Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman have reason to be upset. Being charged with conflict of interest has an implied sense of not being honest with one or the two jobs the duo was doing. On 14 May, Tendulkar and Laxman will depose in person before the BCCI Ombudsman Justice DK Jain.
In this case, given the huge commercial considerations associated with the Indian Premier League (IPL) where Tendulkar is the icon for the Mumbai Indians team and Laxman is the mentor of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, what is left unsaid is that they would not be fair to their role as members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) . The two batsmen along with Saurav Ganguly were part of the CAC that selected Ravi Shastri as the team coach in 2017.
Ganguly was earlier summoned by Justice Jain in the same case of alleged conflict of interest as the former India skipper is now with Delhi Capitals IPL team.
If the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the BCCI really want to insist on a one former cricketer-one post rule, then the talent pool in India is not so large. I mean the exceptional talent that does not do any work during IPL season.
Or would BCCI be able to compensate the trio for what they take home by being part of the IPL process for two months a year. Or do they not trust the three, who are easily among India’s most accomplished cricketers, to do a honest job in selecting the coach.
Does the BCCI have better names to be part of the CAC to select the new coach after Shastri’s tenure ends? How many former cricketers with fantastic credentials does the country have to be part of CAC minus any conflict of interest. Would the likes of Sunil Gavaskar or Sanjay Manjrekar leave their lucrative commentary and television contracts to sit on the CAC once in a blue moon?
We need to trust our heroes. That for them, the country will always come first. That Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly would not let their roles and personal friendships forged during their stints with MI, SRH and DC come in the way when they are deciding for India. To even ask them for an explanation is insulting them. Their only interest will be India. Period.
I am sure if tomorrow Ricky Ponting who too is with DC, were to apply for the India coach position or Tom Moody (with SRH) were to do so, Ganguly and Laxman would recuse themselves from the selection process. Having seen the trio conduct themselves during their playing days, give Indian fans the confidence to back the team after the trauma of the match-fixing saga and having known Laxman personally off the field, one can vouch for their value systems and ethics.