Ramachandra Guha, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, who resigned on Thursday, has criticised the lack of will of his colleagues to stamp out Conflict of Interest involving high-profile players-turned coaches. In a letter to the chairman of the Committee of Administrators Vinod Rai, Guha cites examples of ‘national coach’ unable to attend a camp for ‘young cricketers’ at the National Cricket Academy in March because of his IPL commitments. Guha has not named the coach.
India A and Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid who also coaches the IPL team Delhi Daredevils
In his email dated June 2, Guha writes: “I have repeatedly pointed out that it is contrary to the spirit of the Lodha Committee for coaches or the support staff of the Indian senior or junior teams, or for the staff of the National Cricket Academy, to have contracts in the Indian Premier League. One cannot have dual loyalties of this kind and do proper justice to both. National duty must take precedence over club affiliation.”
Guha also states that he was open to coaches and support staff of national teams, who also had IPL contracts be given ‘enhanced compensation’ but was clear that the conflict of interest needs to be stopped. Also Read | Ramachandra Guha, in resignation letter, lashes out at player power in coach-captain rift
“I had first raised this issue to my COA colleagues in an email of 7th February, and have raised it several times since. I had urged that coaches and support staff of national teams be paid an enhanced compensation, but that this conflict of interest be stopped. When, on the 11th of March, I was told that there was a camp schedule for young players at the National Cricket Academy but at least one national coach was likely to be away on IPL work and might not attend the camp, I wrote to you: No person under contract with an Indian team, or with the NCA, should be allowed to moonlight for an IPL team too. BCCI in its carelessness (or otherwise) might have drafted coaching/support staff contracts to allow this dual loyalty business, but while it might be narrowly legal as per existing contracts, it is unethical and antithetical to team spirit, leading to much jealousy and heart-burn among the coaching staff as a whole. This practice is plainly wrong, as well as antithetical to the interests of Indian cricket.
“Yet no assurance was given, and no action was taken. The BCCI management and office-bearers have, in the absence of explicit directions from the COA, allowed the status quo to continue. I would like an explicit and early assurance from the BCCI management that such manifestly inequitious loopholes in coaching/ support staff contracts will be plugged forthwith.” Also Read | Exclusive details of Ramachandra Guha’s letter to Vinod Rai on why he quit as BCCI administrator
MS Dhoni shouldn’t have got Grade A contract
Guha, in his letter to CoA chairman Vinod Rai, mentions that Indian cricket’s “superstar syndrome” was responsible for former India captain MS Dhoni getting BCCI’s A contract. “As you will recall, I had pointed out that awarding MS Dhoni an ‘A’ Contract when he had explicitly ruled himself out from all Test matches was indefensible on cricketing grounds, and sends absoutely the wrong messages,” he says. Dhoni happens to be the only cricketer in the Grade A list who isn’t in the Test squad. The others with BCCI top contract, that fetches them Rs 2 crore a year, are Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja. Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav fingure in Grade B and get Rs 1 crore while Grade C players KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuvraj Singh earn Rs 50 lakh.