The ‘Conflict of Interest’ has been one of the most controversial rules that is existent in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The highest cricket governing body of India is undoubtedly one of the most powerful organizations in the Sports sector of India not only from the sport point of view, but also from a political standpoint. They have immense power and they shall do anything to assure that they can have full control over the actions of the players and employees who are signed under them.
The Conflict of Interest is a tool that the BCCI uses to make sure that the control is achieved. It has been under scrutiny by legendary cricket players for quite some time but it stays there unfiltered and unchecked till date.
It has been used on countless occasions but the most famous cases were VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri. Under this rule, Sourav Ganguly had to reject a huge offer from Byjus to promote their e-learning platform. Ravi Shastri and VVS Laxman had to leave offers from several IPL franchises as they were in charge of NCA and the Indian national team respectively.
Ravi Shastri calls the rule Unjust
So what does the rule actually state? According the the Conflict of Interest rule, “Any Administrator or their near relatives should not be associated with any Company/ Organization that has entered into a Commercial Agreement with the BCCI. Association shall not mean any near relative who is working as a regular employee of the Company/Organisation. However, this will not apply to the smallholding of shares in a public limited company.
“An Administrator shall not draw any financial benefits from the BCCI except as per the TA and DA rules for BCCI, ICC, ACC meetings or meetings with Foreign Boards,and any retirement benefit he/she may be entitled for as a former Cricketer/Umpire or any other capacity or such other expenses that may be incurred in carrying out his/her duties. An Administrator or his near relative shall not be associated with a Player Management Company or a Player Agent in any form either Honorary or Paid.”
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has recently opened up on this rule that he calls ‘injustice’ and says that he can not understand the meaning of it.
“It is over the top this conflict of interest. I was not really for it. A masseur with the Indian team cannot work with an IPL team. Conflict of interest is absolute nonsense. It should be thrown into the bin. For me to not be allowed to do commentary if I am India coach, how is that conflict of interest?” Shastri said to Indian Express’ Express E Adda.
He highlighted that it is restricting several Indian cricketers from having a stake in Indian cricket. “Ever since it came out in Lodha report, I was against it. You aren’t giving your cricketers a chance. It’s absolutely nonsense, this conflict of interest clause, should be thrown into the bin,” he said.