BCCI Ombudsman, Justice AP Shah, has written to president Shashank Manohar providing him and Sourav Ganguly with a fresh deadline to respond to the conflict of interest allegations against the former India captain.
This after the duo failed to respond within the original deadlines-January 27 and 28 respectively. Shah had originally forwarded a complaint filed with him by Niraj Gunde to Manohar and Ratnakar Shetty, general manager game development, on January 14 asking them to respond within two weeks. He had then also forwarded the same complaint to Ganguly.
“Yes, I received a letter from the (BCCI) office of the ombudsman and I have sent my reply, explaining my position,” said Ganguly at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
Incidentally, immediately upon taking over in his second stint, Manohar had not just promised but laid out an elaborate action-plan to weed out the conflict of interest issue and ‘clean Indian cricket’.
Over the last 10 days, starting with the one involving Ganguly, the ombudsman has forwarded a series of allegations against various officials of the BCCI, administrators and otherwise, levelled by Gunde to the president. He had given Manohar a two-week notice to respond to each complaint. As it turns out, he’s yet to address the first one.
On Friday, while asking Manohar for a fresh response, the ombudsman has also detailed the allegations against Ganguly and asked the BCCI to explain its interpretation of conflict of interest.
The mail has also been copied to BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, Ganguly and Shetty along with the complainant. “Specifically, the allegations are that Mr Ganguly is a co-owner of a company by the name of Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd., which owns the a football franchise by the name of Atlético de Kolkata. The company is allegedly co-owned by Mr Ganguly, along with businessmen associated with the RPG group. The RPG Group successfully bid for a cricket team based out of Pune that will participate in the forthcoming seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL),” writes Shah.
“The allegation is that Mr Ganguly and the RPG group were partners in another commercial venture at the time of the bid for the Pune franchise being made, which was allegedly not disclosed,” he adds.
The ombudsman has then posed a series of questions to the board, asking them whether ‘this situation would lead to a conflict of interest’ based on the BCCI’s rules on the issue.
“1. What is the stand of the BCCI on this issue?, 2. Are the rules for conflict of interest intended to be exhaustive, i.e., do the rules cover all circumstances that the BCCI conceives to be within its definition of conflict of interest?, 3. Could you also make available the rules/regulations/guidelines pertaining to the role and function of IPL commissioners?” writes Shah.
Manohar was unavailable for comment.