Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has dismissed allegations of conflict of interest levelled at him by historian Ramachandra Guha in his resignation letter to the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). Guha had said in his letter to CoA head Vinod Rai that Gavaskar’s dual role as a player agent as well as a commentator contracted to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) places him in a position of conflict of interest. “I’m very very disappointed if anyone is doubting my integrity. I do not have a conflict of interest. It’s baffling to find my integrity has been questioned,” Gavaskar told NDTV on Saturday.
In his resignation letter, Guha had come down heavily on the BCCI for alleged favours to high profile present and former players.”I have also repeatedly pointed to the anomaly whereby BCCI-contracted commentators simultaneously act as player agents,” the historian had written. “Sunil Gavaskar is head of a company which represents Indian cricketers while commenting on those cricketers as part of the BCCI TV commentary panel. This is a clear conflict of interest. Either he must step down/withdraw himself from PMG completely or stop being a commentator for BCCI.”
Gavaskar however, denied that he has tried to take undue advantage of his position.”Show me one instance where I have tried to influence the selection committee. Indian cricket has done more for me than I have done for it. It’s very disappointing that they are doubting my integrity and contribution to Indian cricket,” the former India opener said.
“Is there something particular against me that Ram Guha has named me in public?”Guha had also alleged that there is a ‘superstar culture’ in Indian cricket and criticised the BCCI’s decision to award a Grade A contract to Mahendra Singh Dhoni even though the former national team captain has retired from Test cricket.
But Gavaskar chose to defend Dhoni and justified the BCCI’s decision.”M.S. Dhoni got Grade A contract because he is a superb player. How can you question Dhoni’s contribution to Indian cricket?” Gavaskar said.”If there is a superstar culture, then there is also a jealousy culture.”