BCCI ethics officer, Justice (retd.) DK Jain, has served a notice to all three members on the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev, asking them to explain the alleged conflict of interest charge pressed by Sanjeev Gupta, a life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.
Justice Jain has asked all three CAC members to respond to the charge by October 10, failing which he would be forced to draw his own conclusions on the matter.
In his complaint to Justice Jain, Gupta has alleged that all three CAC members have multiple points of conflict. Kapil is part of the steering committee of the newly formed, BCCI-funded Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA). He is also one of its directors. Kapil also works as an expert for Indian television channels. As for Anshuman Gaekwad, it is alleged that in addition to working as a pundit on TV, he is also part of the BCCI's Member Affiliation Committee, which grants membership to state associations. Gaekwad, too, is part of the ICA's steering group, as is the third member, Shanta Rangaswamy, who is also an ICA director.
Gupta had sent his complaint to Justice Jain immediately after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) had appointed former Indian cricketers Kapil, Gaekwad and Rangaswamy to the CAC to shortlist and appoint a head coach for the Indian men's team. The CAC has since re-appointed Ravi Shastri in that position till 2021 T20 World Cup.
Gupta had pressed similar charges against the members of the previous CAC - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman - for carrying out multiple roles in Indian cricket, when the rules dictate that one person can hold just one position. During the hearing of the case, Tendulkar submitted that he had decided not to be part of any BCCI committee, so Justice Jain let him off. But he did uphold the charges against Ganguly and Laxman.
Even the appointment of the Kapil-led CAC had not been straightforward. It was assembled for the first time late last year to pick the Indian woman's head coach, with former Tamil Nadu captain and India opener WV Raman eventually taking charge.
However, Diana Edulji, former India woman's team captain, who is part of the CoA, had expressed her dissatisfaction with the entire process and asked the BCCI ombudsman - also Justice Jain - to intervene. There has been no final verdict on that matter as yet.
Once Gupta had filed conflict charges against Kapil, Gaekwad and Ramaswamy, Edulji told her fellow CoA members - Vinod Rai and Ravindra Thodge - that all three CAC members should first give a written undertaking before proceeding to pick the men's head coach.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo