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    BCCI accepts CEO Rahul Johri’s December 2019 resignation

    Synopsis

    Johri, who had joined the BCCI on June 1, 2016, had tendered his resignation in December last year. His five-year contract with the world’s richest cricket federation was to end only in May next year. Sources in the board confirmed to ET that Johri’s resignation had been accepted.

    Agencies
    The senior board member cited above said the board realised that given the slowdown in the economy, it might be difficult to get a similar response from broadcasters and sponsors.
    Mumbai: Rahul Johri, the first chief executive of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), will step down by the end of this month after the board accepted his resignation on Thursday night.

    Johri, who had joined the BCCI on June 1, 2016, had tendered his resignation in December last year. His five-year contract with the world’s richest cricket federation was to end only in May next year.

    Sources in the board confirmed to ET that Johri’s resignation had been accepted.

    Johri and BCCI president Saurav Ganguly did not reply to ET’s calls and text messages.

    The decision hardly comes in as a surprise, but the timing is curious, said sports industry executives who have worked closely with the BCCI.

    “This just proves there is no place for professionals in the BCCI,” said an executive working with an IPL team.

    Many in the cricket fraternity had anticipated Johri’s exit once the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators gave the reins of the board to the current office bearers, including Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and treasurer Arun Dhumal, on October 23, 2019.

    While the apex court had provided a shield to the administrators, Johri and chief financial officer Santosh Rangnekar from litigation, making them “immune from any board action”, the new administrators have sidelined the CEO, said a BCCI functionary.

    “Ganguly is not a problem as he has an astute cricket mind, but the others started taking control of the BCCI in the same way prior to the Supreme Court’s intervention in 2013. Rangnekar, who was very vocal about financial irregularities, quit within 15 days, while Rahul resigned by the end of December. But he was asked to stay back at least till March at that time,” said a former administrator of the board.

    Rangnekar had submitted his resignation in November last year.

    Another senior board member told ET on the condition of anonymity that while some members wanted to remove Johri, his performance and contribution to the BCCI’s revenue were difficult to miss.

    Johri was instrumental in getting broadcasters as well as sponsors come on board.

    When the pressure was building for an e-auction of the rights of the Indian Premier League for the 2018-2022 cycle, Johri put his foot down and organised a sealed-bid auction, which saw multiple domestic and international brands bidding for the coveted rights.

    Star India won the contract for five-years by bidding Rs 16,347.5 crore, almost double of what Sony Entertainment had paid for the earlier 10-year cycle (Rs 8,800 crore).

    Johri was also instrumental in selling Team India jersey rights to Oppo for Rs 1,079 crore (later Byju’s picked up the rights from Oppo); IPL title sponsorship to Vivo for Rs 2,199 crore and India cricket rights to Star India in an e-auction for Rs 6,138.1 crore (average Rs 60.1 crore per match).

    All these deals are for five years and would have come up for renewal during Johri’s tenure had he stayed his entire contract period.

    The senior board member cited above said the board realised that given the slowdown in the economy, it might be difficult to get a similar response from broadcasters and sponsors.

    “It was being considered that he should have been asked to continue till the end of his tenure. But, after some news leaks regarding the tenures of Shah and other administrators, they decided to let Rahul go,” he added.
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