New Delhi: BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary on Friday fired a fresh salvo after Kevin Pietersen was picked to deliver the Annual MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture during its Awards function in Bengaluru on June 12.
While Chaudhary had earlier expressed his strong reservations at the panel that was shortlisted (Kumar Sangakkara, Nasser Hussain, Sourav Ganguly and Kevin Pietersen), he is livid with GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim for ignoring the names of Indian stalwarts of yesteryears.
Chaudhary had suggested the names of Erapalli Prasanna, Abbas Ali Baig, Nari Contractor -- all of whom have played alongside Tiger.
The acting secretary in an email (in possession of PTI) took a sarcastic dig at former India stumper Karim after the latter in an email said that "he was happy to announce that Kevin Pietersen has agreed and confirmed to deliver the MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture."
"GM (Cricket Operations) expression of happiness on it had left me wondering on whether the Memorial Lecture was indeed MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture or Sir Len Hutton Lecture or for that matter Frank Woolley Memorial lecture," Chaudhary wrote with reference to former England legends.
The former Jharkhand top cop expressed his dismay that Karim didn't follow-up on his suggestions and didn't communicate on the subject.
He had five specific questions for Karim, 1) How was the list of four arrived at without adverting to conversations on very subject on May 8 in Bengaluru? 2) Why 75 per cent of the names were that of foreigners? 3) Relevance (of Pietersen) delivering the lecture was not explained? 4) Why was Sangakkara's unavailability not recorded when COA chief Vinod Rai had said that he was open to other names? 5) On basis of which authorization was jump made to Pietersen's name without seeking authorization to do so?
The acting secretary accused Karim of not disclosing his suggestions with the CoA and making the decision in a unilateral manner.
Referring to Karim's earlier mail when the panel of four was shortlisted, he wrote: "Significantly, the prose inexplicably left out the discussions held at Bangalore on the subject two days earlier. It is obvious from the context that the CoA learnt of it first only with the proposal email on the 10th (May)."
Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai told PTI that he always had an open mind on the issue.
"My e-mail clearly indicates that I had an open mind on this issue. So if an alternative single name had been suggested, I would have readily accepted it. Basically, I was not privy to any discussion and no such discussion can become binding on the CoA," Rai said on the prevailing issue.