The Justice (retd) RM Lodha Committee had, while revising the constitution of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), said that conflict of interest was an issue in the administration of the game in the country. That saw quite a few former cricketers, including current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, having to relinquish multiple posts. Now, Sanjeev Gupta has questioned current India skipper Virat Kohli’s position in a mail to Ethics Officer DK Jain.
Gupta wrote about Kohli’s business ventures in the mail. He said that it came across as a violation of the Lodha Panel recommendations that the Supreme Court had approved during the registration of the new BCCI constitution. “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).
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According to the complaint ‘Kohli holds two posts. He is a player and captain of the Indian team. He is also a director of a sports marketing company, which contracts fellow Indian cricketers’.
The complainant said that Kohli was a director in Virat Kohli Sports LLP and Cornerstone Ventures Partners LLP as well. His fellow directors in these companies, Gupta complained, are directors of Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment Private Limited, which manages the Indian captain’s commercial interests and also signs other cricketers. To substantiate his claim, Gupta submitted ‘proofs’ for the BCCI ethics officer’s consideration.
Sanjeev Gupta had earlier made conflict-of-interest complaints against Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid.
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Furthermore, the complainant has submitted proofs to the BCCI ethics officer to justify his allegations. Kohli, like all international cricketers of the country, is currently spending his time at home in the absence of cricketing seasons.
The Indian skipper had last appeared in action during India’s tour of New Zealand. After flagging off the tour with T20I series victory, India suffered thumping defeats in the subsequent ODI and Test series. Kohli was also set to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore in the thirteenth edition of the IPL. However, the cash-rich league was indefinitely postponed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.