Rahul Johri, CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has learnt the art of surviving. So much so that sexual harassment charges against him by three women seem to making no dent in his position. His journey from Bareilly to BCCI is a story that needs to be investigated. Rashmi Nair, Delhi-based women’s activist, has moved the Supreme Court asking Rahul Johri to be dismissed as the BCCI CEO over last year’s allegations of sexual harassment against him. “Johri had a very colourful past in each and every organisation where he worked and he has managed to tide over all allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by threat, coercion or greed,” the petition said of Johri who has the power to decide million-dollar deals. In April 2016, Johri was announced as the first Chief Executive Officer of BCCI. He oversaw the sale of IPL broadcast rights to Star India for Rs. 16,348 crore. The media rights for BCCI and IPL were awarded to Star India in 2017. Johri supervised the Indian Cricket team’s current sponsorship agreement. On March 2017, BCCI announced OPPO Digital as Team India’s (senior, junior and women’s teams) new sponsor. The five-year contract is worth Rs. 1,079 crore.
In April 2018, Johri led BCCI to conduct a media rights auction for domestic and international cricket. The auction partners were Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP, and Cyril AmarchandMangaldas. The media rights were sold to Star India for Rs. 6,138.1 crore. The current deal includes global consolidated rights, including television and digital telecast of 102 international matches which includes 22 Tests, 42 ODIs and 38 Twenty20 Internationals.With this deal, Star India got the monopoly on BCCI media rights.
Johri was on forced leave for three weeks but has resumed office even though one member of the probe committee recommended ‘gender sensitivity counselling’ for him. His return divided the Committee of Administrators’ with Diana Edulji not in favour of his return while Vinod Rai saw no problem. Insiders reveal this is actually a fight within the BJP. Johri has surrendered to one of the top-ranking cabinet minister in North Block. Even former Banking Secretary and an IAS officer of Kerala cadre, Vinod Rai, is also from the coterie of the North Block Politician. After Parliamentary elections, the war will intensify within BCCI. It has to be seen how long Johri will survive.