On Thursday, the rechristened Delhi IPL franchise, Delhi Capitals, roped in Sourav Ganguly as the team advisor for the upcoming edition of the T20 league, commencing on March 23. On the face of it, the association of Ganguly – the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president – with an IPL franchise could be a case of conflict of interest. But Delhi Capitals said the former India captain has the Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) approval. Ganguly also stressed that as CAB president, he is in no way influencing anything in the IPL and that the position is purely honorary. He added that he has stepped down from all BCCI and IPL committees.
"No, this is not conflict. I have stepped down from all the committees; the BCCI technical committee and the IPL technical committee. I have followed the rules. I don’t see any conflict, because as CAB president I don’t influence anything concerned to the IPL. This is also an advisory role, Ricky Ponting is the head, and it’s an honorary role," Ganguly told The Indian Express.
"What is conflict? If I’m a BCCI administrator and I get into the IPL, then it’s a conflict. I had been a player. It is the (former) player that has been given the job," he added.
Asked about his role, Ganguly said: "As an advisor, I will help Ricky (Ponting). Ricky is the boss, he is the head coach. I will help Ricky. Ricky and me are great friends actually."
Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra said the ex-India skipper has the CoA’s go-ahead. "Sourav has already taken approval from the CoA. It was only after he received all clearances from the BCCI that he agreed to be the advisor with us. He was in the technical committee of the IPL which he has resigned from. So there’s no conflict at all. We have tried to make a lot of changes (this season) to make sure that we are a more dynamic team," Malhotra told this paper.
CoA head Vinod Rai didn’t take calls, nor did he reply to a text message.
Meanwhile, with regards to conflict of interest, Clause 38. (1) (i) of the new BCCI constitution says: "Direct or Indirect Interest: When the BCCI, a Member, the IPL or a Franchise enter into contractual agreements with entities in which the inpidual concerned or his/her relative , partner or close associate 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 inpidual’s participation, performance and discharge of roles".
In the past, Rahul Dravid mentoring Delhi Daredevils while coaching the India A and U-19 teams had come under the scanner. It was seen as potential conflict and eventually the CoA came up with the directive that no India coach could be part of any IPL franchise. More recently, Vikram Rathour’s appointment as the batting coach of the India A and U-19 teams was put on hold because Rathour is the brother-in-law of current India U-19 selector Ashish Kapoor, and his appointment could have been a case of conflict of interest. Gary Kirsten was deemed ineligible to become the Indian women’s team coach because the former South Africa opener refused to give up his position as head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore.