The ICC has told Sunil Gavaskar that he would have to quit from the post of the chairman of the cricket committee if he wishes to continue as a media columnist and commentator to avoid a potential conflict of interest between the two roles.
Gavaskar was told "very clearly" by Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, during a meeting between the two in Dubai on Wednesday that the ICC expected a final decision. The ICC's cricket committee will meet on May 5-6 and Gavaskar has been given the same deadline. The ICC board will review the issue at its next meeting, during the ICC Annual Conference week, between June 29 and July 4.
Speed had last week been authorised by the ICC board to ask Gavaskar to choose between the two roles. "That situation still stands, and Gavaskar will have to convey his decision to the ICC after the cricket committee meeting," an ICC source told Cricinfo. "The message was conveyed very clearly to Gavaskar. But the meeting, as such, was held in a cordial atmosphere. Speed and Gavaskar have been working together for so long, that was not a problem."
The issue of a potential conflict of interest came up in the aftermath of the Sydney Test between Australia and India last January, when Gavaskar criticised match referee Mike Procter in his newspaper column for banning Harbhajan Singh for alleged racial abuse.
After the ICC's executive board meeting in Dubai last week, Gavaskar criticised the boards of England and Australia in another syndicated newspaper column. "Gone are the days when two countries, England and Australia, had the veto power in international cricket, even though the dinosaurs may not open their eyes and see the reality," he wrote. "The cricketing world has found that India has no longer a diffident voice but a confident one that knows what is good for its cricket, and will strive to get it."