The BCCI continued to show defiance despite a clear verdict from the Supreme Court and needed a written directive from the Lodha Panel to go ahead with its selection committee meeting, which was delayed by three hours on technical grounds.
The confusion started when former joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary asked CEO Rahul Johri as to why he has not been intimated about the meeting to pick the team for the limited-overs series against England as the BCCI constitution states that only he can convene the meeting.
The Lodha committee secretary Gopal Shankarnarayan in a clearly worded e-mail informed Johri that former joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary “stands disqualified” in the wake of SC order on 2 and 3 January and can’t convene the selection meeting as secretary Ajay Shirke has also been sacked by apex court.
The e-mail sent by Shankarnarayan to Johri states: “The Committee is in receipt of your email. It is clarified that Mr.Amitabh Chaudhary stands disqualified and is no longer the joint secretary of the BCCI or an office bearer of the BCCI or a State Association by virtue of the orders of the Supreme Court dated 2.1.2017 and 3.1.2017.
“As a result, he has no authority to interfere with the BCCI and it’s functioning or with the directions of this Committee. Please proceed with the Selection Committee Meeting as scheduled,” the email further states.
The Indian men’s and A team selection for the upcoming limited overs series was scheduled to start at 12:30 pm in the afternoon but everyone was in complete dark as officials stated there were logistical issues with all five selectors not having arrived.
At 1:33 pm, after a delay of one hour from the scheduled time, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri sent an e-mail to Shankarnarayan, intimating him about an e-mail from Amitabh Chaudhary and seeking directive about the scheduled selection meeting.
“I have received an email from Mr. Amitabh Choudhary, the Joint Secretary of BCCI requesting that the said meetings be postponed till evening so that he can convene and attend the same.
“We have received differing legal advice insofar as whether a person who has completed 9 years as an office bearer of a State Association would be disqualified from being an office bearer of the BCCI in terms of the order dated 2 January 2017 read with the order dated 3rd January 2017 and have been advised to seek a clarification from the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
Johri had informed the panel secretary that Chaudhary is yet to complete nine years as an office-bearer in BCCI.
“Although Mr. Amitabh Choudhary has completed 9 years as an office bearer of a State Association, he has not completed 9 years as an office bearer of BCCI.”