he National Cricket Academy (NCA) COO Tufan Ghosh’s recent trip to Australia during the Indian team’s tour Down Under has not gone down well in certain quarters within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has now questioned the decision to send Ghosh to Australia for a supposed meeting with the Indian team players and officials to present ODI series.
In a mail to CEO Rahul Johri, accessed by Hindustan Times, Amitabh asked Johri to not only provide him the details for the approval of the trip, but also reminded the CEO how permission wasn’t granted to him to participate in the Asian Cricket Council AGM last year.
“I came across this following link: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/bcci-officials-question-nca-coo-tufan-ghosh-s-trip-down-under-to-watch-australian-open/story-YaBrcQFcSF9NnORZSwhNIM.html
The media story is self explanatory. I will be grateful if you could let me know the reasons of Tufan Ghosh’s visit to Australia and the authority granting such permission. It is significant that denial of permission on an earlier occasion had resulted in India not being able to participte in the recently held ACC AGM,” he wrote.
As per a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, after the meeting on November 17, said that India was the only notable absentee from the meeting which was attended by 33 nations affiliated to the ACC, including full members like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
While board officials have no problem with him travelling to Australia, the reason given behind his visit has raised eyebrows. The NCA COO had taken the trip with an aim to present an athlete management programme to the Indian players which supposedly never took place even as Ghosh visited the country, watched the Australian Open with some of the Indian players and returned to his base in Bangalore.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior board functionary said that while Ghosh was free to travel anywhere he felt like off duty, the objective given behind the official trip and the selective approval of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) of officials/executives’ foreign trips has left a lot to be desired.
“This is truly bizzare and evidence of the CoA’s whimsical functioning. On the one hand the former CAG sits in his ivory tower singing ballads of financial prudence and on the other hand approvals are given for a sham visit to Australia for a meeting that was not even scheduled and therefore never happened! In other words it was a visit with a notional objective,” he said.
Echoing the sentiments a board official said: “I am shocked that the BCCI is spending so much money to essentially send Tufan Ghosh to watch Novak Djokovic play at the Australian Open.
“Maybe it was felt that he would be less of an embarrassment there than at the NCA where he reportedly walked into the room where India opener Prithvi Shaw was getting his ankle treated and yelled, “C’mon Prithvi! You can do it !” He is clearly chasing dragons that we can’t see.”