BCCI softens stand on guest list for Annual Awards night

BCCI softens stand on guest list for Annual Awards night

BCCI President Anurag Thakur
Former BCCI President Anurag Thakur. (Photo credit SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced it’s annual list of awards last week and the award ceremony is to be held in Bengaluru on March 8. Not surprisingly, BCCI had sent out invites to state associations a couple of days back suggesting that individuals who “are qualified as per the Supreme Court’s orders” according to Lodha Committee’s recommendations, will be allowed to attend the function.

In a major development, the board softened its stand on the possible attendees by sending separate invites to former BCCI bigwigs Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke, Anirudh Chaudhary and Amithab Choudhary, who have all served the Indian board for long terms in various capacities. However, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri’s letter was affirmative on the stand for state association’s former members by categorically declining them the opportunity to attend the lucrative awards night.

“Notwithstanding the present circumstances and the pending issues before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, since you have been associated with the BCCI at least till 2nd January 2017, we solicit your presence at the fifth MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture and the BCCI Annual awards,” the carefully-worded letter to one of the office-bearers reads.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) clearly directed the BCCI that the disqualified members cannot be allowed to attend the function as they were no more a part of the body. This would have meant the absence of a good chunk of administrators who contributed to the game in the lucrative annual event. The twist in the tale could indicate a major shift in the CoA’s hardline stand so far.

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However, it is understood that both Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke would skip the event. Thakur and Shirke were until recently the most powerful men not only in Indian cricket but called the shots in ICC too. They had tried to stall Supreme Court verdicts by gaining ICC support, which further complicated the matter and the SC went on to ask Thakur why he shouldn’t be tried for perjury. After giving a number of warnings and opportunities to comply with the reforms, SC removed the disqualified members in early January 2017.