India news June 11, 2013

BCCI treasurer against Dhoni link with management firm

ESPNcricinfo staff

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