BCCI ethics officer asks the TNCA president to respond by December 24
A conflict of interest notice has been issued against former BCCI president N Srinivasan’s daughter Rupa Gurunath, who is the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). BCCI ethics officer Justice DK Jain, who has issued the notice based on a complaint, has asked Gurunath to file her response by December 24, incidentally the same day on which the BCCI has scheduled its annual general meeting (AGM).
The development has put a question mark over Gurunath’s participation in the AGM, where significant matters – including the addition of two new IPL franchises – are expected to come up for discussion.
In the notice issued on December 8, Justice Jain said he was responding to a complaint filed by Sanjeev Gupta, a former life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. In the complaint, filed on November 23, Gupta alleged that Gurunath was guilty of conflict under the BCCI constitution, considering she was occupying twin positions simultaneously: that of TNCA president and as a whole-time director of India Cements Limited, the company which owns Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd, which in turn is the owner of the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the IPL.
According to Gupta, all seven directors of CSK Cricket Ltd sit as directors on the subsidiary companies of India Cements, thus “giving rise to an instance of conflict” against Gurunath.
In his preliminary order – issued alongside the notice on December 8 – Justice Jain has said “since a prima facie case is made out in the complaint”, Gurunath should file her response by December 24.
“On your failure to respond to the present notice, the Ethics Officer shall be constrained to proceed in your absence, without giving any further opportunity of filing a response to the Complaint, to you,” Justice Jain said.
In September 2019, Gurunath had become the first woman to head a state cricket association, having been elected unanimously. It was her maiden entry into cricket administration. Her husband Gurunath Meiyappan, the former Super Kings team official, was banned for life from any involvement in cricket by the Justice RM Lodha Committee for his role in the IPL betting scandal in 2013.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo