Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Conflict of Interest: BCCI Seeks Clarity

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Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Saturday clarified his stance, saying he was misquoted regarding the news that the Indian cricket governing body is probing the country’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for an alleged conflict of interest. 

The charge against Dhoni arises due to his association with sports management firm Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. The company manages Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja amongst other cricketers and also handles marketing for Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Dhoni is also the skipper of the IPL side.

The company was started by Arun Pandey, who is believed to be Dhoni’s friend. Dhoni reportedly owns 15 percent share in the company. A media report on Friday said that the BCCI has formed a three-member committee to probe the matter. Dalmiya and cricket administrators Jyotiraditya Scindia and K.P. Kajaria are on the committee.

The report quoted Dalmiya as confirming the development, with the BCCI president saying the matter is being looked into by the disciplinary committee. He said the BCCI would only make an announcement regarding the issue after the committee’s report.

Dalmiya on Saturday retracted from the comment attributed to him.

“It appears that I have been misquoted as far as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is concerned. I had said that the subject matter of disciplinary proceedings against Ajit Chandila is presently pending for final decision before the Disciplinary Committee of the Board,” he said in a BCCI statement.

“When I was asked about Dhoni’s involvement with M/s Rhiti Sports, I only said that I intend to implement the decision of the BCCI earlier obtained in 2013 when I had chaired the Working Committee Meeting of the BCCI on July 28, 2013 at Taj Bengal Hotel in Kolkata that all players would have to submit declarations on their involvement/ interest in any sports management companies, if any.”

Dhoni was the subject of much speculation two years ago regarding his involvement with the company. Rhiti Sports had stated back then that Dhoni had held the shares for a brief period and he is no longer a part owner of the company. But the Ranchi-based cricketer’s involvement with Pandey in several other business interests raised several questions regarding its status.

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