When BCCI President Sourav Ganguly posted on Instagram on Saturday wearing a JSW Cement t-shirt with the caption “at work”, it raised a potential conflict of interest situation. Ganguly is the company’s brand ambassador.
JSW Sports, the sports vertical of the JSW Group, is, along with the GMR Group, the joint owner of the IPL team Delhi Capitals. JSW Cement’s MD Parth Jindal, according to the JSW website, serves as Chairman of JSW GMR Cricket Pvt Ltd and oversees the management of the Delhi IPL franchise.
He is regularly seen in the dugout during matches of the Delhi Captials team and is also a vital decision-maker at IPL auctions. As BCCI chief, Ganguly attends the IPL’s governing council meetings.
Ganguly, who has been mentor of Delhi Capitals, said his role as brand ambassador of JSW Cement didn’t overlap with his role as BCCI president.
“How do I influence? I am not brand ambassador of JSW Sports (which handles Delhi Capitals in IPL). I don’t think the cement company is a sponsor of the (Delhi Capitals) team. I don’t see any conflict in it. I am not associated with their cricket; had I been, it would have been a conflict,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by The Sunday Express.
The BCCI constitution says, “When the BCCI, a Member, the IPL or a Franchisee enter into contractual arrangements with entities in which the individual concerned or his/her relative, partner, or close associates has an interest. This is to include cases where family members, partners or close associates are in positions that may, or may be seen to compromise an individual’s participation, performance and discharge of roles.”
Last year in October, Ganguly took over as BCCI president and said he has resigned as mentor of Delhi Capitals, but still endorses the online cricket fantasy league My11Circle.
The former India captain has in the past expressed his reservations on the conflict-of-interest clause in the BCCI constitution saying that the current clause could end up excluding the best brains in cricket administration.