New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) buried the ghost of uncertainty surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL), cricket's richest tournament, by selecting two franchisees from Pune and Rajkot to replace the banned Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals amidst rumours of a perceptive conflict of interest.

Rahul Mehra. Pic/AFP
Rahul Mehra. Pic/AFP

Kolkata tycoon Sanjeev Goenka, who bought New Rising for the Pune franchisee, has former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly — a member of the IPL governing committee and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president — his partner in his football venture, Atletico de Kolkata, the defending champions of the Indian Super League (ISL).

Seasoned lawyer Rahul Mehra said prima facie it looked like a conflict of interest because of Ganguly's involvement with Goenka in a sporting venture. "If Ganguly was out of cricket and only into soccer, this association would have passed the roster. But because he is a CAB president and deeply involved with the board and IPL, someone could easily raise this question."

Former Indian skipper Bishan Singh Bedi refused to comment on the issue, saying, "I am least bothered about the product called IPL".

Many courtroom battles over the perception of conflict of interest involving Indian skipper MS Dhoni and his event management company, Rhiti Sports and the then BCCI President N Srinivasan heading the CSK.