In the past 10 months, retired Justice AP Shah, the ombudsman appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has been flooded with complaints alleging conflict of interest against administrators, members, coaches, selectors and cricketers.
The ombudsman has passed an order in six cases out of the in 38 complaints till Sunday. However, when the daily newspaper Hindustan Times examined whether the ombudsman’s orders have been implemented, it was noticed that the orders have either been ignored or not completely put into practice thus raising a serious concern.
In one of the most blatant cases of sidestepping Shah’s directives, the ombudsman had directed former India cricketer Amay Khurasiya, in case his contract with the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association is renewed as a coach/selector/or any other official position, he will have to “give an undertaking to the MPCA that he is not, and shall not, run/ associate himself with any cricket academy; such an undertaking must be placed on the website of the MPCA; Khurasiya must post on his personal Facebook account that he is not associated with the Amay Khurasiya Cricket Academy in any way.”
Khurasiya’s contract with the MPCA was recently renewed and is currently the chief coach of the association’s academy. Milind Kanmadikar, the secretary of the MPCA, said: “We have taken an undertaking from Amay Khurasiya that he is no more associated with his private academy.”
However, there is no public disclosure or any update of this on the MPCA website as per the ombudsman’s order. Khurasiya’s personal Facebook page also has no declaration of his disassociation with the academy.
In another case, former India batsman Pravin Amre, who is also in line for Team India’s batting coach job, the ombudsman had ruled that he cannot continue being on the managing committee of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and as a coaching staff member of the IPL team Delhi Daredevils simultaneously.
Although the ombudsman has passed the order in July, the MCA is yet to act upon it. “Amre’s issue will be discussed in the next managing committee,” informed MCA’s joint secretary Dr Unmesh Khanvilkar.
Soon after the BCCI appointed its first-ever ombudsman in the last Annual General meeting in November, the Board laid down an exhaustive conflict of interest rules in a bid to improve its image. At the time of ombudsman’s appointment, former BCCI president Shashank Manohar had said that Shah’s decision will be final and binding.
When retired Justice Shah was informed about the non-implementation of his orders in several cases, he said: “I am not aware about this as I expected them (orders) to be implemented. I did not follow up with the BCCI on this. Now that you have told me about it, I will have to look into it whether the directives are implemented.”