Cricket commentators may have to sign undertakings on ‘conflict of interest’
New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar along with others enlisted in the BCCI’s panel of commentators will have to sign an undertaking that they don’t have any ‘conflict of interest’ as per the recommendations by the Lodha panel.
The BCCI has already zeroed in on four names as their enlisted commentators. They are Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Murali Kartik and Harsha Bhogle, who is returning after a fell out with the BCCI post-World T20 in 2016.
The BCCI on Wednesday did not officially name the quartet as COA member Diana Edulji said that all the issues pertaining to ‘conflict of interest’ is being looked into. “We have discussed the names but it has not been finalised. We need to look into the conflict of interest rules properly. We still don’t know who’s having what interest,” Edulji told mediapersons on Wednesday.
However, it was learnt from a senior official that all names have been finalised but the four enlisted commentators will need to sign an undertaking. It will primarily ask them to declare that they do not have any relationship with any players’ management firm.
“The BCCI does not want to take any chances. The Lodha panel reforms states clearly that one needs to ensure that anyone associated with the BCCI does not have any conflict of interest. We must remember that former COA member Ramchandra Guha, in his resignation letter, had referred to Gavaskar’s involvement with Professional Management Group,” a BCCI official, who can’t come on record, told PTI on Wednesday.
In fact the letter he was referring to had Guha making a pointed attack on the legendary opener. “Sunil Gavaskar is head of a company, which represents Indian cricketers while commenting on those cricketers as part of the BCCI TV commentary panel. This is a clear conflict of interest. Either he must step down/withdraw himself from PMG completely or stop being a commentator for BCCI,” Guha wrote in his letter then.
Gavaskar in his response had refuted Guha’s allegations. “It’s very disappointed that they are doubting my integrity and contribution to Indian cricket. Is there something particular against me that Ram Guha has named me in public?,” he had said then.
For Bhogle, it will be a comeback in the establishment after his acrimonious exit in 2016. It was learnt that some of the biggest stars of the current India team were not happy after learning about some of his on-air critical comments during a World T20 match between India and Bangladesh. As a result, Bhogle was not seen on air during the better part of 2016 and earlier part of 2017. PTI
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