Kapil Dev-led committee in conflict of interest?

The allegations of conflict against Kapil underscore he is part of the steering committee on the newly formed Indian Cricketers Association Getty Images

Is the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the BCCI, which has been tasked with picking the head coach for the senior India men's team, in a conflict of interest? The question has been posed both internally within the BCCI as well as by an external complainant. Justice DK Jain, the ombudsman-cum-ethics officer of the board, has been asked to take the final call before the CAC sits down to shortlist the applicants and conduct the interviews to pick the coach.

ESPNcricinfo understands the issue was first flagged internally by Diana Edulji, one of the three members on the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which has been the supervisory authority of the BCCI since 2017. At a recent CoA meeting, held in Delhi on July 26, Edulji said that the CAC could not be convened until all three members - Kapil, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shanta Rangaswamy - submit a written undertaking about their statuses on the matter.

The CoA was forced to discuss the issue after Sanjeev Gupta, a life member with the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), wrote to the CoA, pointing out that all three members were in violation of the conflict rule within the BCCI constitution, which states that one person can hold just one post in Indian cricket.

Kapil is part of the steering committee on the newly formed Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) where he is also one of directors. Incidentally, the ICA is funded by the BCCI. Kapil also works as an expert for Indian television channels. As for Gaekwad, it is alleged that in addition to working as a pundit on television channels, he is also part of the BCCI's Member Affiliation Committee, a sub-committee which grants membership to state associations. Gaekwad, too, is part of the ICA's steering group, as is Rangaswamy, who is also an ICA director.

It is understood that the three panelists have not yet sent a no-conflict notice to the CoA. Once they come in, the CoA will send it to Justice Jain. It remains unclear whether the CoA will await the clearance from Justice Jain before asking the CAC to conduct the interviews and submit their final pick for the head coach, which is expected to be wrapped up by mid-August.

Although the CoA appointed the CAC to pick the new coaching staff, Gupta has argued that only an elected BCCI administrative team is qualified to do the work. Although Gupta was not available for a comment, he has reportedly written to Justice Jain, stating it was unconstitutional for the CoA to appoint the CAC.

Incidentally, Gupta had filed a similar charge against two members of the previous CAC - Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman - which Justice Jain had upheld.

While Tendulkar decided to not be part of any BCCI committee, including the CAC, Laxman was asked by Justice Jain to choose one of the different roles he was performing in Indian cricket, which included being a commentator, being part of the CAC, as well as being a mentor with IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. Also asked to make a choice was Sourav Ganguly, who does commentary in addition to serving as the president of Cricket Association of Bengal and advisor to the Delhi Capitals franchise.