New Delhi: With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ethics Officer D.K. Jain sending notices to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy for their alleged conflict of interest, the question on everyones mind is whether head coach Ravi Shastri will have to bear the brunt if the CAC is found guilty.
Speaking to IANS, CoA chief Vinod Rai said that the committee wouldn't have given the three-member CAC the go-ahead if they did find any conflict of interest in them being appointed to pick the head coach of the Indian men's team. "The CoA did not see a conflict and hence the appointment was done. Even if there was a difference of opinion within the CoA, that person who was in the minority has not asked for his/her opinion to be recorded," he clarified.
When asked what happens if the Ethics Officer does find the trio conflicted, Rai refused to get into hypothetical situations. "Firstly, it is a hypothetical question, and secondly, it is unfair on me to prejudge a decision of the Ethics Officer," he pointed out. Speaking to IANS, CoA member Diana Edulji said that the Ethics Officer is the final authority on the conflict of interest rules. If he finds the committee conflicted, then the process of coach appointment has to be redone.
"To be honest, I am not against any individual. But even in the case of W.V. Raman's appointment as the women's team coach, I had said that the BCCI constitution has no place for an ad-hoc CAC. Similarly, in Shastri's case also, if the Ethics Officer does rule against the CAC and says there is conflict, the process will automatically have to be redone keeping the rules of the constitution in mind," she explained.
Commenting on the practical problems that come with the conflict clause in the Lodha Panel, she said: "I did voice my opinion from the word go that following it to the hilt could be an issue, but till the time we have an order from the SC on the same, we have to follow it and there is no two ways about it. We can't override the order of either the SC or the Ethics Officer because that isn't the job of the CoA. We have to respect the Ethics Officer and the Supreme Court's call."
By Baidurjo Bhose/IANS