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Rahul Dravid has no conflict of interest case, says CoA memeber Ravi Thogde

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The (CoA) on Tuesday cleared Rahul Dravid’s appointment as Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), ruling that there is “no conflict of interest” case against the former India captain.


Lt General Ravi Thogde, the new member of the CoA, said the ball is now in Ombudsman-cum-ethics officer DK Jain’s court.


“There is no conflict on Rahul’s case. He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment. We had seen no conflict, but if the Ombudsman finds any conflict, we will

give our response to the Ombudsman stating why we found no conflict,” Thogde said after a CoA meeting here.


“After that he (Ombudsman) has to consider. It’s a process and it will continue.”

Dravid, one of the most respected figures in Indian cricket, found himself embroiled in a conflict of interest case after his appointment at NCA since he is an employee of India Cements which owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the IPL.


Dravid, who was in Mumbai prior to Tuesday’s CoA meeting, has sent his reply to Jain but it could not be ascertained if he has resigned from his post.


While appointing him, the CoA had made it clear that Dravid will have to relinquish his post as vice-president of India Cements or be on leave until he completes his tenure.


Dravid did not resign, instead, he sought leave without pay from India Cements, prompting MPCA life member Sanjeev Gupta to persist with his complaint against Dravid.


Thogde stressed that the NCA needs to be of international standard under Dravid.


“There are a few things that needs to be done at the NCA. There are shortage of grounds and staffs, including coaches. There has to be continuity.


“Someone of Dravid’s stature will have to ensure that the NCA is of international standard. He has given his vision and we are fully in support of his vision. We will work together.”

The CoA also discussed the upcoming elections in Tuesday’s meeting, besides the appointment of various coaches of the national team.


“We discussed about the upcoming elections. There were discussions with (Electoral Officer) N Gopalaswami and certain things have been resolved. A code has been drawn out,” Thogde said.


Asked about the state cricket bodies which are yet to come on board for the elections, he said, “There will be minor delays but there is still ample time. We just took a review and most of them will join by then.”

“I don’t see such a great difficulty in getting it done. Some of them are yet to register their constitutions. More than 24-25 bodies who have fallen in line .The intentions are to hold the elections around the date which has been set (October 22).


“Rest of the issues discussed are administrative, related to selection of head coach and selection of other coaches. Interviews will start now. Short-listing has already been done.”

Thogde also claimed that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by legendary Kapil Dev, which has been entrusted to select the next India coach, is under no pressure.


“There is no pressure on anybody (with regard to coach selection). The CAC is an independent body which will select the coach. That is the normal process as per the Constitution,” he said.



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I find nets claustrophobic, prefer practice on centre wicket: Virat Kohli

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India skipper finds nets “claustrophobic” and instead prefers to practice on a centre wicket with fielders around as it provides him with match simulation.


Kohli gave his opinion during a chat with West Indies legend Vivian Richards, the video of which was posted on the Indian cricket board’s official website, BCCI.tv.


“I felt like this many times where the pitches are fast and bouncy, or even in the nets when you are playing, I am sure you wouldn’t go to the practice just randomly practising,” Kohli said, seeking the opinion of Richards on his approach to net practice.


“You would go with the intent, with the purpose that I’m going to stand up against my own bowlers and not get out, not even hit a ball on the edge, hit everything from the middle of the bat.”

Richards, who, like Kohli, has dominated bowlers of his time, replied: “It is the same thinking, you go and try to eliminate may be the getting out process, but I have always found nets to be claustrophobic for me and I never felt comfortable.”

The Indian skipper responded saying: “I think exactly the same things about net practice how it can be claustrophobic and I prefer having a centre wicket net which is open against our bowlers with fielders so that I have a match simulation.”

In what was the second episode of a two-part interaction, Kohli also stressed on visualisation, which has played a big role in his success against Australia in 2014-2015

“After 2014, I went to England and I had a very bad tour but the next one was Australia which was even more hostile and tough so the thing that helped me was visualisation,” he said.


“Three months before going to Australia I started visualising that I was taking these bowlers on and I am going to dominate and I’m going to come on top and that for me was a revelation because I had so much belief because of putting that thought in my head.



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Hesson, Katich joins RCB as franchise part ways with Nehra, Kirsten

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Restructuring its setup, IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday appointed former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as director of cricket operations and Australian Simon Katich as the new head coach.


The RCB said that in his new capacity, Hesson will be responsible for the the team’s overall cricket operations, including defining policy, strategy, programs, scouting, performance management and bringing in the best practices in “all aspect’s of the outfit’s cricketing pathway”.


Hesson will work closely with all the players and the coaching team and will be an integral part of the RCB team management.


Former Australia batsman Katich, in his new role as head coach, will “inculcate the high-performance culture” in the team.


“RCB’s purpose is to be the most trusted, respected and best performing T20 franchise and hence our constant endeavour is to create a culture of excellence and high performance for every member of the team. To deliver this ambition we are very happy to announce the appointment of Mike Hesson and Simon Katich,” RCB chairman Sanjeev Churiwala said in a statement.


“We believe that Mike’s extensive experience in building strong teams along with Simon’s powerful cricket experience will help us create a winning culture.”

With the new appointments, RCB has parted ways with Gary Kirsten, coach and mentor of the team in the previous seasons, as well as bowling consultant Ashish Nehra.


“As a result of this restructuring exercise, we will be moving to a single coach model. Consequently, we would like to thank Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra for their contribution over the past two seasons,” Churiwala said.


“They leave us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at Royal Challengers Bangalore wishes them all the best in the future.”

Hesson, who was one of the six candidates shortlisted by the BCCI for the India coach’s job, narrowly lost out to incumbent Ravi Shastri in the fight for the coveted post.


Hesson is not new to the IPL as he had served as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab before stepping down earlier this month.


Katich had worked as an assistant coach with the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.



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Ganguly calls for more practical approach in conflict of interest rule

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on Friday called for a more practical approach in implementing the conflict of interest rule and cited as example Ricky Ponting’s multiple roles with Australian cricket and IPL.


Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Ganguly has been at the receiving end of conflict of interest notices for being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president as well as the mentor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.


Earlier this month, the former captain expressed his displeasure after Dravid was issued a notice by BCCI’s ethics officer Justice (Retd) DK Jain on conflict of interest allegations against the legend.


Asked whether an exception should be made to the rule for legends of the game, Ganguly responded in the negative.


“I wouldn’t say an exception be made to the rule (but) the rule has to be practical,” Ganguly said.


“Today Rahul Dravid has been appointed NCA head and there are issues over his job with India Cements, you got to be practical on that, you never know whether you would become the NCA head or not, three years later you may not remain NCA head, but these jobs are permanent and jobs remain with you.”

Ganguly said he does not see a cricketer doing coaching and commentary as a case of conflict of interest.


“It’s got to be practically solved – even when you do commentary or coaching – I don’t see it as a conflict of interest. When you go around the world, look at Ricky Ponting, he coaches Australia, he commentates, he is commentating in the Ashes and now in the month of April next year he will be with Delhi Capitals (as a coaching staff).


“I really don’t consider this as conflict of interest; because these are all skill-based, you don’t decide whether you commentate or whether you coach or you are part of a franchise, because of your skill you get picked by people, and I don’t think it can be a conflict, it has to be bit more precise otherwise everything is going to be conflict.”

has already dismissed reports related to conflict of interest allegations against Vikram Rathour, who will be appointed as the next Indian team batting coach replacing Sanjay Bangar. Rathour is the brother-in-law of junior selection committee head Ashish Kapoor.


Ganguly found the issues related to Kapoor ridiculous.


“There is an issue, I was reading in the newspaper that there is issue of Vikram (Rathour) now with conflict with Ashish Kapoor being a junior selector. I find it ridiculous.


“If somebody else is a junior selector and somebody else is batting coach, how does it influence and how it is conflict?

“So these things need to be a bit clearer and I am a firm believer that skills have to be kept separate because you cannot influence skills, it’s about one’s judgement of who’s better and who is not better,” the graceful left-handed batsman of yesteryear said.


Jain had issued the notice to Dravid on conflict of interest allegations made by Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member Sanjay Gupta.


According to Gupta, Dravid is allegedly conflicted as he is the National Cricket Academy (NCA) director and vice-president of India Cements Group, which owns Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings.


The same person had filed similar conflict of interest complaints against Laxman and Tendulkar for their roles as Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) members and mentors of IPL franchises Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians respectively.


Tendulkar and Laxman made lengthy depositions before Jain on their case and denied having any conflict while offering to step down from CAC if proved otherwise.


Ganguly, who is the brand ambassador of My11Cricle, was speaking at an event here after felicitating the winners of the contest.


Last Monday, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) had called for a meeting to discuss the contentious issue with former and present cricketers.


CoA member Diana Edulji had said that a “white paper” will be prepared detailing the issues.



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