Justice (retired) AP Shah, the BCCI ombudsman, has ruled that former India spinner Rahul Sanghvi was in violation of the BCCI's internal conflict-of-interest rules by serving as selector of the Delhi senior and Under-23 teams during the 2015-16 season while still being associated with IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. Former India player Kirti Azad had filed a complaint, alleging Sanghvi was in conflict after the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) appointed him as one of the three selectors in September 2015.
Shah also ruled that there was no point in terminating Sanghvi's contract with the DDCA now, given that Delhi's season was set to finish at the end of this month.
Sanghvi had contended that he had not applied for the job and had been nominated by the DDCA. He also added that he didn't receive any remuneration as a selector. Sanghvi said he was employed with Mumbai Indians in an administrative capacity since 2008 and he was not involved in coaching or selection of the IPL team.
After seeking clarification from the BCCI on the conflict-of-interest rules in place, Shah wrote that if a retired cricketer was appointed as coach or selector of a state association or any other unit affiliated to the BCCI on an "annual or long-term basis", he could not accept any position with an IPL franchise. Shah's order, accessed by ESPNcricinfo, stated there was no conflict, though, when a former cricketer was appointed by a BCCI-affiliated unit for a single season following the end of which he worked with an IPL team (for example, a former player might work with say Bengal during the 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy and once the tournament is done go and work for, perhaps, Delhi Daredevils in the 2017 IPL). "The BCCI has permitted the same, at least for the time being," Shah wrote.
In another order, Shah highlighted a clarification received from the BCCI that bars cricketers (current or retired), who hold positions as coaches or selectors of the board's affiliate units, from running private academies. The order was in response to Azad's complaint against former India wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya that alleged he was in conflict by virtue of running the Vijay Dahiya academy - a private coaching centre - while still being Delhi's coach in 2015-16. Azad also said that Dahiya's role as assistant coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL also constituted conflict. According to Azad, Dahiya owned a company called Safe Hands Sports Management, which deals with cricketing equipment and gear, and that led to further conflict of interest.
Dahiya responded by saying he didn't run the academy and that he didn't own or hold any position in Safe Hands Sports Management. After reviewing the submissions of various parties Shah stated that the academy was run by Dahiya's near relatives. "Since the academy is named after Mr Dahiya, and it is run by his near relatives, and there are advertisements for the academy in Mr Dahiya's name, it appears that the retired cricketer is closely associated with the academy.
"While nothing can be done if a name has already been adopted by a cricket academy, hereafter, if such an academy is named after a cricketer and is run by a near relative it may be presumed that it is run by that cricketer," Shah wrote.
He recommended that Dahiya submit an undertaking to the "affiliated unit or the BCCI (whichever entity engages him)" that advertisements wouldn't bear his name as coach of the Vijay Dahiya Academy. Shah also wrote that if a player from the Vijay Dahiya Academy came up for selection Dahiya should recuse himself from the selection process pertaining to the player. Shah also recommended that Dahiya sign an undertaking that he wouldn't be associated with Safe Hands Sports Management so long as he is a coach or selector of a team.
This is the second instance of the ombudsman pulling up a prominent player for a conflicting association with a sports business, after asking India offspinner Harbhajan Singh to dissociate from Bhajji Sports.
Based on Dahiya's submissions, Shah also made sharp observations on the DDCA's "deplorable state of affairs" and directed the BCCI to forward a copy of the order to the association. "Mr Dahiya claims that payments have not been made or have been excessively delayed for the past four-five years," Shah wrote. "This is a deplorable state of affairs, and the BCCI must look into it urgently. Huge amounts are paid by the BCCI to affiliated units, and they must be directed to appropriately compensate their coaches and other staff."