indian cricket

Gavaskar’s firm closes player management wing after BCCI raises conflict of interest concerns

The BCCI had asked the former Indian captain to choose between commentary duties and his sports management firm.

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar’s sports management company, Professional Management Group, has decided to shut its player management wing after running into trouble with the Board of Control for Cricket in India over conflict of interest guidelines, reported Indian Express on Thursday..

The 69-year-old, who had founded India’s sports management company in 1985, was asked by the BCCI to chose between business and broadcast duties, and had asked him to sell a stake from his company. “PMG has decided to concentrate on other part of the business. We were looking digital and creating IPs (intellectual properties). The focus has been shifted from player management to other parts of the business so we decided to terminate the contract,” Melroy D’Souza, chief operating officer, PMG, said.

Gavaskar’s conflict of interest deadlock came to light after former Committee of Administrators member Ramachandra Guha had slammed the “superstar culture” of India in his resignation letter, “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 said.

Gavaskar hit back on Guha’s claims, “I do not have a conflict of interest. Show me one instance where I have tried to influence the selection committee. It’s baffling to find my integrity has been questioned.”

The report also mentioned that Guha’s claims had forced the BCCI to come down heavily on cricketers falling under the conflict of interest bracket. Another former Indian captain, Rahul Dravid, had to step down from from his role as a mentor of Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils.

Players managed by PMG accept fate

PMG backed India opener Shikhar Dhawan as well as rising stars Rishabh Pant and Sarfaraz Khan. Former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh was also affiliated with Gavaskar’s company. Naushad Khan, father of the the Mumbai-based youngster, said that he was aware of the termination, “They [PMG] told us that the company is terminating the contract with immediate effect. Shayad kuch Lodha Committee ka panga hua hai (There is probably trouble because of the Lodha committee reforms). We did not ask anything further and signed the documents,” Khan said.

The contracts of all the aforementioned players have ended with PMG and will be up for grabs by other sports management firms.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.