Millennium Post

Conflict conundrum: Dravid asked to depose before ethics officer on September 26

New Delhi: Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been asked to depose in person to explain the conflict of interest allegations against him on September 26 by BCCI Ethics Officer D K Jain.

Jain confirmed to PTI that Dravid will present his case on September 26 in Mumbai.

Dravid is currently the Director of National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, besides being a vice-president in the India Cements group, which owns the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

"Natural justice demands that he be heard in person and that is why he has been called to depose," a BCCI official told PTI.

The 46-year-old former batting mainstay was the head coach of the India A and Under-19 teams before being handed the NCA role, which would include monitoring the progress of these two sides as well.

The complaint against Dravid, by Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) life member Sanjeev Gupta, alleges that there is conflict in interest in Dravid's role as NCA head and being an India Cements employee.

Former Supreme Court judge Jain had asked Dravid to respond in writing, which he has already done.

As per the BCCI constitution, no individual can hold more than one post at the same time. BCCI employee Mayank Parikh, who too faces of conflict of interest allegations, will also depose on the same day.

A part of the operations team in the BCCI, Parikh is also associated with multiple clubs, with voting rights, in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

In his written reply, it has been learnt that Dravid has defended himself saying he has taken leave of absence from employers India Cements and he has nothing to do with the Chennai Super Kings.

The notice sent to Dravid had not gone down well with the likes of greats like Sourav Ganguly, who went to the extent of saying "god help Indian cricket".

Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh too had echoed Ganguly's view.

"New fashion in indian cricket .....conflict of interest ....Best way to remain in news ...god help indian cricket ......Dravid Gets Conflict of Interest Notice from BCCI Ethics Officer," Ganguly had tweeted.

The notice to Dravid also led to an extensive meeting between former players and Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket.

The likes of former captain Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Parthiv Patel and Rohan Gavaskar attended the meeting in person while Ganguly joined in via Skype.

After the meeting, it was decided that a white paper will be prepared on conflict of interest and submitted to the Supreme Court. The CoA had conceded that it is facing problems in implementing the conflict of interest guidelines in the Lodha committee reforms.

"Till the time Supreme Court doesn't decide on the matter, the existing conflict of interest rule in the constitution stands," a BCCI official told PTI.

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