Justice (retd) DK Jain, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s ombudsman and ad-hoc ethics officer, has asked Sourav Ganguly to clear his stand on allegations of conflict of interest regarding his role as IPL franchise Delhi Capitals’ adviser while also serving as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
There have been more than one complaints filed by cricket fans on how Sourav, as the CAB president, can sit in the Delhi Capitals dugout during their IPL match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, at Eden Gardens on April 12.
“Yes, I have asked Sourav Ganguly to respond to the complaints with regards to conflict of interest as Delhi Capitals adviser and the state association president,” Justice Jain said on Tuesday.
“He has been given seven days to file his reply,” he added.
However, Justice Jain clarified that he is not concerned about any specific match, that is the April 12 tie, and that he considers it to be a general complaint.
“I am not concerned about any specific match. It’s a general complaint about his alleged conflict of interest and he needs to clear his stand,” added Justice Jain.
Two Bengal-based cricket fans, Ranjit Seal and Bhaswati Shantua, in separate communications to Justice Jain had raised the matter of conflict of interest in Sourav’s case.
Sourav, at the time of accepting Delhi Capitals’ offer, had made it clear that he had spoken to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and that he was convinced that it was not a case of conflict of interest.
But the complainants thought differently.
“I would… like to draw your kind attention that on 12th April, 2019, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals match will be played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. KKR is the local franchisee (sic), who are closely associated with the Cricket Association of Bengal,” Seal, one of the complainants, wrote in his letter.
“Sir, is it practically possible — in one hand CAB president is supporting the local franchisee (sic) to conduct the match administratively and in another way (on the other hand), CAB president is sitting with the team officials of Delhi Capitals as an adviser?”
Sourav didn’t respond to a text message on Tuesday .
However, prior to joining the Delhi Capitals as an adviser, Sourav had dismissed all talk of conflict of interest.
“The franchise had contacted me about two months back… But I was not sure if I would take up the role as I was in multiple BCCI committees. But I have pulled myself out of all such committees. So there’s no conflict of interest there.
“And as the CAB president, I cannot influence the IPL in any way, so there’s no conflict of interest there either.”
When he was asked if he had to get the nod from the CoA before taking up the role, Sourav had said: “Well, they know about the matter. They haven’t said anything about it.”