The BCCI has got a sharp rap on the knuckles from the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) and was thoroughly rebuked for their “cavalier way of taking policy decisions”.
CoA chief Vinod Rai has shot off an email to BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary after being peeved at the latter for discussing the proposal of a day-night Test in India without consulting him, CoA member Diana Edulji, and the two other BCCI office-bearers — acting president CK Khanna and treasurer Anirudha Chaudhary — and indeed even the players, according to a report in The Indian Express.
Chaudhary's proposal was to hold the day-night Test in the country in October against the West Indies, in view of the sagging interest in the five-day game. However, all that Choudhary apparently did was to discuss the issue with India head coach Ravi Shastri over telephone and email, along with BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim.
“Even if it be cricket of which all of you certainly have greater knowledge than me (I am excluding Diana who has greater knowledge than all of you!), I represent the viewing population. They are your greatest stakeholder. Don’t you think you need to factor them in?” Rai wrote in an email, which was accessed by The Indian Express.
An enraged CoA chief wrote that he was "amazed" by the way policy decisions were taken by the BCCI, which comprised “four persons sitting in Cricket Centre (in Mumbai)”.
Choudhary has reportedly pointed out to Shastri that the attendance figures during the last home Test series, against Sri Lanka were abysmally low. The enthusiasm at even the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, which has always been known for its frenzied crowd, was only lukewarm at best. So Choudhary, Johri and Karim suggested that one of the Tests during the Windies' tour of India later this year be converted to a day-night one, provided the dew factor is taken care of.
Shastri, on his part, proposed a noon start, so that only one session spills over to a time after sundown. He also was of the opinion that Tier 2 cities be chosen as venues for hosting Tier 2 teams.
Rai, however, has poured cold water on Choudhary's suggestion for now, saying that the issue of day-night Tests in India be put on hold till the board holds detailed discussions with all stakeholders, including the players whose body clock needed to get “accustomed to a new timing” over the course of five consecutive days.
He also noted that the whole process, including the choice of venues, security and administrative arrangements over five days on the trot, cost implications on the BCCI and state associations hosting the match needed to be decided upon before the proposal can be taken forward. He also underlined the importance of taking the views of the visiting team before a day-night Test can be scheduled.