Will Mumbai Cricket Association look into conflict of interest?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) laid down exhaustive rules to prevent conflict of interest thanks to the Supreme Court’s intervention in cricket administration last year.
The BCCI has also taken some tough decisions recently like dropping Roger Binny from the senior selection panel as his son Stuart is part of the Indian team and removing Ravi Shastri from the Indian Premier League governing council since he is the Indian team’s Director.
An U-14 West Zone championship match between Mumbai and Gujarat played at Wankhede Stadium in 2014. PIC/Mid-day Archives
However, the 159-page Lodha committee report clearly pointed out that, "many of the ills befalling Indian cricket find their roots in the State Associations."
With conflict of interest issues being at the heart of recent controversies, mid-day highlights some possible conflicts within the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
Several selectors at the junior level are officially part of clubs or coaching clinics, while some junior coaches are either attached to schools or coaching centres. Mumbai U-16 selector Bimesh Shah is also a coach at Poisar Gymkhana (Kandivli), while his co-selector Nilesh Bhosale is a coach at Chandrakant Pandit Coaching Clinic (Andheri).
U-14 selector Suresh Shetty is associated with Payyade Sports Club (Kandivli). Mumbai U-14 coach Prashant Shetty is a full-time coach with Dhirubhai Ambani International School (Bandra-Kurla Complex), while U-12 coach Dinesh Lad coaches Swami Vivekanand International School (Borivli) and also runs a private academy.
However, Shah does not feel there is any conflict of interest in his case. "I am coaching the age group of U-12 or above 19. I do not coach U-16s for which I am a selector. Also, the kids that we coach at Poisar Gymkhana are not very regular," he said.
Suresh Shetty clarified that he is not officially coaching Payyade SC. "I am just a consultant with Payyade club… like a helping hand. Ever since I’ve been appointed as a selector, I don’t coach anywhere,"
he said. U-14 coach Prashant Shetty said: "The coach has no vote in selection. I get the team which the selectors pick."
He did admit to there being a bit of conflict of interest in his case though. "Sort of… but one has to also look for a steady income. A coaching contract is just for a year or two. Once you leave it (job), you can’t get it back. There has to be a permanent solution (if coaches have to be associated with only one team)."
Bhosale refused to comment, citing a MCA clause that does not permit him to talk to the press. Lad remained unavailable for comment.