India news October 18, 2015

BCCI proposals come down hard on conflict of interest

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BCCI president Shashank Manohar has recommended stringent measures to rid Indian cricket of the problem of conflict of interest in a three-page document circulated among members ahead of the working committee meeting on Sunday. The response to the letter was cautious, but during the three and a half hour meeting Manohar is understood to have stressed on the necessity to prevent administrators and active or retired cricketers exploiting a position of power.

The board members sought more time to study the proposals and revert to Manohar during next month's AGM. Some members voiced concerns over the BCCI "going to extreme steps" with regard to the issue, but Manohar is understood to have remained firm.

In addition to administrators, current and retired cricketers are brought under Manohar's proposed rules to guard against conflict of interest. In six rules laid down for retired cricketers, Manohar proposed "a cricketer on the payroll of the BCCI or holding contracts with BCCI shall not be on any BCCI committees including IPL GC." This could affect someone like Ravi Shastri, who is the India team director and a member of IPL governing council.

The proposed rules state that coaches and national selectors will "not be associated with a player management company or a player agent, either honorary or paid," and "cricketers on the managing committee of an affiliated unit of BCCI shall not be considered for appointment as a national selector." It also stated that cricketers appointed as national coaches or selectors cannot run "private academies during their tenure".

As examples of what effect these proposals could have, national selector Saba Karim has been associated with a player management agency for well over a decade, and if the recommendations are passed Dilip Vengsarkar, who has been in the reckoning to return as chief selector, will not be able to do so unless he relinquishes his post as the Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president.

MS Dhoni's controversial involvement in Rhiti Sports, the management agency that looks after his commercial interests and that of some other Indian players, led Manohar to suggest that current cricketers "shall not have any business interest in a player management company." Current cricketers could also be barred from entering into contractual agreements with a competitor of Nike, the BCCI's apparel sponsor. They could also not be allowed to hold "any controlling position in any commercial organisation having a contract with the BCCI or its state unit."

The board has also proposed nine conditions for administrators to avoid conflict of interest with the BCCI or within their respective state associations. Administrators and their near relatives could be barred from having any commercial interest in any activities or tournaments including the IPL. It is proposed that an administrator must not draw any "financial benefits from the BCCI except as per the TA (travel allowance) and DA (daily allowance) rules for BCCI meetings" and retirement benefits.

An administrator or his near relatives are also proposed to not enter into or be associated with a company that enters into a commercial agreement with his state association. Over the years, most of the in-stadia rights have been allotted to companies run by relatives of respective association chiefs. Some of the player managers have also been absorbed as office-bearers by some of the state associations, thus raising suspicions of conflict of interest.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • D N on October 19, 2015, 8:35 GMT

    Good that some sense of proper Governance is being brought in. Almost all senior retired players are in conflict of interest - commentary contracts, state association posts, IPL mentorships, selection committee memberships, iPL ownerships, creating new cricket leagues (Sachin and Shane)... There has to be some guidelines. Most of us do it right but cricketers have to be told !!

  • g on October 19, 2015, 7:29 GMT

    Finnnnnnnnnally someone trying to do something good..!! keep it up mr.Manohar..

  • Joe on October 19, 2015, 4:29 GMT

    considering the bidding consequences in venue selection in recent versions.. would be better if IPL played with neutral ground/venue selection policy for the sake of fans of cricket in India.. regardless of franchises or players..of-course this will have to though have regional food partners.. will be a boosters.. for this commercialization policy..

  • Himanshu on October 19, 2015, 3:29 GMT

    WOW! finally some sense being brought into management of the BCCI. However, I hope they define 'near relatives' very clearly as I don't think a son-in-law would qualify as a near relative.

  • Prateek on October 18, 2015, 21:05 GMT

    These proposals are excellent. If these actually go through and improvements like these are brought into functioning of BCCI, Lodha committee's forthcoming recommendations might just become redundant. May be I am dreaming too much, but there is some light starting to flicker now in this dark tunnel called BCCI.

  • Vikram on October 18, 2015, 20:27 GMT

    wow! these rules have to be proposed? one can imagine how the bcci functions right now quite easily!

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