Indian cricket great Dravid cleared of conflict of interest

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Rahul Dravid

NEW DELHI — India's cricket board has cleared batting great Rahul Dravid of conflict of interest charges after he was made head of the national cricket academy while working for a company that owns an Indian Premier League team.

The complaint against Dravid followed similar allegations against record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly as authorities attempt to root out corruption in India's powerful cricket establishment.

Last month Dravid was named as director of the National Cricket Academy, a breeding ground for young talent, while remaining as a vice-president of India Cements, which owns IPL franchise the Chennai Super Kings.

But Board of Control for Cricket in India administrators ruled out any conflict of interest involving Dravid, who has taken leave from the cement company, after a meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday.

"There is no conflict on Rahul's case," BCCI administrator Ravi Thogde told reporters.

"He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment. We had seen no conflict, but if the Ombudsman finds any conflict, we will give our response to the Ombudsman stating why we found no conflict."

The case against Dravid was brought by Sanjeev Gupta, a state association member of the BCCI. The Indian board is being run by a Supreme Court-appointed panel tasked with clearing out corruption from the world's wealthiest cricket body after a series of scandals.

Ganguly, who is president of the Cricket Association of Bengal and mentor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, had hit out over the accusation against Dravid, saying "God help Indian Cricket".

"New fashion in Indian cricket .....conflict of interest," Ganguly wrote on Twitter.

The case against Ganguly is still pending, as is one against former India batsman VVS Laxman who mentors the IPL's Sunrisers Hyderabad and has stepped down from the BCCI panel currently selecting India's next coach. He also works as a commentator.

Tendulkar, an ambassador for the IPL's Mumbai Indians, was cleared of any conflict of interest after he stepped down from the BCCI panel.

Accusations of corruption and match-fixing tarnished the IPL -- the board's lucrative Twenty20 competition and opened a pandora's box of other irregularities in the game's finances. — AFP


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