The BCCI is in the process of drawing up a conflict of interest guideline that will be principle-based and not person-specific. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) already had several discussions about taking a holistic approach to address the issue, with the intention to cover everyone actively related to Indian cricket. The dos and don’ts will be issued sooner rather than later.
Before that, however, Rahul Dravid’s new coaching contract is likely to be up for discussion, when the COA meets in Mumbai on June 12. Dravid, it is learnt, had spoken to the BCCI officials during the IPL, seeking clarity over his contract and role as the India Under-19 and India ‘A’ coach.
The former great had a contract with the Indian teams for 10 months and had permission from the cricket board to be part of an IPL franchise for the other two months. But Dravid’s BCCI contract is up for renewal and the COA might take a call on its nature or terms of reference.
According to a BCCI insider, however, framing the conflict of interest guidelines is a not a reaction to Ramachandra Guha’s resignation from the COA and his email to Committee chief Vinod Rai, in which the historian tore into the superstardom in Indian cricket and the allied conflicts of interest.
Guha directly mentioned Sunil Gavaskar in his letter and spoke about the preferential treatment he is getting from the cricket board. The letter also had enough hints on Dravid’s potential conflict of interest in his roles as national coach and an IPL mentor, as also Sourav Ganguly’s dual role – a state association president and a TV pundit.
“These are not new issues. It is a matter of figuring out the right framework in which these can be addressed. Conflicts will have to be addressed holistically. It can’t be targeted to individuals. It’s about developing a framework that applies certain principles. The objective is not to target Gavaskar or Dhoni for example. Once the principles are followed, it won’t be about individuals. These are all that the COA has discussed. The framework will have to be well thought through. The process is already ongoing,” said the BCCI functionary.
“You have to be a little patient. If any conflict arises from somebody in a national role and an IPL role for example, that can’t be decided overnight. Some thought must be given into it – what it means, how it can be managed. We have to take into account the potential conflicts that exist across different parts of the landscape. The framework will be worked out jointly by the COA and the BCCI office-bearers. The ethics officer will be the watchdog,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gavaskar today strongly countered Guha’s conflict of interest accusation against him, saying he has been “baffled” with his integrity being put under the scanner.
“Show me one instance where I have tried to influence the selection committee. Indian cricket has done more for me than I have done for it. It’s very disappointing that they are doubting my integrity and contribution to Indian cricket. I am absolutely confused as to where the conflict arises,” the batting legend told the NDTV.