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Not much conflict with cricketers’ view

At least four complaints have been filed to the BCCI ethics officer Justice DK Jain regarding Conflict of Interest against Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid

Not much conflict with cricketers' view

Parthiv Patel (left) and Irfan Pathan at the BCCI headquarters yesterday. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

Cricketers past and present, met the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) members Diana Edulji and Ravindra Thodge yesterday to put forward their viewpoint on the contentious Conflict of Interest issue.

At least four complaints have been filed to the BCCI ethics officer Justice DK Jain regarding Conflict of Interest against Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

The meeting was initiated by the CoA to understand what the cricketers feel before preparing a report which will be presented to the Amicus Curiae (friend of court). This is an attempt to convince the apex court to allow the BCCI to relook into the Conflict of Interest issue.

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‘Affecting every cricketer’

One of the cricketers, who attended the meeting, told mid-day: “There were many examples of issues relating to Conflict of Interest which were highlighted. It is affecting almost every cricketer in this country. If we continue to stick to these rules, we may not get any cricketers to work with. In that case, the BCCI will have to get footballers and hockey players to work with.”

Cricketers of repute like Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajit Agarkar, Sourav Ganguly (via Skype) along with former and current players Rohan Gavaskar, Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel attended yesterday’s meeting. Dravid, who is facing a conflict allegation, recused himself from attending the meeting, while Laxman couldn’t make it due to a family emergency.

Vengsarkar, who termed the meeting fruitful, said: “It was a platform where the cricketing community spoke about conflict issues affecting them. This discussion was important. We have been told that these points will be communicated to the Amicus Curiae, who will place it before the Supreme Court.”

Another veteran cricketer said: “Ambiguity in Conflict of Interest rules was discussed at length. The cricketers felt that there can be either direct conflict or no conflict. There shouldn’t be these tractable and intractable clauses in Conflict of Interest rules. Roger Binny was a clear conflict where he was a selector while his son was playing for India. Kris Srikkanth was another clear conflict case where he was chairman of selectors and brand ambassador of an IPL team. In such cases you are directly conflicted. But there are some cases where you cannot be a selector because you run an academy. One has to understand that whether that academy is related to the role he is performing,” said the cricketer.

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‘Vibrant discussion’

A cricketer raised a query during the meeting that if a player figures in only Ranji Trophy and IPL can he do commentary. He received a positive reply.

CoA member Edulji said the points discussed would be looked into. “We discussed problems faced by cricketers as well as problems faced by us [the administrators] to implement and it was a very good vibrant discussion. Some good suggestions came in,” the former India women’s captain said.

CoA member Thodge empathised with the cricketers. “There are some genuine difficulties which our cricketers face. We may not agree with certain things, but we agree with some of their concerns,” he said.

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