The Lodha Recommendations was not any about the major administrative overhauling of BCCI. It was about making practices in the cricket industry as transparent and ethical as possible. Per a recommendation those employed with BCCI cannot have another source of income. This marked a sharp target on the present commentators of the board.
Lately, the CoA commented that the commentator’s role as writers and columnists in print media as well as in holistic media would be re-examined. This would potentially end commentator’s freedom to contribute in paid write ups in newspapers. CoA posed a two-pronged ruling which would bar the official commentators of BCCI role as writers of sponsored news columns as well as in participation at sponsored awards and rating programs. These aspects emerged as the practical imposition of the ruling against the issue of conflict of interest.
The recent impositions were decided in the October 24 meeting of the CoA. Presently, BCCI’s official commentators are Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle. They are also famous for their write ups in popular newspapers. Gavaskar was also associated with his own rating agency for cricketers. Earlier, the former captain of India shut down the agency under the obligation of the conflict of interest. The commentators might be asked to choose the option of being a writer or continue being with their official roles in the board. However, this rule would not be applied to Hindi Commentators. In fact, the Hindi Commentators are in contract with Star Sports, not BCCI.
The CoA invoked a recent case of the physiotherapist who was ousted from the job in the Indian Women team only because her brother is an official in a state association. The committee mentioned they have now become “very strict” with the conflict of interest issue. Apart from the odds for BCCI commentators, they have a positive news. The Board has increased the “dearness allowance” of commentators from rupees 3000 to 4000 per day.
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