Mumbai: Top English language commentators contracted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have to choose between commentary and writing newspaper columns, if the board decides to adopt Justice RM Lodha-led panel's recommendations, The Times of India has reported.
Apart from Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar, other BCCI-contracted commentators include former left-arm spinner Murali Kartik and cricket expert Harsha Bhogle.
Besides writing sponsored columns, Gavaskar is contracted with a news channel, and is also associated with a private firm that rates and awards cricketers. Manjrekar and Bhogle write sponsored columns.
According to the minutes of a meeting of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that took place on 24 October, the CoA has decided that "the contracts between the BCCI and its commentators should be examined to see if they permitted BCCI commentators to 1) write sponsored columns for newspapers, and/or 2) participate in sponsored awards/ rating programmes."
It must be noted that former member of CoA Ramachandra Guha, in his resignation letter, had cited Gavaskar's example to illustrate the issue of conflict of interest in the BCCI. The diktat, if employed, will not be applicable to Hindi commentators – VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag – as they are contracted with Star Sports.