Sunil Gavaskar and few other former Indian cricketers may have a tough call to make     Getty Images
Sunil Gavaskar and few other former Indian cricketers may have a tough call to make Getty Images

Looks like some of the former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Zaheer Khan, Murali Karthik, Sanjay Manjrekar etc are going to face the heat. If Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) adopts Lodha Committee’s recommendations on conflict of interest issues, it may well lead to these former players choosing between writing sponsored coloumns or commentating for BCCI.

According to a meeting Committee of Administrators (CoA) on October 24, it has been decided that “the contracts between BCCI and its commentators should be examined to see if they permitted BCCI commentators write sponsored columns for newspapers, and or participate in sponsored awards/rating programmes.”

Lodha Committee states

“As per Lodha Committee guidelines on conflict of interest, those employed with the BCCI can’t have another source of income. We’ve become very strict with conflict of interest issues — recently, a physiotherapist with the Indian women’s team had to quit her job because her brother is an official with a state association. CoA will have a look at their contracts, but the final call on this issue will be taken by a Supreme Court-appointed ombudsman, as and when he’s appointed by the apex court,” a top BCCI official told Times of India.

Not the same for Hindi commentators

The same rule won’t be applicable to the Hindi commentators since they are employed under Star Sports, and not directly involved with BCCI. This means a green signal to the likes of VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag who can continue to pen sponsored columns (in particular, Laxman) and appear on various private-owned news channels (for instance, Sehwag) to share their cricketing views.