Sachin Tendulkar has denied the accusations of conflict of interest against him, saying he neither "received any compensation" nor held any decision-making role with Mumbai Indians.
Tendulkar has filed a 14-point written response to a notice sent to him by Justice (Retd) DK Jain, the BCCI ombudsman. The notice was sent after a complaint filed to the ombudsman by Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member Sanjeev Gupta.
The complainant alleged that Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, an icon and a mentor with Mumbai and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively, have been performing dual roles - with the IPL franchises as well as with the BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), of which both are members.
"At the outset, the Noticee (Tendulkar) denies the contents of the Complaint in totality (except the statements specifically admitted herein). No part of the Complaint should be deemed to be admitted by the Noticee for lack of specific denials," Tendulkar wrote in his response, which PTI has accessed.
On his role with the Mumbai IPL franchise, the reply said: "The Noticee (Tendulkar) has received no pecuniary benefit/compensation from the Mumbai Indians IPL Franchise in his capacity as the Mumbai Indians 'ICON' since his retirement, and is certainly not employed with the Franchise in any capacity.
"He does not occupy any position, nor has he taken any decision (including selection of team players) which could qualify as being in governance or management of the Franchise. Accordingly, there is no conflict of interest, either under the BCCI Rules or otherwise."
As for the role in the CAC, Tendulkar explained that he was appointed as a member of the committee in 2015, which was well after his involvement with Mumbai Indians began.
"The Noticee was appointed to the panel of the Cricket Advisory Committee ("CAC") in the year 2015. The Hon'ble Ethics Officer will appreciate that the Noticee was named as the 'ICON' for Mumbai Indians much prior to his empanelment with the CAC - which fact has always been in the public domain," the reply said.
"Accordingly, the BCCI aware of the Noticee's association with the Mumbai Indians Franchise at the time of his appointment to the CAC."
Tendulkar added that the "icon" position was not a management or governance role: "The Complaint wrongly assumes that the Noticee's association with the Mumbai Indians IPL Franchise ("Franchise") is in the capacity of "governance", "management" or "employment" - thereby attracting a conflict under Rule 38 (4).
"His role is limited to providing guidance to the Franchise team by sharing his insights, learnings and working closely with the younger members in the team to help them realise their true potential."
On Gupta questioning Tendulkar's presence in the Mumbai dugout, the reply said: "A mentor cannot be qualified as "management" of the Franchise. If the Complainant's absurd logic were to be applied, a physiotherapist, trainer or a masseur would also be qualified as "management" of the Franchise.
"It is also pertinent to note that the Mumbai Indians team has a head coach, who works side by side with coaches for specific disciplines such as bowling, batting etc. in ultimate coordination with the Director of Cricket Operations - none of whom the Noticee is answerable to or vice versa since his role is limited to that of providing guidance and motivation to the team."
In case Justice Jain wants to "continue proceedings", Tendulkar has requested for a "personal hearing along with his legal representatives".