court to supervise the BCCI in January 2017. In its notice, sent on Sunday, the CoA said that even in the past ICC and ACC meetings that he attended, Choudhary never “deemed it appropriate” to brief the CoA on the agenda or “taken its mandate” or “even bothered” to share the minutes of the meetings.
The CoA pointed out that Choudhary once again kept the BCCI “in the dark” and pulled out of the two meetings at the last minute.
“It has now come to the notice of the Committee of Administrators that in the last meetings of the ICC and the ACC, not only did you not attend the meetings but kept the BCCI in dark about your unavailability either until it was too late or altogether,” the CoA said in the notice. “Your aforesaid conduct left the BCCI unrepresented in the said meetings and exposed the organisation to considerable risk.”
The CoA said that Choudhary sent a note directly to the ICC, and not to the BCCI, on July 12 saying he would not be able to attend the meetings in London, and that a replacement should be appointed. The reason given was he was unwell. Surprised by this, the CoA then asked the ICC to let Rahul Johri, the BCCI chief executive officer, attend the meetings as an observer, which he eventually did.
“The ICC Conference was scheduled from 14th to 20th of July 2019,” the CoA said in the notice. “The Committee of Administrators came to learn of your unavailability to attend the ICC Conference scheduled in London for the 14th July on 12th July when you merely forwarded your e-mail dated 12th July 2019 to ICC, informing the ICC of your unavailability for the said meetings. The short notice did not leave any room with the Committee of Administrators to appoint a replacement to attend the said meetings in London. Consequently, the BCCI was unrepresented in the board meeting of the ICC.”
For the Bangkok meeting, Choudhary, the CoA said, informed the ACC only on the morning of the meeting. It is understood that no BCCI official participated in the ACC board meeting eventually, but Johri attended some of the other ACC meetings in Bangkok which he attends as the chief executive.
“The Committee of Administrators had approved your travel to Bangkok to attend the ACC AGM on September 3, 2019,” the CoA said. “Again at the eleventh hour you failed to attend the ACC meeting, leaving the interests of the BCCI unattended. You did not even deem it necessary to inform the Committee of Administrators of your unavailability to attend the said meeting. The Committee of Administrators learnt of your unavailability, and that too without knowing the reason for the absence, from the Secretary of the ACC as you had mailed to him of your unavailability to attend. Thus, the BCCI learnt from the ACC that its own representative was not attending the meeting on the morning of the meeting.
“This was most humiliating for the Committee of Administrators and the organisation. Besides the fact that in both the meetings the BCCI went unrepresented, its interests have been seriously compromised by your action.”