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Conflict still an issue; it has to change: Ganguly

Last updated on: October 23, 2019 21:35 IST

Sourav Ganguly

Newly-elected Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly says conflict of interest continues to be a big issue in Indian cricket.

Ganguly and former cricketing greats, like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid, were some of the big names embroiled in the contentious conflict of interest clause, which states that one person should have only one post as per the new BCCI constitution.

Dual roles played by former and current players -- like doing commentary and playing/mentoring in IPL/domestic cricket or coaching in the IPL or being a part of support staff or holding an administrative post in the IPL franchise -- have all come under the scanner.

The 'Conflict' ruling suggested in the Lodha reforms for the BCCI came under criticism from several quarters as many believed it stopped former cricketers from coming forward to help Indian cricket and cricketers.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, who demitted office on Wednesday following the BCCI elections, had recently submitted to the Supreme Court in their 11th and final status report that the Conflict of Interest clause needs to be amended.

"Conflict is still an issue. If we look at the last status report filed by the COA, they have addressed the conflict issue. I don't know when it will be heard, when it will be solved," Ganguly said in Mumbai immediately after taking charge as BCCI president.

"It has to change. It is already done by the CoA. They have already put it in the Supreme Court and let's see how far it gets modified," he added.

Ganguly, himself, was caught in the conflict issue as he was appointed the Delhi Capitals mentor in the IPL earlier this year while holding the post of president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, and was also part of the Cricket Advisory Committee, which was entrusted the task of picking the India team's coach.

The latest CAC, which retained Ravi Shastri as India coach earlier this year, had to wind up after all three members resigned.

Kapil resigned after he was served a notice by BCCI Ethics Officer D K Jain, while the other two members -- Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad -- also quit and have taken up positions as players' representatives of the Indian Cricketers Association in the newly-formed BCCI Apex Council.

Ganguly said they will look to appoint a new CAC as it is entrusted with the important decisions of appointing coaches and selectors, but they will also be wary of the conflict issue.

"We have to create the CAC because the CAC will appoint a lot of selectors and other members which are an important part of Indian cricket. We will do that and we will make sure they don't have any conflict of interest," he said.

In a revamp of the BCCI, as per the Lodha reforms, the nine-member Apex Council replaced the Working Committee. It comprises president Ganguly along with secretary Jay Shah, joint-secretary Jayesh George, vice-president Mahim Verma, treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal, along with ICA members Rangaswamy, Gaekwad, Chattisgarh State Cricket Sangh's Prabhtej Singh Bhatia and a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) representative, who is yet to be appointed.

Asked whether the powers of office-bearers, like secretary and treasurer, have been reduced following the creation of the Apex Council, Ganguly replied in the negative: "It is not correct. The Apex Council can give any powers to the office-bearers.

"It is not actually the right interpretation of the order. If you look at the Apex Council powers, they will designate the powers to the secretary, president and joint-secretary and they can give them any power. And, I think, president, secretary, treasurer and all the office-bearers are very important for the proper functioning of the BCCI. I wouldn't say control because I don't enjoy the world control; it is about proper functioning of the BCCI."

HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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