Discord over WAGs travel a first in Indian cricket: BCCI

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New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials and former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha making their displeasure known after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) asked the coach and captain to decide on travel schedules of WAGs, the next thing you hear is a senior player had flouted the ‘family clause’ during the World Cup. Board officials can’t believe that there is discord over the schedule of WAGs.

Speaking to IANS, a senior board official said that if the stories on the rift in the team weren’t bad enough, to now see stories over someone’s family travelling and their schedule shows the current state of affairs in the board and how it needs immediate addressing.

“When things are mismanaged and authority and administration give way to fanboy decision-making — a quest for popular opinion and personal favours — the result can be disastrous.

“Fighting over travel of WAGs? Such a situation hasn’t arisen in the history of the BCCI where now there appears to be a general state of discord and even the families of players are seen as fair game for criticism via different agents as has been reported.

“Bizarre reports are emerging about interference from certain family members of players which hasn’t gone down well with other players, about someone’s family spending more time than was permitted etc. In this background, it has also emerged that despite the conflict of interest rules in place, decisions on travel of families will now depend on the captain and coach themselves and everyone has heard Justice Lodha’s views on this now.”

“Earlier, during the IPL Finals you had the wife of a very senior BCCI executive tell another senior IPL executive how he should conduct himself and this led to the BCCI executive receiving an earful from the IPL executive. There is general discord and breakdown and egos seem to be running the show with chips on every shoulder that you can see these days,” the official said.

“This has resulted in a serious loss of efficacy in the BCCI and this seriously needs to be corrected and it must be carried out in accordance with the rules governing the running of cricket rather than by general ad-hocism.”

Another official said that this blame-game must stop. As for the board all players are equal and should be respected along with their families.

“As far as the BCCI is concerned, every family member of every player is worthy of respect and all are equal and they all know that about us. Stories targeting the families cannot be fair game. Problems arise when decisions seem arbitrary, there would be no problem if there was no perception of arbitrary decision making. This has to stop. Rules have to be same for all and there has to be consistency in implementation,” the official pointed out.

A board functionary referring to the decision taken by the CoA in handing the responsibility of WAGs travel on the coach and captain, said: “The minutes of the meeting say that cricketing and non-cricketing matters should be kept separate. But from when did someone’s family travelling become a cricketing decision that the captain or coach will decide on that? Will the selection committee also get involved in their selection?”

Interestingly, the decision was not an unanimous one, and one member of the three-member CoA had refused to agree but was ruled over as the other two gave the go-ahead.

(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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