Shantha Rangaswamy quits CAC after getting conflict of interest notice

The Times of India

The Times of India

Author 2019-09-30 11:11:00

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  • On Sunday, Rangaswamy immediately quit the CAC after receiving the notice.
  • The earlier CAC, comprising Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman too had to quit due to the similar complaints against them.
  • Interestingly, all the complaints are being filed by one man, Sanjeev Gupta, a member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.
MUMBAI/BENGALURU: The burning issue of conflict of interest is threatening to hit Indian cricket hard. Even as he gets ready to announce his verdict on whether batting legend Rahul Dravid is conflicted or not in his role as the National Cricket Academy director, BCCI ombudsman DK Jain has thrown a googly at the Board's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), sending conflict of interest notices to all its three members - the legendary Kapil Dev, former India opener Anushuman Gaekwad, and former India women's captain Shantha Rangaswamy.

On Sunday, Rangaswamy immediately quit the CAC after receiving the notice.

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Citing her reason for quitting the committee that chose Ravi Shastri as the India chief coach in July, Rangaswamy told TOI: "It was a bit disturbing to receive this notice. I didn't want to embarrass people who appointed me. It was an honour for me to be recognised. I was the first woman cricketer to be a part of the CAC. CAC meets once in two-three years. If that's looked at as a conflict of interest, I don't know where things are headed."

The earlier CAC, comprising Indian cricket's greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman too had to quit due to the similar complaints against them. Interestingly, all the complaints are being filed by one man, Sanjeev Gupta, a member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA).

"I can understand people complaining, but if the ethics officer sends this notice, it's an endorsement of the complaint that we're wrong. Therefore, keeping ethics in mind, I felt that I should quit," Rangaswamy lamented.

The notice to Rangaswamy mentioned her holding two posts, in the CAC, while being a director in the newly formed Indian Cricketers Association (ICA). She has quit her ICA post too. "I, Kapil and Ajit Agarkar became promotee directors/signatories of ICA for the purpose of registering the constitution of the association till such time that the BCCI elections are held. It was an honorary service, not paid. If this is construed as conflict of interest, I can assure you that everything and everyone is conflicted," she lamented. "For example, if you commentate, you will be targeted and told to quit the Board/state association, even if commentating is your bread and butter."

"You eat with your left hand, instead of right, and it will become a conflict. It's all becoming weird and absurd. Conflict of interest needs to be redefined, if the BCCI wants quality cricketers, I mean people with integrity, those who've a clean record, to be a part of it. Otherwise, you'll not get good people in the Board," she felt. "I hope that the newly-elected body of the BCCI addresses this issue and there's clarity on it," she added.

The conflict allegation against Gaekwad is that he is running an academy in Baroda and he was a part of the Board's affiliation committee too. "The affiliation committee wound up long back. My son runs the academy, and not me. Why should my son or anyone be denied to earn his livelihood because I'm associated with the Board? This conflict issue has gone too far. You're challenging the integrity of those who've played for India for many years," fumed Gaekwad.

Ready for a new challenge

Meanwhile, Shantha, who is in the fray for the managing committee post in the institutional member category of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), is looking to break barriers yet again.

The 65-year-old is a cricketer of many firsts including the first woman to lead the Indian cricket team, to win a Test series, to score a six and receive the BCCI lifetime achievement award. On Thursday, she could become the first woman to contest and win an election at the KSCA. "I heeded requests to contest the elections as an institutional member because I wanted to breach the male bastion," explained Shantha.
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