Was not in­formed about Rathour’s con­flict: Rai

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES SPORT - K.Shrini­wasRao @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Vinod Rai, the Supreme Court-ap­pointed head of the Com­mit­tee of Ad­min­is­tra­tors (COA) says he “was not in­formed about Vikram Rathour's con­flict of in­ter­est” by BCCI’s head of op­er­a­tions, Saba Karim, be­fore ap­point­ing him as the bat­ting coach for In­dia ‘A’ and the In­dia Un­der-19 teams last week.

Speak­ing to TOI, Rai said: “Nei­ther me nor my col­league Diana Edulji was in­formed about any con­flict. On the con­trary, I was told that Rahul Dravid has ap­proved it. If it’s true that Rathour is con­flicted, and Rahul wasn’t in­formed about the same, I’ll be tak­ing this up very se­ri­ously”. Dravid, who is in Ker­ala with the In­dia ‘A’ team could not be reached.”By the way, con­flicts aside, would you re­quire a bat­ting coach when you have some­one like Dravid with you?” say sources track­ing de­vel­op­ments.

Rathour is a rel­a­tive of Un­der-19 se­lec­tor Ashish Kapoor and a cousin of former BCCI pres­i­dent Anurag Thakur. “In the case of Kapoor, it’s a clear case of con­flict. What’s hap­pen­ing here? In Thakur’s case, it’s not wrong to be re­lated to him but then, the COA has de­nied a former BCCI em­ployee a job be­cause he has worked with Thakur in the past. There can’t be ap­ples and or­anges,” sources said.

Kr­ishna Pophale, the former ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant to Thakur when the lat­ter was BCCI chief, had ap­plied some months ago for a role of in the Board’s as­sis­tant op­er­a­tions team but the ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected by the COA be­cause of his ear­lier work­ing re­la­tions with Thakur. “So, how is Rathour okay? By the way, the COA talks much about due dili­gence. Did it do due dili­gence this time? They made such a ruckus over ap­point­ment of women’s coach,” say sources.

Pophale has been re­quest­ing BCCI to give back his em­ploy­ment in BCCI for close to a year now af­ter he was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously asked to leave in 2017. “That boy can’t work be­cause he worked with Thakur in the past. But Rathour can, even if he’s re­lated. What’s go­ing on?” say BCCI mem­bers.

It is learnt that Karim ap­proached Dravid with the names of Rathour and Vi­jay Ya­dav (ap­pointed for Un­der-19) af­ter WV Ra­man left the Na­tional Cricket Acad­emy to join the women's na­tional team as head coach. Rai, who was in Sin­ga­pore on Sun­day evening, sounded miffed with the de­vel­op­ments. “I will speak with Rahul (Dravid) about this’, he said.

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