Rajat Sharma: Gambhir no longer a Special Invitee

In July this year, the DDCA formed a Cricket Committee comprising Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi while naming Gambhir as a Special Invitee to the committee.

A file photo of Gautam Gambhir, playing for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has ceased to be a Special Invitee to the now-disbanded Cricket Committee of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) but there is no clarity on his role as a Government nominee in the governing body.

It may be recalled that in last November, the Sports Ministry named Gambhir as a nominee. In July this year, the DDCA formed a Cricket Committee comprising Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi while naming Gambhir as a Special Invitee to the committee.

This move had drawn the ire from many quarters within the DDCA as it clearly pointed to a possible case of “Conflict of Interest” involving the left-handed opener.

Since the Cricket Committee was entrusted with the job of selecting selectors/coaches at all levels, including the senior team which Gambhir now leads, his presence in the Cricket Committee meetings did not go down well with the other members of the Committee.

Following a written complaint, the DDCA Ombudsman Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed sought a clarification from the DDCA President Rajat Sharma on the status of Gambhir.

In his response, Rajat Sharma stated, “Some issues came to our notice which could create a situation of Conflict of Interest vis-a-vis the said members of the Cricket Committee including presence of Mr Gautam Gambhir on the Cricket Committee.

“We had made up our mind to disband the aforementioned Cricket Committee as soon as the DDCA adopted its new Constitution as directed by Hon’ble Supreme Court, which it eventually did on September 19, 2018.

“However, all three members of the Cricket Committee resigned on September 14 and they were accepted by me on 16 Sept, 2018. As a result of this, Gautam Gambhir is also not a special invitee to the Cricket Committee anymore.”

As per the DDCA constitution, there was a provision of appointment of Government Nominee to the Managing Committee. However, since the DDCA has adopted the guidelines of the Supreme Court, there is no clarity on the provisions of appointing Government Nominee or a review of appointments made prior to the elections of the office-bearers.