Kolkata: Enlisted commentators of the BCCI which includes the legendary Sunil Gavaskar would now have to sign an undertaking that would assure that they don’t have any, ‘conflict of interest’ going by the recommendations of the Lodha Committee.
The Indian board has shortlisted four commentators-Sunil Gavaskar, Murli Kartik, Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle.
But the BCCI officially didn’t name these four as Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji said that the rules pertaining to the, ‘conflict of interest’ needs to be looked into.
“We have discussed the names but it has not been finalised. We need to look into the Conflict of Interest rules properly. We still don’t know who’s having what interest,” said Edulji.
An official confirmed that the BCCI has finalised all the names but these four commentators would have to sign an undertaking which would ask them to announce the fact that they do not have any relationship to the Players’ Management Firm.
He said, “The BCCI does not want to take any chances. The Lodha Panel reforms states clearly that one needs to ensure that anyone associated with the BCCI does not have any Conflict of Interest. We must remember that former COA member Ramchandra Guha, in his resignation letter, had referred to Gavaskar’s involvement with Professional Management Group.”
This ‘conflict of interest’ issue was sparked off by former CoA member Ramachandra Guha who, in his resignation letter attacked Sunil Gavaskar and many others for their alleged involvement in the same.
“Sunil Gavaskar is head of a company, which represents Indian cricketers while commenting on those cricketers as part of the BCCI TV commentary panel. This is a clear conflict of interest. Either he must step down/withdraw himself from PMG completely or stop being a commentator for BCCI,” read the letter.
Gavaskar, was left disappointed that his integrity had been brought to question and had retorted back saying, “It’s very disappointing that they are doubting my integrity and contribution to Indian cricket. Is there something particular against me that Ram Guha has named me in public?.”
Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle would however make a comeback after his name was scrapped off the list of commentators when some Indian team stars were left unhappy with his on-air critical comments during their World T20 match against Bangladesh.
As a result of this, Bhogle wasn’t included into the commentary team for a good part of 2016 and the earlier part of 2017.