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Dravid asks BCCI for clarity on conflict of interest

The Committee of Administrators supervising the functioning of the BCCI will discuss issues of conflict of interest in Indian cricket, and specifically the role of Rahul Dravid, who has taken strong exception to the suggestion that he had been granted preferential terms to coach India's junior teams while being a mentor to Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

The matter was precipitated by a stinging resignation letter from Ramachandra Guha, who gave up his position in the CoA because of what he perceived as inaction from his colleagues against conflicts of interest in Indian cricket. While Guha didn't directly name Dravid, he contended that it was "contrary to the spirit of the Lodha Committee" for coaches or support staff of India's senior and junior teams, or staff at the NCA, to have IPL contracts.

In the BCCI's current arrangement, coaches and support staff of India's senior and junior teams are given ten-month contracts that run until the end of March. They are then free to sign a two-month deal in the IPL. Apart from Dravid, India's fielding coach R Sridhar is involved with Kings XI Punjab in the IPL while Andrew Leipus, the chief physio at the National Cricket Academy, works with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Dravid had not made a public response until now, and he confirmed sending a letter to the CoA to explain his position. He was categorical in saying that he had abided by the prevailing conflict-of-interest regulations, and that there was a need for greater clarity on rule changes, if any.

"Yes, I have written to the CoA explaining my position and explaining the background against which this perceived conflict of interest has happened," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo. "By the BCCI's conflict of interest rules, I was absolutely not under a conflict of interest. If the rules have changed midway through the contract, then I think it is unfair to criticise me for breaking the rules or twisting the rules to suit my convenience.

"My simple point is that, not only me but there are five or six of us who are in the same position. There needs to be clarity. If there is clarity, we will be in a position to take an informed decision. It is disappointing the way this got played out in the public without much understanding of the background."

The CoA, while discussing a fresh contract for Dravid, is looking to put in place a broad framework to address conflict-of-interest situations at its meeting on June 12. A BCCI official, however, said it wasn't necessarily a reaction to Guha's letter.

"It's not that this has suddenly cropped up today. Nobody is against resolving any of these issues," the official told ESPNcricinfo. "You have to do it in a holistic manner and that's a work in progress. And certain things have a certain process. You will have to figure out what the right framework is. It is not a situation-specific thing. You need to develop a framework that addresses conflict based on principles."

In firming up the rules, the official said, the availability of coaching talent had to be factored in as well. "That [increasing remunerations] is the point we are considering, in terms of increasing the contracts for Test players to the extent that it has to be something that is reasonable even if somebody does not get an IPL contract," he said. "We have to think through what the framework is for coaches and support staff.

"There are pros and cons that need to be weighed appropriately and then a decision has to be made based on who's available for these things. Not that there are unlimited number of people available or quality people available, so all that has to be kept in mind."