Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president Rupa Gurunath, daughter of former Indian cricket board chief N. Srinivsan, is in a position of conflict of interest, the board’s ethics officer ruled on Thursday — five days before his second term ends.
In his order, Ethics officer DK Jain, a retired Supreme Court judge, also asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take corrective measures. The BCCI is yet to react.
Rupa was elected president at the 87th AGM of the TNCA on September 26, 2019, succeeding her father. Her husband, Gurunath Meiyappan, had earlier been banned for life by the Supreme Court for his role in the 2013 Indian Premier League betting-match-fixing scandal.
“In view of the connections between ICL [India Cements Limited] and CSKCL [Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd], undoubtedly, the Respondent has at least indirect (if not direct) interest in CSKCL, which has entered into an agreement/contract with the BCCI, thus, attracting one of the forms of conflict of interest, enumerated in Rule 38(1)(i) of the Rules,” the order stated.
“The Ethics Officer is of the view that a case of conflict of interest is made out against the Respondent. It is held accordingly,” it said. “Having arrived at the aforesaid conclusion, the BCCI shall take requisite steps, in accordance with law, to ensure due compliance of Rule 38(2) of the Rules in the case of the Respondent.”
Rupa holds two posts — of TNCA president and director of ICL, which runs the CSKCL. According to the ICL website, Rupa is its Whole Time Director.
The BCCI ethics office pronounced the order on a complaint filed by Sanjeev Gupta, a former Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member, on November 23 last year.
Interestingly, on the official TNCA website, Srinivasan remains its president, as it displayed his name under ‘Board of Honour’ on Thursday. It showed that Srinivasan was elected president in 2012, but it did not show until which year he remained in that position.
Srinivasan, vice-chairman and managing director of ICL, has also been alleged to be in a position of conflict of interest vis-à-vis the ownership CSK.
Question is: Has Rupa’s deliberately not mentioned on the website as TNCA president or is sheer negligence on the part of TNCA?