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Team India manager facing recall from West Indies for upsetting diplomats apologises to CoA

Sunil Subramaniam is said to have behaved rudely with Indian diplomats in Trinidad, and was set to be recalled from the West Indies tour by Vinod Rai-led CoA.

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Kolkata: The Indian cricket team’s administrative manager Sunil Subramaniam may just have spared all stakeholders major embarrassment by tendering an apology to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), his employers for the past 25 months.

Subramaniam is said to have upset Indian diplomats in Trinidad when he was approached for permission for a government photo shoot, allegedly behaving rudely and denying permission.

Nobody in the BCCI was willing to confirm that an apology had, indeed, come from Subramaniam. However, well-placed sources told ThePrint Wednesday that an “apology-cum-explanation” had been tendered to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which has been in control since January 2017.

It is learnt the CoA had more or less decided to “discipline” Subramaniam, who got the job out of the blue, and to recall him from the West Indies, but his apology could lead to a softening of its stand.

Retired bureaucrat Vinod Rai, former captain Diana Edulji and Lt Gen. Ravi Thodge (retd) sit on the CoA.

An apology-cum-explanation would, in any case, be the logical way forward for Subramaniam once people in the corridors of power in New Delhi had come into the picture.

Who is Subramaniam?

A left-arm spinner who played for Tamil Nadu and Assam, Subramaniam used to be Ravichandran Ashwin’s personal coach.

Like head coach Ravi Shastri and other members of the support staff, professional appointee Subramaniam is on extension until the completion of the ongoing tour of the West Indies.

Subramaniam got a 45-day extension from the CoA after “positive feedback” from captain Virat Kohli and Shastri. What’s certain is that if Subramaniam has applied for a second innings as administrative manager, then he might as well look for a fresh start elsewhere.

Also read: Cricketers to be tested by NADA as BCCI agrees to come under anti-doping agency’s ambit

‘Communication gap’

At the heart of the controversy is actually “a communication gap” between key officials in the BCCI and Subramaniam.

The Union government approached Rai and/or BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to arrange a promotional photo shoot with Kohli and other players in connection with the high-profile water conservation project.

As the photo shoot was to take place in the West Indies, specifically during Team India’s stay in Port of Spain (Brian Lara territory, by the way), the High Commission in Trinidad & Tobago sought to connect with Subramaniam, as administrative managers approve and coordinate such activities.

Word is that Subramaniam “behaved rudely” and declined to facilitate, arguing that he hadn’t received anything in writing from the BCCI. Any request from the Union government or another Board must be communicated in writing.

That upset some member(s) of India’s diplomatic corps and a complaint went to New Delhi. That, in turn, was communicated to an incensed Rai.

Why shouldn’t BCCI brass be questioned?

But why should Subramaniam alone be taken to task if nothing was communicated to him in writing? Why not question Johri and/or other well-paid officials of the BCCI too?

Surely, an explanation ought to suffice. Indeed, why even apologise?

Subramaniam is not known to have set the world alight with a sterling performance as administrative manager, but must the CoA act in a manner which suggests some diplomat/diplomats are being kept happy? Or, some bureaucrat/bureaucrats?

Lala Amarnath was sent back from England in 1936 and, six decades later, Navjot Singh Sidhu chose to return home from the 1996 tour of England. One cannot, however, recall an administrative manager either being recalled or deciding to pack up and head home of his own free will.

It would be scandalous if the man supposed to enforce discipline, Subramaniam, himself gets disciplined.

Also read: Kohli has reduced coach’s appointment to a farce, but there’s a bigger BCCI drama brewing


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  1. Is it wrong to say that he needs instruction/permission from BCCI. Ofcourse he could have approached BCCI for permission.

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