The conflict of interest clause that had created a storm for Rahul Dravid to Sourav Ganguly is likely to be reconsidered by Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae PS Narasimha. The plea had come after Committee of Administrators (Coa) and many state associations felt that clauses put in place by BCCI’s newly adopted constitution is restricting many quality cricketers from entering cricket administration.
Last year, the CoA had wanted Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri, the coaches of India U-19 and the national team, to do commentary on IPL but the idea was dropped after doubts rose about conflict of interest. A few days ago, former India captain Ganguly came under scanner when he was appointed as advisor of IPL team Delhi Capitals despite holding the post of president of Cricket Association of Bengal. The matter is currently being considered by ombudsman DK Jain, who is yet to announce his verdict.
Chandrakant Pandit, a successful Ranji coach, was offered Indian women’s team coach job but he was denied because he runs a cricket academy in suburban of Mumbai. Pravin Amre, former Indian cricketer and Mumbai Ranji coach, had quit as managing committee member at Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), as he was employee with then Delhi Daredevils team Two years ago, the BCCI had penned a contract which stated that those who are on their payroll cannot be part of any other coaching or commentary assignments. It was done under the guideline of Lodha Committee’s recommendations of ‘One man, One post’.
The Indian Express understands CoA too had backed the idea of reviewing conflict of interest clause because it has hampered BCCI to get quality people on board. The matter is now in PS Narasimha’a court, who will be submitting his final report in Supreme Court after meeting various state associations.
Many including COA members feel the move is anti-Indian in its essence as many foreign cricketers play a dual role and their board allows them to do so. Darren Lehman was allowed to do commentary during Big Bash despite being coach of Australia. So was Mark Waugh, who was Cricket Australia selector and commentator for Fox Sports.
Many domestic coaches do language commentary for official broadcaster, however, as they are hired by Star Sports and not BCCI, they don’t fall under boards conflict of interest clause. Virendra Sehwag was coach of Kings XI Punjab and was allowed to do commentary for Star Sports. “The Indian cricket is there because of cricketers. The Lodha committee’s recommendation says a person who runs a cricket academy should not be part of any administrators post in any cricket association. Cricketers major earning post retirement is only through coaching at these academies. How can you expect cricketers to come forward when this conflict of interest clause is in place?” a member of state association said.
As a result, the CoA and State association wants Supreme Court to re-look into it, especially the case of cricketers who run academies but can’t enter state association or BCCI because it is potential conflict of interest.
Former COA member Ramchandra Guha in his resignation letter to CoA chairman Vinod Rai had pointed out instances of preferential treatment extended to cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and M S Dhoni. In other cases, he doesn’t take names but lists what he believes are improprieties and drops enough hints on the identities involved: from Dravid’s conflict of interest in his roles as national coach and as an IPL mentor to Ganguly’s dual role as an association president and a commentator. It’s the superstardom and the allied conflicts of interest that had irked him most.