In wake of BCCI president Shashank Manohar's drive to eradicate conflict of interest issues from the Indian board and its affiliates, former India legspinner Narendra Hirwani has voluntarily stepped down as chairman of the Madhya Pradesh selection panel, given his son Mihir is currently representing MP in the Ranji Trophy.
Hirwani thus becomes the first official to admit possible conflict after Manohar had presented an exhaustive paper to the board's working committee in October, detailing possible conflict of interest issues that administrators, players and employees at both the BCCI and its affiliates need to avoid. Following the BCCI AGM held earlier this week, Manohar said that the members had unanimously accepted all the guidelines he had listed in that paper, in principle, barring some minor modifications to the language, which the board's legal committee would attend to within the next two months.
According to Hirwani he did not want anybody to confront him and ask how he could continue to be a selector while his son was playing for Madhya Pradesh. "As soon as I heard Shashank Manohar sir speak about the conflict of interest issue related to Roger Binny, I became conscious of my position as chairman of selectors at MPCA. Before the BCCI or MPCA sent me a notice, I decided to resign," Hirwani told ESPNcricinfo.
Binny was one of the few high-profile names that the BCCI axed due to the conflict of interest issue. Manohar had said the BCCI had to drop Binny from the national selection panel because even a perception of conflict of interest would be damaging for his son Stuart's career.
Hirwani, who was an India selector too, has been the chairman of the MP selection panel for about six years. He said that admitting to a conflict was a personal decision. "There are rules and regulations that you need to adhere to. If I am honest to myself and my job, regardless of my son playing or not, then I can carry on doing my job with freedom," Hirwani said. "But it was not good for my son me continuing in my role."
Mihir Hirwani, 21, also a legspinner, has played four first-class matches for Madhya Pradesh, all this year. He has claimed 13 wickets in those games, at 17.69.