Syed Saba Karim, the BCCI General Manager, Cricket Operations, has been under the scanner since Friday. Karim, a former Indian cricketer, has been accused of the unconstitutional appointment of the support staff of women’s national team by CoA member Diana Edulji and BCCI’s new apex council member Shantha Rangaswamy.
Edulji wrote in an email to the BCCI CEO that candidates for the post of a video analyst for the national women’s team were interviewed on Friday despite Pushkar Sawant, the current analyst, having been already nominated by Karim, without keeping the selectors in the loop. The email also says that Sawant’s tickets for the upcoming tour of West Indies had also been done.
As per the BCCI constitution, all the appointments, including those of the support staff, have to be made by the national selectors, “This is the national Indian Team that is travelling and such shabby treatment is being doled out to them. I wonder if you would do this to the men’s team,” Edulji lashed out in the email as per an English newspaper's report.
In the wake of the controversy, CricTracker spoke to two candidates who had appeared for the interview at the BCCI headquarters on Friday. It has been learnt that Devraj Raut, who is the current video analyst of the women’s U19 team and women’s India A team, interviewed all the 22 candidates.
“What is bizarre is that all those candidates Raut interviewed are much more qualified than him. And nobody knows who appointed him. BCCI did not conduct any interviews for that post, so how was Raut’s appointment made?” asked one of the candidates while requesting anonymity.
He also questioned the need for a video analyst in the U19 and India A team. As per the source, the team needs a performance analyst and not a video analyst. “The performance analyst makes strategies for the games, helps the coach in net sessions, reviews the players’ technique, helps in conducting team meetings, and is involved in a host of other things. Video analyst only tags match videos and distributes them to the coaches and players,” he explained. “The board doesn’t even know what the team requires.”
“What happens when you switch on a laptop?”
Another candidate, who too requested anonymity, revealed the kind of mindless questions the candidates were asked in the interview.
“When I appeared for an interview for the same position at the NCA in 2007, I was asked questions on what my strategy would be to stop the flow of runs if the opposition scored back to back centuries. Or what my role would be at the training sessions. These are the kind of questions you need to ask. But what happened at the BCCI was different.”
“The kind of questions Raut asked made no sense. He was asking questions on Windows operating system to those who were carrying Windows laptops and questions on MAC operating system to those who were carrying a MacBook.”
“What happens when you switch on a laptop? What is the spelling of Kernel? These are the kind of questions that were asked.”
The candidate further claims that he wasn’t even given an opportunity to present the PowerPoint presentation that he had made for the interview. “I had put in a lot of effort for the interview. Prepared on the women’s team’s past, present and future. It is difficult to collect stats on women’s cricket, it was a lot of hard work. But I wasn’t even given the opportunity to show my slideshow.”
He also revealed that Raut’s appointment was made through sources and not caliber, “Raut, who was the technical person in the board of interviewers on 18th October, is close to Ratnakar Shetty. This is the reason why he was conducting the interviews. In BCCI, it does not matter what you know. What matters is who you know,” he concluded.
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