In a surprise move, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators has decided to relook the current prohibition on India chief coach Ravi Shastri and India ‘A’ and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid from commentating in the Indian Premier League. The move has in fact shocked even the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials as this comes in direct contrast to the recommendation of the Lodha Committee which under the conflict of interest clause made it clear that the likes of Shastri and Dravid cannot be commentating (dual role) during the cash-rich league as they already hold important positions with the national and ‘A’ team.
The Lodha panel recommendations had made it clear that contracted coaches should not perform dual roles as it amounts to conflict of interest. In fact, Dravid was given a 12-month contract in 2017 after his previous contract with the ‘A’ and U-19 teams was for 10-months, having a 2-month window for the Indian Premier League.
Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official member said: “COA's decision to take a relook at the conflict of interest rules in order to consider allowing Shastri and Dravid to commentate in the IPL is yet another evidence of their capricious conduct. They have not been honest to their job and have looked at everything through the prism of bias and as a result, though they are supervising the administration of the BCCI, their thinking is adversarial to the board and this reeks of dishonesty in their actions.
“A prime example is their suo moto decision to disallow those disqualified from being office bearers to participate in even committee meetings of the BCCI while specifically asking N Ram to be a part of the committee even though he is above 70 and disqualified to be an office bearer. Additionally nothing can be more hypocritical than Vinod Rai chairing the COA meeting despite having turned a sweet 70 while himself having spared no effort to disallow everyone else who is a shade over 70. This is like the behaviour of the child who wants to bat twice merely because he owns the bat.”
Another official echoed the sentiments and said that the committee has not been honest in carrying out the job at hand and that has created unwanted mess.
“They have themselves stated that they agree with a few impracticalities like the presence of the CAG representative on the Board. However, the insincerity in their conduct and shades of vindictiveness prevent them from truthfully expressing these issues,” he explained.
The CoA in its meeting on April 12 decided that the head coach of the senior men’s team and the head coach of the India ‘A’ and U-19 teams should not engage in commentating during the 11th edition of the IPL, but there was a twist. The CoA decided to separately consider whether a submission should be made to the Supreme Court to re-look the conflict of interest provisions under the draft memorandum of association and rules and regulations of BCCI recommended by the Lodha committee insofar as the same are not in the interests of Indian cricket.
In other developments, the CoA has also decided to rework the fees of the curators. There are 5 zonal curators and 5 assistant curators who are currently paid fees of Rs 6 lakh per annum and the assistant curators are paid Rs 4.2 lakh per annum. The fee was fixed in 2012 and has not been increased since then. It was decided that the zonal curators will be given Rs 12 lakh while the assistant curators are given Rs 8.4 lakh. The BCCI is also considering engaging more assistant curators as per the recommendation of GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim.