With the new BCCI regime embarking on a clean-up operation, former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar today termed the ‘Conflict of Interest’ issue as a “myth”, saying he has always spoken his mind irrespective of whether it toes the board’s line or not.
The Shashank Manohar-led board cracked the whip on conflict of interest in the Annunal General Meeting, unveiling a slew of reforms, including the appointment of a retired judge as its ombudsman. When asked to throw light on the conflict issue, Gavaskar said the his analyst role never clashed with any position he has held in BCCI or ICC.
“Transparency is always welcome. Nothing in the BCCI contract that stops me from saying this or that. I always ask where is the ‘Conflict of Interest’? I guess it’s a myth made by parties. Whoever is doing conjectures should understand that there is no conflict of interest as far as my role in the commentary box is concerned,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
“I have always spoken what I have to, irrespective of whether it toes the BCCI line or not. I always criticised Duncan Fletcher, even he was appointed by BCCI right. So there is nothing in our contract that tells us to say this or not say that,” he added.
Gavaskar, who was also appointed interim BCCI chief in 2014 during IPL 7 after N Srinivasan was forced to step aside from his duties, said the conflict of interest never came in his way of work.
“My term was less than 6-8 weeks and it was strictly for IPL. I still believe it was a great honour given to me by the Supreme Court. Thankfully that season went off without a hitch. I held two or three meetings with the captain’s of the sides and then again met them on a couple of points.
“I would also think the team I got was well versed with the organising of the tournament and credit should be given to them,” he said.
Gavaskar has held position in the ICC as well and the batting great said positions have never affected his service to the game as he speaks to serve the sport.
“DRS came when I was in the ICC committee. I was of the firm opinion that decisions should not be between players. Between umpires is fine, but leaving the players to interfere in what is an umpires domain is not good. Now what the nine countries thought was different from what India thought. Can they be wrong. They have their own views,” he said.
Gavaskar though played with a dead bat when asked about Srinivasan, who was dethroned as the ICC chairman with Manohar to complete his term till June 2016, and his contribution to Indian cricket as head of teh board.
“He had experience as far as administration was concerned. Very very difficult to answer that question. Unless you sit in the boardroom, it is difficult to say how good or bad a person was,” Gavaskar said.