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CoA to ‘Wait & Watch’ on KXIP Owner Ness Wadia’s Drugs Conviction

Devadyuti Das |May 1, 2019, 4:58 PM IST
CoA to ‘Wait & Watch’ on KXIP Owner Ness Wadia’s Drugs Conviction

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has decided to adopt a wait and watch approach on the future course of action after the conviction of Ness Wadia, a co-owner of IPL team Kings XI Punjab, in a case of drugs possession. Wadia was recently convicted in Japan and given a two-year suspended jail sentence giving birth to speculation about whether he can continue in his role as a team official for the remainder of the season. The CoA will meet on Friday and deliberate further on the issue.

“The matter has already been reported widely in the media, so the BCCI CEO (Rahul Johri) doesn’t have to apprise us about it. I am sure the matter will be discussed and further course of action will be decided when the CoA meets day after,” CoA member Ravi Thodge told CricketNext.

The IPL 2019 ‘Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials’ defines a ‘team official’ as any person who (a) has been provided an IPL Central Accreditation on behalf of a Team or Franchisee and (b) is a director, secretary, officer, management staff, employee, coach, physio (or other medical personnel) or duly authorized (express or implied) agent of a Team or Franchisee or a consultant to or other person serving in any official capacity for a Team or Franchisee.

In this case, Wadia is one of the directors of Kings XI Punjab.

Article 2.21 of the Code of Conduct deals with all types of conduct that bring the game into disrepute and which is not specifically and adequately covered by the specific offences set out elsewhere in this Code of Conduct, including Article 2.20.

“By way of example, Article 2.21 may (depending upon the seriousness and context of the breach) prohibit, without limitation, the following: (a) public acts of misconduct; (b) unruly public behaviour; and (c) inappropriate comments which are detrimental to the interests of the game,” the Code of Conduct states.

The CoA will now take a call whether Wadia’s indiscretions fall between Level 1 to 4 of offences. According to the new IPL Code of Conduct, BCCI CEO has to direct the matter to Ombudsman DK Jain. With the CoA meeting in New Delhi on Friday, it is unclear yet if they will take action against Wadia themselves or direct the matter to Ombudsman.

Besides Wadia, Bollywood star Preity Zinta, Karan Paul and industrialist Mohit Burman are co-owners and Burman believes Wadia’s conviction will not create any difficulties for the franchise, who are currently second to last on the points table with 10 points in 12 games.

“The team has a professional CEO, COO and coaches. One of the directors getting involved in a case doesn’t have any impact on the day-to-day functioning of the team. The team will focus on winning the rest of their games and give themselves the best chance of reaching the Playoffs,” Burman told CricketNext.

Although the BCCI has taken notice of Wadia’s conviction, Kings XI owners haven’t received any instructions yet to bar Wadia from the dug-out.

“We have not got any instructions from the BCCI that they are cancelling Wadia’s IPL accreditation. We’ll follow any instructions given to us by the BCCI,” Burman added.

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