EXCLUSIVE | Have to Rejig Rules: Kumble Backs Ganguly in Conflict of Interest Debate
Former Indian captain and coach Anil Kumble has backed new BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s call that the provisions of the conflict of interest clause in the BCCI’s new constitution need to be revisited. Speaking to CricketNext, Kumble asserted that in its present form the provisions are too restrictive and substantially diminish the ability of former cricketers to contribute to the system.
Several former players including Ganguly himself, besides Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid have been served notices by the BCCI ethics officer in recent times.
As per Rule 38 (4) of the new BCCI constitution, 16 roles have been identified wherein "no individual may occupy more than one”. Ganguly has repeatedly said that if the rules are not amended he is convinced that the best cricketers will not be available to serve in positions where their expertise is invaluable. Kumble supported that view whole-heartedly.
“I'm of the firm belief that you need to look at the conflict of interest clauses because as it stands, you can't have any cricketer come in and do anything,” Kumble said.
“It's very difficult. I think the other thing also is the education around the conflict of interest clause. That's something that Sourav and his team will be looking at. Yes, one is to look at the clauses and try and re-jig, to have a better sense of what's applicable in the corporate world, the same to be applicable in the cricketing world.
"The other thing is the awareness around conflict of interest in cricket. I think that's somewhere where there's a lot of misrepresentation, about how it's all being dealt with and that's something that needs to be cleared as well.”
Kumble and Ganguly were long standing teammates for India and played under each other as captains of the national team too. Kumble also had a stint in administration when he served as President of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) from 2010-13 and believes the administrative experience Ganguly would have garnered as President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) over the last five years will hold him in good stead as BCCI President.
Kumble also said that he hoped Ganguly could get more than the 10 months he has in the role before the mandatory cooling-off period begins as that would be “ideal” for Indian cricket.
“It's wonderful news for all of us cricketers to see another cricketer become the BCCI chief,” he said. “We've seen the capabilities of Sourav at managing people, as a player, as an administrator for CAB and now the BCCI. So, he has it in him to manage that responsibility really well.
"I think the challenge would be the time that he has, I hope he gets more time than the 10 months. If he can manage to get a full term, that'll be ideal for Indian cricket. He has all that takes to be BCCI's president and I'm really happy for him.
“I'm hopeful that in his tenure, we'll see some wonderful initiatives. He's already spoken about making sure that the focus is on domestic cricket, and that's something I'm sure Dada will be looking into. He’s certainly looked at all the key issues. He knows it, he's been a player of repute for a long period of time.
"He's been in the administration. So, yes, BCCI had a tough time over the last 3 years. So, I'm really glad that someone like a Sourav has come in at the right time.
“Having an administrative responsibility and the experience of running an association, for 3-5 years, I think certainly will come in handy. Playing is totally different to running an association. The challenges are very different, you need to be hands-on and Sourav has done that with Bengal cricket.
"So, it won't be any different. Of course, it's not the same as day-to-day operations that you carry out with State associations.
“BCCI has a much larger role, it's not just about managing Indian cricket but also managing World cricket in terms of the responsibility that BCCI has with ICC. So, that's something I'm sure Sourav would want to emphasise, the relationship between BCCI and ICC, something that would be on the top of his list.”