BCCI's new chief denies any conflict of interest

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) newly appointed president N.Srinivasan said Tuesday that there is no conflict of interest in his heading the board and being the managing director of India Cements, which owns the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise of Chennai Super Kings.

'I have no personal conflict of interest and will excuse myself on key matters. It's India Cements that holds the ownership rights of the franchise and not me,' said Srinivasan.

Srinivasan said the matter is sub judice and it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the issue.

Srinivasan took over as the BCCI president after the Supreme Court refused to restrain him from taking over. But while allowing him to take over as BCCI chief, a bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha made it clear that his appointment would be subject to the final outcome of a petition by former BCCI president A.C. Muthiah, who had questioned his eligibility for holding any board post while owning an IPL team.

'The conflict of interest matter is sub judice and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to go on further on this subject,' Srinivasan was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN.

The BCCI president also made it clear that in no way terminated IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers would be allowed to take part in next year's league. He said the IPL Governing Council will decide whether the league will continue as a nine-team affair or fresh bids would be invited to replace the Kerala franchise.

'Kochi cannot return to the IPL and now it's up to the Governing Council to see the future prospect of filling in the vacant slot by a new side. It's the IPL Governing Council which will decide what to do after Kochi's termination,' Srinivasan said.

Srinivasan said the players affected due to the termination of the Kochi franchise will be taken care of by the board.

'Interests of players affected by Kochi's axing will be protected,' said Srinivasan.

The BCCI president also rubbished suggestions that 'non-stop' cricket was taking a toll on Indian cricketers.

'Our team has played as much cricket as others and since all players don't play all formats, that argument does not hold. Senior players are professionals, they know their bodies well. When the players ask for rest, it is granted,' he said.

Srinivasan also said there will not be any formal inquiry in the team's debacle on England tour.

'There will be no formal enquiry into the loss against England. Playing for India is most important, it is always the priority. IPL franchises have been told to report any injuries to the BCCI,' he said.

On the issue of proposed sports bill, Srinivasan said: 'There are many things in the sports bill that we do not agree with. I do not see why BCCI being a private body should be under the RTI.'

Srinivasan also said that the board is transparent.

'BCCI always had checks and balances, our accounts are made public every year. The BCCI website provides our finances, we spend money on cricket development,' Srinivasan said.

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