Sachin Tendulkar has rebutted the 'Conflict of Interest' charges that were levelled against him, pointing out that he hasn't "received any compensation" and doesn't have a decision-making role in the IPL side Mumbai Indians, Reuters reports.
Tendulkar and VVS Laxman on Wednesday (April 24) were served 'conflict of interest' notices by DK Jain, BCCI's ombudsman-cum-ethics officer, for serving as mentors of Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively, while being members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). The complaint against their dual roles was filed by Sanjeev Gupta, a member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA). The BCCI and the pair were subsequently asked to file written responses to the allegations by April 28.
According to PTI, in a 14-point written reply, Tendulkar said: "At the outset, the Noticee (Tendulkar) denies the contents of the Complaint in totality (except the statements specifically admitted herein). No part of the Complaint should be deemed to be admitted by the Noticee for lack of specific denials."
As Gupta's complaint noted about the former cricketer's role with MI, Tendulkar made a full disclosure in terms of his position with the franchise. "The Noticee (Tendulkar) has received no pecuniary benefit/ compensation from the Mumbai Indians IPL Franchise in his capacity as the Mumbai Indians 'ICON' since his retirement, and is certainly not employed with the Franchise in any capacity.
"He does not occupy any position, nor has he taken any decision (including selection of team players) which could qualify as being in governance or management of the Franchise. Accordingly, there is no conflict of interest, either under the BCCI Rules or otherwise," he explained.
In terms of Tendulkar's position with Cricket Advisory panel, the former Indian captain observed that he was appointed as the member of the BCCI panel in 2015, and he was named the 'Icon' of the franchise much earlier.
"The Noticee was appointed to the panel of the Cricket Advisory Committee ("CAC") in the year 2015. The Hon'ble Ethics Officer will appreciate that the Noticee was named as the 'ICON' for Mumbai Indians much prior to his empanelment with the CAC - which fact has always been in the public domain. "Accordingly, the BCCI aware of the Noticee's association with the Mumbai Indians Franchise at the time of his appointment to the CAC."
Tendulkar, in his reply, further disclosed that the his association with the franchise was related to providing guidance and not in the capacity of governance or management. "The Complaint wrongly assumes that the Noticee's association with the Mumbai Indians IPL Franchise ("Franchise") is in the capacity of "governance", "management" or "employment" - thereby attracting a conflict under Rule 38 (4). "His role is limited to providing guidance to the Franchise team by sharing his insights, learnings and working closely with the younger members in the team to help them realise their true potential."
With regard to Gupta's observation of him sitting in the team's 'dugout', which is meant for players and support staff, he rejected the allegation as "absurd". "A mentor cannot be qualified as "management" of
the Franchise. If the Complainant's absurd logic were to be applied, a physiotherapist, trainer or a masseur would also be qualified as "management" of the Franchise.
"It is also pertinent to note that the Mumbai Indians team has a head coach, who works side by side with coaches for specific disciplines such as bowling, batting etc. in ultimate coordination with the Director of Cricket Operations - none of whom the Noticee is answerable to or vice versa since his role is limited to that of providing guidance and motivation to the team."
Tendulkar also wrote that if Ombudsman seeks to "continue proceedings", he would "request for a personal hearing along with his legal representatives".