Did ousted BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke try to scare England to abandon tour?
Days after the Supreme Court ordered an overhaul in the top brass of the Indian cricket administration body, it has emerged that former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, who was rendered ineligible as an office-bearer after his ouster from the Board, had called up the president of the England Cricket Board (ECB) Giles Clarke, allegedly informing him about “problems” over hosting the limited-over series.
Times of India, in its report, cited sources in the three-member Justice Lodha Committee comprising retired Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha and retired Supreme Court judges, Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran, as saying that a worried Clarke then wrote an email to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, asking if the England cricket team would be looked after by the BCCI on the tour in the usual fashion.
“I have received calls from Mr Shirke who I understand is no longer the honorary secretary of BCCI. Can you please confirm to me that the England team will continue to be looked after by the BCCI in the usual fashion, with proper security, player daily allowance payments, hotel bills covered and the like, with transport organised at all times? Obviously it is entirely a matter for BCCI where matches are played, but please advise soonest that the schedule will be adhered to, or any changes,” Clarke wrote.
Johri replied to Clarke’s email assuring him that the team would be well looked after, the series would go ahead as planned and the fixtures for the series had already been drawn up.
When asked if he indeed made the call to the ECB president, Shirke said that there were forces at work trying to damage his reputation.
“They can say whatever they want. It's nothing but a bunch of lies,” said Shirke.
He added that despite having “stepped aside” from his post, he was helping the association conduct the ODI match in Pune as smoothly as possible.
Apart from becoming ineligible as a BCCI office-bearer, Shirke can no longer continue as the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president as he has exceeded the nine-year cap of tenure as mandated by the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, the MCA nominated his name to represent the association in all BCCI meetings. While Shirke is ineligible under the new rules and regulation, he will stille be able to attend all BCCI meetings.