The Star Sports panel of experts for the World Cup is expected to see a shake-up with the BCCI all set to give the stars two weeks to choose between commentary assignments and their official positions with the board and IPL franchises. Even active cricketers, either for India or the IPL, have been barred from being employed as commentators by the broadcasters.
The Indian Express has learnt that the BCCI’s Ethics Officer, D K Jain, in an order passed on an internal conflict-of-interest complaint, has questioned the presence of stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, Harbhajan Singh and close to 20 other former and current cricketers in the commentary box for the ongoing tournament in England.
It is learnt that Jain ruled that the experts were flouting the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations on conflict of interest as they were holding multiple positions in the BCCI or IPL.
Stressing on the “one person, one position” principle, Jain has ruled that Ganguly, who is the Delhi Capitals mentor, Cricket Advisory Committee member, Star Sports commentator and Cricket Association of Bengal chief, can be seen only in one role.
Similarly, Tendulkar and Laxman can either be in the Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad dugouts, respectively, or be a part of the Star Sports commentary team.
With the order covering current players, those like Harbhajan, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan and Manoj Tiwary can wield the mike only after they retire.
The complainant, Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member Sanjeev Gupta, has called Jain’s order “astounding”. “This said order today dated 20.06.19 has set the precedent/ benchmark for every individual associated with BCCI/ every state unit/ IPL/ TV broadcaster, production etc & every BCCI member & every administrator of BCCI & all state unit administrators & every employee and every contractual person of BCCI & all state units, etc., to 100 per cent comply (with) the law of the land,” he said in a statement.