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Friday, August 07, 2020

Ganguly brand role raises conflict of interest issues

JSW Sports, the sports arm of the business conglomerate JSW Group, is, along with the GMR Group, the joint owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai | Updated: July 5, 2020 12:04:45 pm
BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, conflict of interest, JSW Cement T-shitrt, Indian express news Ganguly posted this picture wearing JSW Cement shirt.

In what raises questions of potential conflict of interest, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Saturday appeared in an Instagram post wearing a JSW Cement (Jindal Steel Works) T-shirt while “at work” as the company’s brand ambassador.

JSW Sports, the sports arm of the business conglomerate JSW Group, is, along with the GMR Group, the joint owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals.

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Speaking to The Sunday Express, Ganguly, who has been mentor of Delhi Capitals in the past, insisted his new role as brand ambassador of JSW Cement didn’t overlap with his duties as BCCI president. “How do I influence? I am not brand ambassador of JSW Sports (which handles Delhi Capitals in IPL). I don’t think the cement company is a sponsor of the (Delhi Capitals) team. I don’t see any conflict in it. I am not associated with their cricket; had I been, it would have been a conflict,” Ganguly said.

On a possible conflict of interest situation, direct or indirect, the BCCI constitution makes the following hypothesis: “When the BCCI, a Member, the IPL or a Franchisee enter into contractual arrangements with entities in which the individual concerned or his/her relative, partner, or close associates has an interest. This is to include cases where family members, partners or close associates are in positions that may, or may be seen to compromise an individual’s participation, performance and discharge of roles.”

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JSW Cement’s Managing Director Parth Jindal, according to the JSW website, serves as Chairman of JSW GMR Cricket Pvt Ltd, where he oversees the management of the Delhi IPL franchise. He is regularly seen in the dugout during matches of the Delhi Captials team and is also a vital decision-maker at IPL auctions. As BCCI chief, Ganguly attends the IPL’s governing council meetings.

Text messages to Jindal inquiring about the possible conflict of interest in Ganguly’s role as brand ambassador went unanswered.

In October last year, before getting elected as BCCI president, Ganguly had informed that he had resigned as the Delhi Capitals mentor. However, he continued to be associated with cricket brands. Presently, he endorses the online cricket fantasy league My11Circle.

The former India captain has in the past expressed his reservations on the conflict-of-interest clause in the BCCI constitution. He had said that the Board will not get the services of the best cricketers in the system because of the conflict-of-interest clause.

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