With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman D.K. Jain dismissing charges of conflict against Sachin Tendulkar, board officials believe the same course of action is likely in the cases of the two other members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) — Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman. The three had been questioned for holding positions in the CAC as well as working with IPL franchises. While Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member Sanjeev Gupta had raised questions of conflict against Tendulkar and Laxman, Ganguly’s position was brought to Jain’s notice by Bengal-based cricket fans — Bhaswati Shantua, Abhijeet Mukherjee and Ranjit Seal.
Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that not just Tendulkar, none of the CAC members were given terms of reference by the Committee of Administrators (CoA). So, it was likely that both Laxman and Ganguly would also be freed of any charges of conflict. “No terms of reference were ever communicated to any of the members of the CAC by the CoA and therefore on this set of facts the verdict regarding the others is also likely to be same as Sachin’s verdict,” the official said.
Tendulkar’s legal team had earlier said: “(He/Tendulkar) wishes to reiterate that he has been requesting the BCCI since the inception of the CAC that the terms of reference and his tenure be furnished to him. “He has requested this repeatedly and several times over the years including as recently as December 7, 2018. He is now left with no other choice but to communicate to BCCI that until and unless the BCCI furnishes the terms of reference and tenure of his appointment in CAC, he has decided to not be part of any committee of the BCCI including CAC.”
While Jain is yet to give his verdict with regards to Laxman and Ganguly, in Tendulkar’s case, the ombudsman wrote: “In my view, in the light of the afore-extracted statement made on behalf of Sachin Tendulkar, (…) the issue of whether there is any ‘conflict of interest’ on part of Tendulkar does not arrive and the ethics officer need not go into the said allegation.” Laxman had also hinted at the lack of clarity from the CoA with regards to the functioning of the CAC in his letter to Jain.
“On December 7, 2018, we had written to the Committee of Administrators requesting them to clarify the scope of our role and responsibilities. To this date, there has been no reply. Since no tenure had been mentioned in the letter of intent issued in 2015, it was only reasonable to expect some communication on whether the CAC was still in existence. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been forthcoming,” Laxman’s legal team had written.
As for Ganguly, he had told the ombudsman that he is ready to leave his position in the CAC if that amounts to any conflict.