Diana Edulji is a CoA Member ©scroll.in

NCA bowling coach Narendra Hirwani and T Dilip are set to travel with team India for the upcoming limited-overs series against the West Indies as bowling and fielding coach, respectively. The appointments come as a surprise as the Hemlata Kala-led selection panel claimed that they were kept out of the hiring process.

It is understood that Saba Karim, GM Cricket Operations, approved the appointments to accommodate people chosen by India head coach WV Raman.

“If say I am the head coach I cannot have my full team unless the selectors feel the need to. WV Raman is operating through Saba Karim and giving chances to his buddies – Narendra Hirwani, T Dilip, Pushkar Sawant. Why doesn’t he start his own IPL team? I do not understand why Saba Karim is letting himself be used,” a BCCI official told Women’s CricZone.

According to the BCCI Constitution, the selectors are to appoint the support staff for the national team. However, the panel was kept out of the loop and asked to only conduct interviews on Friday (October 18) for the video analyst. The selection panel comprises of Kala, Anjali Pendharkar, Shashi Gupta, Lopamudra Banerjee and Sudha Shah.

Committee of Administrators (CoA) member and former India captain Diana Edulji in a letter addressed to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri called the appointment a “sham process”.

“I am shocked reading the article quoting the e-mail from women selectors to you regarding the sham process being followed for selection of the video analyst. It is even more worrisome that the person Pushkar Sawant, wanted by Saba Karim and NCA is already booked on the flight to West Indies. The whole process looks like an eyewash,” Edulji said in a letter released by PTI.

“I have also received an e-mail from Shantha Rangaswamy, nominated member on the BCCI apex council, which has been marked to you and the selectors, wherein she has stated that these things are been done deliberately to accommodate persons chosen by the powers that be and not following the established practices. A very serious allegation.”

Edulji further said despite repeated instruction by the CoA, Karim is not abiding the process. She called the interview for video analyst “sham” as Pushkar Sawant has already been picked for the tour by those in power.

“The article and the mail cast serious aspersions and doubts about the dealings of the cricket operations especially Saba who is heading it and despite repeated instructions by COA, he is defying and wanting to place persons to these positions without due process. I am marking this to my colleagues so that they are aware of what is happening behind the COA’s back. I will not be giving my consent to this sham interview that is taking place today for the video analyst as Pushkar Sawant has already been nominated for the tour,” wrote Edulji.

When Women’s CricZone tried to contact the selection panel, they did not respond.

India will travel to take on West Indies in three ODIs, which are part of ICC Women’s Championship, and five T20Is, beginning November 1.

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