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Deep sense of fear and worry for Indian cricket: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly has lambasted the way Ravi Shastri was selected as India coach

Bengaluru, October 31: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said he fears for the future of Indian cricket given how "poorly" the sexual harassment allegation against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has been handled along with some other key issues.

Ganguly, who is now the Cricket Association of Bengal President, said Indian cricket is in "danger" and he doesn't know where things are headed.

"I don't know how far it's true (the allegations against Johri), but the recent reports of harassment has really made the BCCI look very poorly (sic)... More so the way it has been handled," Ganguly wrote in a scathing letter addressed to BCCI President C K Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.

"I write this mail to you all with the deep sense of fear as to where Indian cricket administration is going," the 46-year-old said in the letter.

Johri is currently under investigation by a three-member independent panel set up by the Committee of Administrators (COA). The sexual harassment charge against him was made by an anonymous accuser via a social media post, which now stands withdrawn.

Sourav Gangulys letter to BCCI

The two-member COA, comprising chairman Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, differed bitterly on the issue. While Edulji wanted Johri sacked or suspended pending a probe, Rai favoured an inquiry report first and stood in the way of his removal.

Ganguly, one of India's most successful captains, pointed out the differences between Rai and Edulji to stress that Indian cricket was losing its way.

"With deep sense of worry , (I used the word worry), I beg to state that the way things have gone in the last couple of years, the authority of Indian cricket to the world and the love and belief of millions of fans is on the way down," Ganguly wrote.

"The committee of COA from four, has come down to two, and now the two seem to be divided... Cricketing rules are changed in the middle of a season, which has never been heard of," he said referring to the unprecedented change of rules to play for a state midway through the season.

The COA relaxed the one-year rule for wards of government employees to be considered local players recently. The technical committee chairman also recalled his "appalling experience" during the coach selection process for the national men's team.

Ganguly was part of the advisory committee that recommended Anil Kumble, who had to step aside within one year after a bitter feud with captain Virat Kohli Kumble was replaced by Ravi Shastri, who was preferred by Kohli.

"Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect... My experience in the matter of coach selection was appalling (the less said the better)," he said.

"One of my friends who is involved in matters relating to functioning of Board asked me who should they go to. I had no answer. I had to ask who should I invite for an international game from a particular association as I did not know what was going on."

Ganguly said Indian cricket has been built by the "hard work" of some "superb" administrators and greatest of cricketers. "I, at the present moment, think it's in danger. Hope people are listening," he concluded.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 9:38 [IST]
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