Thodupuzha/Kochi: The controversy over the alleged neglect of the Sachin Pavilion at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi has flared into open accusations of rule-breaking and fraudulence.
Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president T C Mathew alleged that ex-KCA secretary and current BCCI joint secretary Jayesh George knows where the missing memorabilia are.
“Two years ago, many of the sports equipment and memorabilia kept at the Sachin Pavilion, that include a jersey bearing his signature and signed bats and a ball that the maestro had used, had been taken to the Tripunithura Cricket Club to put on display at an exhibition. These articles have never been returned to the pavilion at the stadium. Shockingly, the pavilion’s key is in possession of a relative of Jayesh,” Mathew said.
“The persons who illegally took valuable archival materials out of the pavilion two years ago are now raising a hue and cry because of the fear of getting caught and its consequences. Jayesh, in partnership with Kerala Football Association secretary P Anil Kumar, is running a private firm called Scorline Sports in Kochi. It is in blatant violation of the Lodha committee reforms. The current KCA leadership has proved to be a complete failure on all the fronts and this controversy is only a ruse to divert people's attention,” Mathew alleged.
It is evident from the newspaper reports and photographs that the missing memorabilia from the Sachin Pavilion were on display at an expo titled ‘Memories’ held as part of the K V Kelappan Thampuran centenary celebrations. The exhibition was conducted at the Tripunithura Cricket Club from May 18-19, 2018, and the local media had covered the event.
Meanwhile, Jayesh has confirmed that some of the missing memorabilia have been recovered from the rooms adjacent to the Sachin Pavilion at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium.
“Tendulkar’s photographs, including his childhood pictures, were retrieved two days ago. We didn’t blame Kerala Blasters FC for ruining the pavilion. They removed Sachin’s iconic photographs and replaced them with their promotional posters. We were denied permission to enter the stadium by the Greater Cochin Development Authority, that’s why we could not reinstall the memorabilia,” he said.