The BCCI has clarified that VVS Laxman had eliminated a conflict of interest before a three-member cricket advisory committee got down to interviewing candidates for the position of India head coach. The BCCI eventually appointed Anil Kumble, in whose company, Tenvic, Laxman held shares.
The clarification came in response to a DNA report that said Laxman was the second-largest shareholder in Tenvic Sports Education Private Limited. The report also stated that Laxman held 33,332 shares in the company, and that he was entitled to a substantial amount of money in the form of incentives, bonus and other benefits.
"Mr Laxman informed BCCI that he had sold his total shareholding of 5% in Tenvic Sport in the month of March 2016 and also declared that he no longer held any shareholding or any official or unofficial position in Tenvic Sports," BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said in a release. "This took place prior to the commencement of the operations of this Committee. Mr Laxman was therefore in no position of a conflict of interest at the time of selection of the head coach of Indian cricket team. All assumptions and conclusions to that effect are therefore erroneous."
Reports around Laxman's possible conflict were the latest in what has been a controversial selection of the coach. Sourav Ganguly, part of the advisory committee, and Ravi Shastri, one of the candidates, have had digs at each other. Shastri said it was disrespectful that Ganguly was not present when he was interviewed. Ganguly responded by explaining the circumstances behind his absence, and clarified it was not his decision but that of the committee as a whole. He also said "there are other people involved also" in the decision-making.
Also Kumble's involvement in Tenvic, a company "in the business of sports and consulting", had raised concerns around a possible conflict of interest in the past. Kumble has always denied Tenvic, which has cricketers as clients, is a talent management company.
Minutes after he was announced as India's next coach, though, he tackled the conflict-of-interest question. "We [BCCI and I] have already discussed that," Kumble said last week. "Whatever needs to be done will be done before I take up this role officially. That has been discussed, and it has been clear with the BCCI as well. Something that can be easily resolved."