The controversial axing of senior India player Mithali Raj from the Women’s World T20 semi-final against England exposed the “interference” of BCCI officials and “outsiders” in selection issues. However, it is not just about women’s cricket, it happened in the men’s team too, recently in the Asia Cup.

After Mithali was dropped from the team for the crucial World T20 semi-final against England where India lost, a huge controversy erupted. Coach Ramesh Powar and captain Harmanpreet Kaur were slammed for mistreating a player like Mithali.

Mithali broke her silence and shot off a letter to BCCI where she accused the coach and others of trying to “destroy” her career. She had also hit out at the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) member Diana Edulji.

Now, a report has emerged in the media where it suggests that BCCI interfered in men’s team selection too over MS Dhoni returning as captain for a game in the Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates.

According to The Times of India, a senior BCCI official tried to appoint an interim captain for the match against Afghanistan in September.

In the absence of stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan, the official tried to stop Dhoni from being made the interim captain for one match.

"In the match against Afghanistan, Rohit Sharma rested himself and the Indian team management decided to hand over the captaincy to MS Dhoni because of his seniority and also as a special gesture," a source told the newspaper.

“A senior BCCI administrator, however, kept insisting that appointing MS would’ve been a regressive step and said the next senior most cricketer should lead the side. So, all this talk about outsiders not interfering is absolute nonsense. The administrator refused to give MS the captaincy which was very weird given his experience,” he added.

But eventually, the official’s attempts went in vain and Dhoni led the side in the match becoming the third cricketer to captain in 200 ODIs. The contest ended in a thrilling tie.

The TOI report also mentioned about the intervention of the BCCI administrator in team matters. He had ensured that a Grade C cricketer, who still continues to be part of the national side, was handed a Grade B contract.

“It was a kind of diktat. He (the unnamed cricketer) was picked for the series in England and failed but continues to be around. You should ask this administrator if there was any effort to exert influence, even if that meant dictating the team who their captain should be,” the source said.