Sunny Gavaskar hits the deadlines once more; this time it is his links with the Kochi franchise that have drawn flak from all quarters.
The Indian batting legend , the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs and surpass Don Bradman’s 29 tons, is mulling over an offer from the Gaikwads, the Rendezvous group owners, to handle all matters cricketing.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise and there exists speculation about Gavaskar’s role in the bidding process as a possible conflict of interest ; the master batsman was then on the IPL governing council.
(The fallout between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor was the result of allegations that Tharoor sought Modi’s interference in the bidding process to ensure that the Kochi group’s bid would be successful.)
Gavaskar is no longer a part of the IPL set-up; he quit the re-constituted governing council citing differences with the BCCI.
Was the conflict of interest a reason for the differences? If yes, why then was just the super accumulator penalised?
The BCCI has denied any knowledge of Gavaskar’s links with the Kochi franchisee.
"We were not aware of Gavaskar’s links with the Kochi IPL," BCCI vice-President Rajiv Shukla said.
The BCCI will arrive at a final decision regarding the fate of the embattled consortium on October 27, 2010 when the IPL governing council convene at Nagpur.
Gavaskar is currently in Dubai but an e-mailed missive states:
"They have asked me, individually and collectively, to come in for the cricketing part of the team. I will take a call once the internal issues are resolved,"
Gavaskar denies being promised a stake if he takes on the responsibility of heading the Kochi team’s cricketing operations.
The obdurate former opening bat has also clarified that the Kochi offer was recent and did not occur when he was on the governing council.
Gavaskar’s dalliance with the Gaikwads could well be a double-edged sword.
It could either help the Kochi team because the Little Master is recognised as the country’s finest cricketing brain and has unimpeachable credentials.
Or his fall-out with the BCCI could have an adverse effect on the consortium’s chances.
Gavaskar has often courted controversy throughout his life — as a player, commentator and an administrator.
He knows his mind and speaks it.
He is also the founder of the earliest sports management firms in the country – the Professional Management Group (PMG).
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