BCCI AGM: Ganguly's 'conflict of interest' issue unlikely to crop up

The AGM is set to approve addition of two new teams to the IPL fold starting 2022, it is also likely to authorise office-bearers over deciding BCCI’s stance on pushing for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympics.

The members of the affiliated units featured in a friendly match between president's XI and secretary's XI at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on the eve of the BCCI Annual General Meeting. Former India captains Sourav Ganguly (the BCCI chief), Mohammad Azharuddin featured in the match, which was won by the secretary's XI.   -  Special Arrangement

Despite murmurs from state associations about president Sourav Ganguly’s alleged unethical conduct of endorsing products of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) sponsors, the issue is likely to be swept under the carpet during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Ganguly’s alleged conflict of interest or ethical misconduct has not been listed in the agenda.

If at all it is to be discussed, a state association representative will have to speak up towards the end of the meeting when “other matters” can be discussed with the permission of the chair.

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“Who will bell the cat has been a permanent problem in BCCI, especially over the last decade,” said a BCCI old-timer, preferring anonymity. “It’s highly unlikely that there’ll be an official discussion on the floor of the house. The same happened during the IPL scandal as well. Nobody wants to offend the office-bearers.”

A few representatives feel that one of the six office-bearers could well question Ganguly over his endorsement spree - sometimes even brands that are direct competitors of BCCI’s sponsors - since taking over the reins in October 2019.

However, not many are optimistic about it actually fructifying. Multiple member representatives stated that had there been a revolt brewing, Wednesday’s exhibition match between President XI and Secretary XI wouldn’t have taken place at the refurbished Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera.

It is also understood that the Ganguly camp, accustomed to the BCCI ways of functioning, is taking no chances and will carry a bunch of documents specifying legal opinion that clears him from any wrongdoing.

Major decisions expected

While the AGM is set to approve addition of two new teams to the IPL fold starting 2022, it is also likely to authorise office-bearers over deciding BCCI’s stance on pushing for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympics.

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One member tests COVID-19 positive

It is understood that all the members were tested immediately upon their arrival in Ahmedabad and a member from a North-Eastern state has been infected with coronavirus. He has been isolated and will not be allowed to attend the meeting.