The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to have the Indian international captains declare that they do not have any conflict of interest when it comes to the agency managing them and other players of the team.
The Justice (retd) R M Lodha Committee, which was tasked by the Supreme Court with suggesting reforms in BCCI, had called for a vigorous agent registration system to safeguard players’ interests and eliminate a conflict of interest. The committee also pushed for the agencies to be vetted by the anti-corruption unit.
“The committee has clearly mentioned in the recommendations on how to keep the player-agent relationship out of conflicts. If the reforms are used as per their convenience, it will lead to nothing. You can’t use the reforms in bits and pieces. Everyone who is involved with the game should be conflict-free and that is the essence of the recommendations. You have to disclose all the conflicts and that includes the captain, coach, commentators, support staff, administrators, managers, employees, agents and other stakeholders of the game,” Justice Lodha told TOI
“It is even better to ask the captain to make full disclosure about the other players who are being managed by his agency. In that way, the conflict can be eradicated as the captain will not have a say when a discussion about those players comes up in a selection meeting,” a source told TOI.
A big section of BCCI is interested in Indian captains declaring all possible conflict of interests pertaining to agencies managing players. Not only players, but coaches, commentators, support staff, administrators, and BCCI employees have been asked to give an undertaking about a possible conflict of interests.
A far fetch opinion is that if an agency is managing the Indian captain, then it should not be allowed to manage any other Indian players in the team.
Before this proposal, BCCI employees were asked to give an undertaking on the issue of conflict of interest. A general manager was asked to reveal everything or be punished for any fact hidden by him.
The conflict rules, uploaded on the BCCI website and also submitted to the Supreme Court, clearly state that no commercial interest should be allowed to be pursued – be it by a BCCI employee or cricketer. But the newly drafted BCCI constitution has no such provision to take any such undertaking from the players.
The CoA had set up a three-member committee - BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, former Maharashtra Cricket Association president Abhay Apte and Cricket Association of Bengal’s secretary Abhishek Dalmiya to look into conflict of interest issues and suggest guidelines but the panel never met. There are even rumors that the committee doesn’t exist anymore.
However, a section of members feels that “Why should we alone be accountable? Why not the players and captains too?” and these issues might come up during the BCCI general elections.