Dravid and Ganguly in conflict net again?

Cricket, Sports


The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), tasked with the responsibility of running the affairs of the Indian cricket board (BCCI), are preparing to question two India legends for playing multiple roles.

The present-day responsibilities of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly – both former India captains and distinguished cricketers with illustrious careers – are being looked upon as exceedingly conflicted.

Dravid happens to be a mentor with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils while also being the India Under-19 and India A coach. Ganguly is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (not eligible under the new reforms), chairman of the BCCI’s technical committee, member of the IPL governing council and despite all of this, being business partners with an IPL franchise owner albeit in a different sport.

These are matters that have come up for deliberations in the past. Dravid’s dual responsibilities weren’t questioned while Ganguly was given the green signal to continue in all the above mentioned capacities when current International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar was BCCI president.

The CoA, nevertheless, believes this issue needs a re-look.

Dravid, for the record, is still on board with the Daredevils ahead of the 2017 IPL season that’s already been set in motion. Ganguly’s case – heard by the ombudsman last year – was seen as “not conflicted”. On Tuesday, the BCCI sacked 12 of their employees, working from the Board’s offices in Delhi and Pune – the Indian team’s media manager included – as they were hired by the former president and secretary of the BCCI Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke respectively.

With Thakur and Shirke gone, the Board – with CoA’s backing – found wisdom in doing away with these individuals because of a serious threat of conflict. The same philosophy is like to be pursued even if it involves some of the biggest names in Indian cricket.

However, to be fair to Dravid and Ganguly – the former turning out to be an excellent coach mentor and the latter an astute administrator – the BCCI does not have its own memorandum of rules and regulations under which it specifies what constitutes conflict.

For instance, the CoA is likely to look into the “apparent conflict” of Pune-based Rajendra Popatlal Shah, who happens to be an employee of the BCCI while also being an independent director at the Pune-based infrastructure company BG Shirke Construction Technology Pvt Ltd. In early 2016, a complaint was filed with the BCCI-appointed ombudsman AP Shah highlighting that Shah, an employee of BCCI since November 2011, was first employed in the treasurer’s office and moved to secretary’s office in April 2015.

Those tracking developments say Shah was also the tournament manager of the 2016 World T20 and was responsible for looking into the finances. In his defence, Shah claimed back then that he held four paid-up equity shares in the equity capital of the company amounting to 0.00000011756% of the total issued and paid-up equity capital.

These conflicts have been widely contested and debated in the past and the BCCI was accused of picking and choosing what they believed was conflict and what wasn’t.

If the likes of Dravid and Ganguly find themselves in focus for operating in multiple roles, a lot of individuals in the Indian cricket fraternity are likely to be questioned. Before it comes to that, the CoA could ensure the board includes in its memorandum of rules a clause stating what exactly constitutes conflict in the first place.



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