All you need to know about the conflict of interest controversy that has jolted Indian cricket

Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who is currently the head of National Cricket Academy's Cricket Operations, is the latest big name to get notice from BCCI's Ethics Officer on specific Conflict of Interest allegations levelled against him.

BCCI's Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer Justice (Retd) DK Jain has sent a notice after receiving a complaint from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) life member Sanjeev Gupta. According to Gupta's complaint, Dravid is allegedly conflicted as he is the NCA Director and also employed as vice-president of India Cements group, which owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

"Yes, I have sent a notice to Mr Rahul Dravid last week after receiving a complaint. He has been given two weeks to reply to the allegations of Conflict of Interest. Based on his reply, I will decide whether to proceed further or not," BCCI’s Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer Justice DK Jain confirmed the development to PTI. It is expected that Dravid will have to file his reply by August 16 and then might have to appear for an in-person hearing if Justice Jain deems it important.

Not the first time

Like in the cases of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, and, more recently, BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) panelists Kapil Dev, Shanta Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad, the complaint against Dravid came from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member Sanjeev Gupta.

MPCA life member Sanjeev Gupta is the same person, who had also filed similar Conflict of Interest complaints against Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman for their dual roles as Cricket Advisory Committee member as well as mentor/icon of their respective IPL franchises -- Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

What does the complaint say?

BCCI’s Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer Justice DK Jain sent the notice after receiving a complaint from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member Sanjeev Gupta.

According to Gupta’s complaint, Dravid is allegedly conflicted as he is the NCA Director and also employed as vice-president of India Cements group, which owns the Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings.

In July, the former India captain has resolved the potential conflict of interest issue that delayed his tenure as the head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy. He taken a leave of absence from India Cements until such time he serves as the head of NCA, according to a report by The Hindu.

The former India captain was supposed to take up the position on July 1. However, as a paid employee of India Cements, he would have violated the BCCI constitution. As per the BCCI constitution, an individual can’t hold multiple positions at the same time.

So what exactly constitutes conflict of interest?

Following controversies in the past where cricketers and administers held multiple roles in companies and teams, the Lodha Committee introduced the Conflict of Interest guidelines. The guidelines stipulate that a person cannot be involved in Indian cricket in more than one role.

According to Rule 38 (4) of the BCCI constitution prevents individuals from holding more than one of 16 posts, which are listed therein. These are: Player (current), selector/member of cricket committee, team official, commentator, match official, administrator/office bearer, electoral officer, ombudsman & ethics officer, auditor, any person who is governance, management or employee of a franchisee, member of a standing committee, CEO & managers, office Bearer of a Member (state association), service provider (legal, financial etc.), contractual entity (broadcast, security, contractor etc.) and owner of cricket academy.

Which are the other big players who have received conflict of interest notices before Dravid?

Sachin Tendulkar: On April 24, a complaint was filed against the 46-year-old for his alleged conflict of interest by serving as a mentor of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians as well as being a member of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). The complaint was filed by Sanjeev Gupta, a member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA).

Tendulkar also appeared in person before BCCI Ombudsman and former justice DK Jain in Delhi. But the hearing had no significant conclusion as the matter has been postponed to May 20.

VVS Laxman: Laxman was served notice on the same day as Tendulkar, April 24. The notice was served by DK Jain, BCCI's ombudsman-cum-ethics officer, for serving as mentor as Sunrisers Hyderabad as well as being member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). The complaint against their dual roles was filed by Gupta. As per the notice, "A complaint has been received by the Ethics Officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (for short "the BCCI") under Article 39 of the Rules and Regulations of the BCCI, regarding certain acts, allegedly constituting as 'conflict of interest' on your part. You may file your written response to the accompanying Complaint, supported by duly executed affidavit, on or before 28th April 2019, with the Office of the Ethics Officer, BCCI, Mumbai for further proceedings in the matter."

Sourav Ganguly: Ganguly had also received notice. He received notice after allegations levelled by one Bhaswati Santua for being member of CAC panel and also president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, mentor of Delhi Capitals in the IPL, while also being a TV commentator.

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