File image of Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)
NEW DELHI: The Lodha Committee, while reworking the Constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had clearly mentioned that conflict of interest is an area that needs to be fought hard for better administration of the gentleman’s game. And that has seen quite a few former cricketers, including current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, having to relinquish multiple posts. And now, current India skipper Virat Kohli‘s position has been questioned by Sanjeev Gupta in a mail to Ethics Officer DK Jain.
A member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, Gupta is known to be well versed with the BCCI constitution and has in the past raised conflict-of-interest issues against icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
In a mail accessed by IANS, Gupta has spoken about Kohli’s business ventures and said that it comes across that it is in violation of the Lodha Panel recommendations that were approved by the Supreme Court while the new BCCI Constitution was registered.
“Virat Kohli is occupying two posts at a time in blatant violation to BCCI Rule 38(4) approved by Supreme Court Of India. As such, he must relinquish his one post at once in compliance, his two posts are covered as under – A – 38(4)(a) – Player. B – 38(4)( o ) – Contractual Entity, to be read with BCCI Rule 38(1) (iii).
“I humbly solicit Learned Ethics Officer to forthwith pass the order directing Virat Kohli to give away one of his post, at once, in compliance to BCCI Constitution dated 21.08.18 Rule Number 38(4) (Approved by Apex Court ) .
“My sole pure intent behind filing each & every precise/factual complaint is for 100% compliance of Lodha Reforms & Supreme Court-approved BCCI Constitution without any personal agenda & without any vested interest . I am least bothered about the persona/aura of the individual, as I am only bothered for 10 % compliance. No individual, how Rich / Big / Influential / Powerful one is, can never be above the law of the Land. ‘The Supreme Court’ verdict , every body has to Respect, Accept & 100% comply forthwith & fall in line.
“Nothing to attain & nothing of mine at stake, it is Supreme Court verdicts sanctity & compliance at stake, for which I am all alone combating day in & day out for last 4 years & will continue to do so till my mind & body will support said noble cause/intent without any fear / favour / influence / assistance / influence. I have not & will not leave any stone unturned for the same,” he wrote.
Gupta, in his mail, has mentioned the Indian captain’s involvement with VIRAT KOHLI SPORTS LLP company, which has two Directors/Owners namely Virat Kohli & Amit Arun Sajdeh, and CORNERSTONE VENTURE PARTNERS LLP, which has three Directors/Owners namely Virat Kohli, Amit Arun Sajdeh and Binoy Bharat Khimji.
‘Attempt to derail BCCI’
Speaking to IANS about the complaints over the last couple of years, a BCCI executive said that the pattern is clearly visible. Adding that this is a clear effort to create nuisance and blackmail those who have served the nation with aplomb.
“One look at the complaint email and you know it is motivated. Someone is clearly trying to attack the office-bearers of the BCCI and now the captain of Indian team for some hidden reason. With what has happened over the last 6 years, this pattern is clearly visible.
“I mean just see at the number of addressees on the email and the language, the intention is clearly to scream off the rooftops to malign people who are successful. There’s clearly some motivation. For these kinds of complaints, the concept of locus standii should be a necessity. Otherwise there will be no end to nuisance and blackmail,” the executive pointed.
Commenting on turn of events, a former India player said that these are things that help miscreants who wish to fix games get into the picture.
“Can you really rule out the involvement of the betting syndicate in all this? More the confusion better the scenario for the unwanted elements. It is an attempt to derail BCCI both on and off the field,” the cricketer said.
Sources close to the Indian skipper in the know of developments said that the whole turn of events is sad.
“Our cricketers have a shelf life and they have to earn what they can during that period. Such kind of malicious complaints will start playing on their minds and performances will suffer. Such people are only interested in publicity with no care for the impact such insinuations can have on the players and their families. These complications are not good for the game and only give rise to ‘babudom’,” he rued.