Sourav Ganguly was first choice of two BCCI office-bearers for Pataudi lecture


NEW DELHI: The difference of opinion amongst the BCCI office-bearers has once again come to the fore, thanks to their email exchange over the choice of speaker for the MAK Pataudi Lecture.

A day after it was reported that BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary was against Kevin Pietersen being invited to deliver the lecture and had instead thought of yesteryears stars like Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Erapalli Prasanna and Abbas Ali Baig, it is emerging that both BCCI’s acting-president CK Khanna and acting-treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry batted for Sourav Ganguly to deliver the Pataudi lecture as their first choice ahead of Pietersen, who eventually became BCCI’s choice.

If Chaudhary wanted Pietersen as his second choice, Khanna wanted former Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara. Unlike Amitabh Choudhary, his two colleagues didn’t object to the choice of BCCI manager Saba Karim’s list of four cricketers.

“Undoubtedly, all suggested speakers are good orators. I would go ahead with Sourav Ganguly and Kumar Sangakkara,” Khanna wrote while referring to the list of speakers’ names which had Ganguly right on top, followed by Sangakkara, Pietersen and Nasser Hussain.

Khanna’s first choice was seconded by Chaudhary. “I would recommend topic number 2 to be delivered by speaker number 1 or speaker number 3. Would be very interesting,” he said.

The three topics for discussion were: peace and sustainability through cricket relevant since Afghanistan, behaviour and conduct of international players in the modern age – players’ perspective and cricket as an Olympic sport — the way forward.

Meanwhile, the Committee of Administratorsmaintained that it’s a non-issue. “We do not propose to complicate things for you. Diana and I are not privy to any discussion/consultation which took place in Bengaluru. Since we were not in the loop, our suggestion followed. Four names were proposed to us by you. We picked one name out of those. Since you are already following up on that name, please continue to do so. Failing his availability, I am open to any name that is suggested. These are non-issues on which evolving a consensus should not be a problem,” CoA chairman Rai wrote to BCCI’s general manager Saba Karim.

This essentially means that Choudhary would have to accept the choice of Pietersen as the guest at the MAK Pataudi Lecture on June 12 in Bangalore under protest.

Source: Times of India


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