Conflict of Interest rule has to be practical, Rathour’s case ridiculous: Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly (AFP Photo)

What’s common between India legends Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid? Besides playing in the same era, the ‘Fab Four’ have been dragged into several Conflict of Interest allegations which has brought the contentious issue in the spotlight.

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Tendulkar and Laxman were the first to receive Conflict of Interest complaints against them for their dual roles as Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) members as well as mentor/icon of their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises – Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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Ganguly was the next to face the music for being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president as well as the mentor of Delhi Capitals. Dravid was the last among to receive a complaint for being the NCA Director and also employed as vice-president of India Cements group, which owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

Ganguly, who has earlier voiced his resentment against the clause, has called for more clarity, rather than creating exceptions for certain cricketers.

“I wouldn’t say an exception be made to the rule, but the rule has to be practical,” Ganguly said on the sidelines of an event. “What is conflict of interest? Today Rahul Dravid is appointed NCA head and there are issues about his conflict of interest of his job with India Cements, so you got to be practical on that. You never know whether you would become NCA head or not. Three years later, you may not remain the NCA head, but these jobs are permanent.”

The left-handed batsman-turned-commentator does not see his commentary stint with a renowned broadcaster as a conflict. “Even when you do commentary or coaching, I don’t see it as a conflict of interest. Look at Ricky Ponting, he coaches Australia and commentates. In the month of April next year, he will be with Delhi Capitals (as a coaching staff). I really don’t consider this as a conflict of interest because these are skill-based. You get picked because of your skill. Conflict of Interest has to be more precise otherwise everything is going to be conflict,” he explained.

Ganguly also reckoned Vikram Rathour, now leading the race to be the next batting coach to replace the incumbent Sanjay Bangar, has no conflict of interest. Rathour’s appointment has come under the scanner as he faces a potential Conflict of Interest charge since his brother-in-law Aashish Kapoor is the Junior Chairman of selectors.

“I was reading in the newspaper that Vikram too is now facing conflict with Aashish Kapoor being a junior selector. I find it ridiculous. If somebody else is a junior selector and somebody else is batting coach, how does it create an influence and how does it become a conflict? These things need to be a bit clearer. I am a firm believer that skills have to be kept separate because you cannot influence skills. It’s about one’s judgement of who’s better and who is not better,” he said.