Diana Edulji: Presenting trophies is not something I've aspired for

Updated: May 17, 2019, 07:58 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

As former Indian captain, I have always been motivated to receive trophies: CoA member Diana Edulji on IPL trophy controversy

Diana Edulji
Diana Edulji

The BCCI Committee of Administrator (CoA) Diana Edulji has blasted the "one-sided" media reports on the controversy surrounding the IPL trophy presentation. As per the protocol, BCCI Acting President CK Khanna handed over the trophy to Mumbai Indians for winning the IPL for the fourth time in Hyderabad on May 12. However, there were reports of CoA member Edulji insisting on presenting the IPL trophy.

Edulji in her email, which was accessed by mid-day, has provided a detailed clarification on the whole episode at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. "To set the facts straight, in the COA meeting dated 8th April, the topic [IPL trophy presentation] was discussed. During the discussion, I had mentioned that as the Acting President had abdicated his right to give away the trophy during the BCCI bilateral match [v Australia] in Delhi, he had shown disregard for the protocol and an office bearer of a State Association was allowed to give the trophy away and hence for the IPL Final COA members should give the trophy," Edulji has stated.

"I had even mentioned that if Mr. [Vinod] Rai would be present at the Finals, then he should give the trophy to which he had said that he was not going to be present. It was then that I mentioned that as Gen. [Ravi] Thodge and I were attending the Finals, the two of us i.e. Gen Thodge and myself may present the trophy. The matter rested there," the former India captain said.

Edulji attacked Khanna for "sheepishly" for forwarding a 2017 email of the Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary as a validation that that the Acting President is entitled to do the honours of presenting the IPL trophy. "A few days before the final Mr. Khanna forwarded a mail from the Acting Secretary Mr Amitabh Choudhary written sometime in the year 2017 in which he had said that as per protocol the BCCI President gives away the trophy.

This was sheepishly done by the Acting President by forwarding a mail of 2017 by Acting Secretary even though he had presented the IPL trophy in 2018 as well, a fact that he seemed to have forgotten. He seemed to have also glossed over the abdication of his responsibility during the India-Australia game at the Feroz Shah Kotla as he may have realised that what he did marred the dignity of the office of the President of the BCCI. "Till date, even after numerous emails including from the Acting Secretary asking for reasons on what grounds the Acting President allowed the DDCA representative to give away the trophy, Mr. Khanna has not bothered responding and explaining about the reasons due to which he took that decision.

"On the day of the final as usual his [Khanna] interest seemed only limited to the presentation of the trophy since he was carrying around an email of 2017 in his pocket. I was of the view that the General [Thodge] and I would present it as he had not upheld the tradition in Delhi and appeared to have succumbed under pressure. 

"After this few people started working behind the scenes to ensure that I do not present the trophy. As per the meeting of the CoA, I had stated that two members would give it just as Mr. Rai and I had done the previous day in Jaipur for the women's finals. Later another suggestion came that the two COA members along with Mr. Khanna give the trophy jointly. This would have looked absurd and I said no.

"If my intention was to give the trophy alone, I would have stressed upon it in the previous two editions where I was present for the finals. As a former Indian captain, I have always been motivated to receive trophies during my playing days and the presentation of trophies is not something that I have aspired to do. The view that I had held here was only because Mr. Khanna had abdicated his responsibility and had not given the bilateral trophy in Delhi.

"I had relented regarding the decision only because things had turned ugly and I did not want the competent and hardworking officials of the BCCI to bear the brunt and to avoid any controversy during the ceremony after the great work done by the IPL team in putting up such a good show, I relented as I was told that the General [Thodge] was not eager to give the trophy," Edulji said. She concluded by saying: "I was surprised at this discussion being made public with only selective facts. With regard to a certain official who provided this half-baked information and making a mountain out of a mole hill looks to be the case of insecure and incompetent people."

I end with congratulations to Mumbai Indians for their fourth title and to the Chennai Super Kings. Game of cricket won as both the finals were thrilling and were decided on the last ball. Well done IPL team.

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