Sourav Ganguly on Friday called for a more practical approach in implementing the conflict of interest rule and cited as example former Australia captain Ricky Ponting’s multiple roles with Australian cricket and the Indian Premier League.
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Ganguly has been at the receiving end of conflict of interest notices for being the Cricket Association of Bengal president as well as the mentor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.
Earlier this month, the former captain expressed his displeasure after Dravid was issued a notice by the Board of Control for Cricket India ethics officer Justice DK Jain on conflict of interest allegations against the legend.
Asked whether an exception should be made to the rule for legends of the game, Ganguly responded in the negative. “I wouldn’t say an exception be made to the rule [but] it has to be practical,” Ganguly said.
“Today, Rahul Dravid has been appointed NCA head and there are issues over his job with India Cements, you got to be practical on that, you never know whether you would become the NCA head or not, three years later you may not remain NCA head, but these jobs are permanent and jobs remain with you.”
Ganguly said he does not see a cricketer doing coaching and commentary as a case of conflict of interest.
“It’s got to be practically solved – even when you do commentary or coaching – I don’t see it as a conflict of interest. When you go around the world, look at Ricky Ponting, he coaches Australia, he commentates, he is commentating in the Ashes and now in the month of April next year he will be with Delhi Capitals.
“I really don’t consider this as conflict of interest; because these are all skill-based, you don’t decide whether you commentate or whether you coach or you are part of a franchise, because of your skill you get picked by people, and I don’t think it can be a conflict, it has to be bit more precise otherwise everything is going to be conflict.”
BCCI has already dismissed reports related to conflict of interest allegations against Vikram Rathour, who will be appointed as the next Indian team batting coach replacing Sanjay Bangar. Rathour is the brother-in-law of junior selection committee head Ashish Kapoor. Ganguly found the issues related to Kapoor ridiculous.
“There is an issue, I was reading in the newspaper that there is issue of Vikram [Rathour] now in conflict with Ashish Kapoor being a junior selector. I find it ridiculous.
“If somebody else is a junior selector and somebody else is batting coach, how does it influence and how it is conflict?
“So these things need to be a bit clearer and I am a firm believer that skills have to be kept separate because you cannot influence skills, it’s about one’s judgement of who’s better and who is not better.”
Jain had issued the notice to Dravid on conflict of interest allegations made by Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member Sanjay Gupta. According to Gupta, Dravid is allegedly conflicted as he is the National Cricket Academy director and vice-president of India Cements Group, which owns Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings.
The same person had filed similar conflict of interest complaints against Laxman and Tendulkar for their roles as Cricket Advisory Committee members and mentors of IPL franchises Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians respectively.