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BCCI treasurer against Dhoni link with management firm

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 11, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni walks back after being dismissed on 91, India v Australia, Champions Trophy warm-up, Cardiff, June 4, 2013
Jagmohan Dalmiya said the BCCI won't bother MS Dhoni with off-field matters during the Champions Trophy © AFP
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Players/Officials: Jagmohan Dalmiya | MS Dhoni
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The new BCCI treasurer Ravi Savant is the first board official to speak out against MS Dhoni's possible conflict of interest, saying the India captain should immediately disassociate himself from the sports management company that manages him and a few other India players.

"Dhoni should immediately disassociate himself from the management firm while he is captain," Savant told NDTV. "Dhoni should be given a notice for conflict of interest if this was not part of his contract earlier."

The new BCCI secretary Sanjay Patil, however, said the board was not going to act immediately. "Whatever Mr Savant has said is his personal opinion and the board has nothing to do with it," he said. "The board has no intention to send any letter to either Dhoni or any other cricketer with the Champions Trophy going on. There was no discussion on this issue at the working committee meeting."

On Monday, the BCCI stand-in chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said the board would look into the issue involving Dhoni and Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd, but only after the ongoing Champions Trophy in England.

"I don't want to disturb the team during the Champions Trophy. I gain nothing by doing that," Dalmiya had following the BCCI's emergent working committee meeting in Delhi. "We have taken note of the issue. We are looking into it but we are not going to hound someone."

The issue centres around Dhoni's involvement with Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd, the company that manages his commercial interests and those of some other India players such as Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, and looks after Chennai Super Kings' marketing. Dhoni had owned 15% stake in the company for a little over one month earlier this year, meaning that, at least on paper, he was India captain with a say in the selection of players managed by the company he co-owned, and a possible share in the profits that their endorsements yielded.

According to a statement issued by Rhiti Sports, the shares issued to Dhoni were bought back the following month, and the transaction was only to clear some of the company's dues. "As on date, MSD holds no shareholding in Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd. However, it is made clear that shareholding was allotted to MSD on 22.03.2013 only to secure certain old outstandings which were due for more than one year," the statement, signed by Rhiti Sports' chairman and managing director Arun Pandey, said. "Further, the payments were cleared in April 2013 and the shareholding was transferred back to promoter of the company on 26.04.2013."

1445 GMT This story has been updated to include the quote from BCCI treasurer Ravi Savant

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Pathiyal on (June 12, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

at the end of the day we need to analyze if MS & Co. are winning games for team India - the answer in most cases is a BIG YES. the next question - Is MS/ has MS thrown away any games without a fight??? The answer is "You dream that". Is he showing any regional bias?? The answer is "Who?? MS????". we know about the past. now, going by the history, he can never be in trouble with his fans. but the future is to be seen!!!

Posted by ravikiran.bits on (June 11, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

Yes i agree with crindex. Why are these BCCI officials trying to distract the team which is under some assignment. they really don't bother about their team.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (June 11, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

This is getting Super ridiculous. You all know MSD is 17th in the list of high earning sport persons in the world. When it comes to endorsements alone, he is #7 in the world list. If you consider $ to rupee conversion, he earns way beyond anyone else in this world. Why would he want to have a pity shares in this company? More over you can not really avoid a conflict of interests. Say for example, if Dhoni, in his mind decide to pick people who with Rhiti, the guy is his friend, irrespective of who owns the share, being in the same company that MSD in itself creates a conflict of interest? Next are we going to ask players be with different agents than the captain? So, please let us drop this case. Respect the captain, he has done a lot as a sportsman for India and earned a lot and he does not need bother with this. We are only making Rhiti more popular and new cricketers might head there!!!

Posted by Dhanno on (June 11, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

as an upcoming player who would I want to be represented by ? Say a Rahane/ Dhawan/ umesh need a new agency today. Would they go to independent agent or something owned by their captain ? Given other players (raina/ jadeja whose selections are already dodgy) are represented by the same agency. I would be pushed to make the "choice". There is huge conflict of interest here no matter what Dhoni does, even if he dissociates himself.

Posted by ARad on (June 11, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

As another poster points out, there are other ways to offset debts. Conflict of interest is not a matter of trusting someone's intent and moral character. I am a fan of Dhoni as a cricketer but how he conducts business affairs (this as well as his appointment with India Cements that owns CSK which looks very inappropriate given the fact IPL franchises are supposed to have a limit on player payments) shows poor choices or poor advice he has been getting. If we want to allow people to operate in a shady areas because we like them or because they have done something that is worthy of our appreciation, let's ask our governments to officially write separate rules for them. If we think that is a bad idea, let's hold everyone accountable by the same standards.

Posted by rajcan on (June 11, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

Rules should be rules for everyone. In our country, people especially influential people try to manipulate rules for their own advantages. If there is a conflict of interest, even one day or one month does not matter.

If Rhiti sports wanted to transfer funds to Dhoni, Company and Dhoni should have known well about what they are doing and a possible conflict of interest. Probably, their attitude was, just for a month only , lets do it and forget.

This is a pure example of one wants to eat all the apple in the basket. People have choices, if transferring money was that important, Dhoni should have made choices about his captaincy and involvement in selection.

BCCI and India should set an example, no matter how big you are, if you found guilty, will be penalized.

Posted by Biggus on (June 11, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

@crindex-The English press is far harder on it's team that India on it's own. This issue needs to be looked into and the BCCI had said it won't do so in a way that compromises the team in the CT. What more do you want? Dhoni should abide by the same rules as everyone else. If after investigation he is found to have no case to answer, so be it. If he has transgressed he should answer for it, you can't just sweep these things under the carpet and expect to live in a just society. In truth, contrary to your assertion, India if far more willing to overlook the transgressions of it's players than most other nations, such is the adoration for it's sporting heroes.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (June 11, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

The explanation given by Rhiti is perfectly acceptable. MS himself was probably unaware of the transfer, his agent would have known and MS truts him to make decisions like this on his behalf.

During periods of limited cashflow, that an agency like Rhiti would have regularly because they do not buy and sell, shares are often used as a method of payment and are sold back when cash is available.

BCCI are running scared and are looking for any opportunity to divert attention to anyone else and no-one is a bigger diversion than Dhoni.

Posted by Pathiyal on (June 11, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

on a lighter note, i hope MSD was aware of the fact that he had a stake in Rhiti Sports :-)

Posted by JohnnyRook on (June 11, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

@Vinayak. I am afraid only the negative one holds any gravity to it. Rhiti gave 15% of its stake against a paltry sum of 3 Lakh Rs it says it owed Dhoni. That puts Rhiti's net worth to about 20 Lakh. However Rhiti's last year annual turnover was 63 crore Rs. Any independent auditor would put its net worth as atleast 100 crore. Something is clearly fishy here. I am as big a fan of Dhoni the cricketer as you are but I still want to have a better explanation than Dhoni-Rhiti-BCCI have given so far. Rules gotta be same for everybody.

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