BCCI's Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer Justice (Retd) DK Jain has said that taking leave without pay isn't enough to dodge the conflict of interest issue. Jain was pointing towards the case of former India captain Rahul Dravid, who is currently the head of National Cricket Academy's (NCA) Cricket Operations.
Jain did send a notice addressing to Dravid after he had received a complaint from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) life member Sanjeev Gupta.
“I had received the complaint about Dravid and it had merit that’s why I have sent a notice to him and I’ll wait for his reply,” Jain was quoted by CricketNext. “Taking leave from a job doesn’t mean you don’t hold a post. The rules of conflict are clearly marked out in the BCCI Constitution. I am just following that.”
Dravid is employed as a vice-president by India Cements, the company that owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, and thus he attracts provisions of the conflict of interest rules with his role at the NCA.
It was the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) that had suggested Dravid to present 'leave of absence' from his employer, India cements, which Dravid provided.
However, Jain suggests that as per the rules, taking a leave from work doesn't imply an individual doesn't hold the post. Dravid has been given two weeks to reply to the notice.
The notice sent to India A and U-19 coach has attracted fierce criticism from several quarters. Former India captain and current Cricket Association of Bengal President Sourav Ganguly said that the conflict of interest is becoming “new fashion in Indian cricket”. Incidentally, Ganguly, too, has received notice from the BCCI Ethics Officer in the past for his role as CAB president, mentor of the IPL franchise Delhi Capitals in 2019 and member of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). Later, Ganguly along with fellow members VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar gave up their positions as CAC members.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said sending notices to 'these legends is insulting them'.
The ‘conflict of interest’ clause as well as ‘One Person, One Post’ ruling was added to the new BCCI constitution which came into effect on August 2018. Rule 38 (4) of the BCCI constitution prevents individuals from holding more than one of 16 posts. 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."
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