One senior member of the Indian Cricket team has come under the scrutiny for failing to comply with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) 'family clause' rules during the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Team India had an impressive run in the showpiece event where they topped the league table after winning seven of their nine matches with 15 points in their tally. The Men In Blue were considered as the strong favourites to lift the coveted trophy. However, a poor batting performance in the semi-finals against New Zealand ended their campaign as India were knocked out in the semis for the second straight time.
Coming back to the senior player, he had sought special permission for his better half to stay with him for more than the permissible period of 15 days. Nonetheless, the request was turned down by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) which had officially come up with the rules.
It has now come to the notice that the player's spouse had stayed with him during the entire tournament i.e. for a duration of seven weeks. At the same time, it has also been learnt that the permission from neither the coach nor the captain was sought for prolonging the stay of the player's wife.
As per documents in possession of PTI, the CoA in its meeting on May 3 discussed the issue but eventually shot down the request.
The Item 6 sub-clause G of the minutes of the CoA meeting read:
Request from a player
1. The COA discussed that one of the players from the Men's Senior Team had made a request for permission for his wife to accompany him to the World Cup tour earlier than is otherwise permissible.
2. The CoA was informed that the matter is being discussed with the concerned player and that it may not be advisable to grant the request.
3. After some discussion, the CoA decided that it will not accede to the above request from the concerned player.
As per minutes of CoA meeting on May 21 (Sec 1 (B) (1) ), the Family Clause stated: "The issue of whether the authority to approve any visits from visitors outside the 'visitor period' should vest with the team captain and coach or with the BCCI management was discussed. It was noted that the BCCI management has traditionally decided these matters. It was also noted that the BCCI constitution requires cricketing and non-cricketing matters are to be kept separate."
A BCCI source privy to the development confirmed to PTI that the violation indeed happened. Meanwhile, the official also wished to remain unnamed.
"Yes, the same player in question, who was categorically denied permission during May 3 meeting, violated the 15-day rule during the World Cup. The question that arises here is whether the player in question had sought permission about the extra duration of stay of his wife from the competent authorities -- in this case the coach and the captain. The answer is a 'No'," the official told PTI.
The matter has not yet been reported to the CoA. Nevertheless, the question mark is raised on administrative manager Sunil Subramaniam as to why he did not reject the arrangement since it was his area of lookout.
The BCCI official wondered what Sunil Subramaniam was doing and added that his job was not to monitor the team's training sessions as the coach, captain and the support staff are there to look into this matter. He also hoped that the CoA will take awareness of the matter and seek a report from the manager.
When contacted, Subramaniam was unavailable for comment.