New Delhi: Former BCCI Committee of Administrators member Ramchandra Guha might have alleged that Rahul Dravid donning the hat of mentor for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and also coaching the India ‘A’ and U-19 team violates the conflict of interest clause, but the COA has backed Dravid and said that the former India skipper is in the clear as he was working as per the existing guidelines on conflict of interest.
Speaking to Cricketnext, a source close to the COA said that it was unfair to blame Dravid because he was only acting on the contract that he was given ahead of this year’s IPL and he had not violated any clause as the COA has been working on the issue and no fresh guideline has been laid down yet.
“While the question of conflict is fair, it is unfair to point fingers at Dravid or any other individual because there was no guideline laid down which stopped the individuals from working with an IPL team and the national team. The COA does realise that it is a case of conflict, but a solution is being worked on. So, as per the contract which Dravid had ahead of this year’s IPL, there is no case of violation,” the source clarified.
“But yes, the COA is working on the issue as a mentor or coach of an IPL franchise might be swayed in decision-making when he is with the national team. So, it is better to keep the two entities separate.”
The COA is planning to put in place a broad and holistic framework to address conflict of interest situations.
Earlier, asserting that he had abided by the prevailing conflict of interest regulations, Dravid has called for more clarity on the issue by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Dravid, who coaches the India ‘A’ and India U-19 sides, is under a 10-month contract with the BCCI so that he can also focus on his other job of being a mentor for the Delhi Daredevils squad in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Apart from Dravid, several other coaches contracted with the BCCI also have a similar arrangement, including India's fielding coach R. Sridhar, national team physio Patrick Farhart and National Cricket Academy chief physio Andrew Leipus. Sridhar and Farhart are involved with the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, while Leipus works with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
"Yes, I have written to the CoA explaining my position and explaining the background against which this perceived conflict of interest has happened," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo.
"By the BCCI's conflict of interest rules, I was absolutely not under a conflict of interest. If the rules have changed midway through the contract, then I think it is unfair to criticise me for breaking the rules or twisting the rules to suit my convenience," he added.
"My simple point is that, not only me but there are five or six of us who are in the same position. There needs to be clarity. If there is clarity, we will be in a position to take an informed decision. It is disappointing the way this got played out in the public without much understanding of the background."