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Team India trainer Shankar Basu under Conflict of Interest scanner

Questions are being raised particularly about whether Desai's appointment falls in the 'Conflict of Interest' category or not.

Shankar Basu
Virat Kohli with his ‘Boss’ Shankar Basu. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian cricket team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu has come under the scanner for a Conflict of Interest issue after the appointment of his protege Soham Desai as one of the new trainers of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has come to the fore with allegations of ‘conflict of interest’ against the former.

These allegations arise because Desai was apparently earlier associated with Basu’s commercial venture. He has earlier worked with Gujarat Ranji team, recently passed an NCA trainers’ examination, the question paper for which was apparently set by Basu.

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Questions are being raised particularly about whether Desai’s appointment falls in the ‘Conflict of Interest’ category or not. It was learnt that one of the committee members today asked MV Sridhar about Desai’s appointment.

“Sridhar was asked specifically that whether Desai is related to Basu’s personal gym. Sridhar replied that the candidate stood second in the exam that was conducted by the BCCI. To this treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary asked a pointed question: ‘Who set the papers for the trainers’ exam’? Sridhar answered: ‘It was Basu, who set the question paper’,” an anonymous committee member told PTI.

Basu, presently in Chennai with the Indian team, was unavailable for comments. But, when Desai was contacted about his role in Basu’s personal commercial venture, he said, “I will not be able to comment as I am contracted with the BCCI. Why don’t you ask Dr Sridhar?”

Sridhar made it clear that due diligence was followed in Desai’s appointment. “The boy came second in the exam and that’s why he got the job. I don’t think there is any conflict of interest,” he said when asked about Desai appointment.

However, CEO Rahul Johri said that he “will look into the matter”. The Committee of Administrators (COA) has been very strict about the slightest of hint with regards to Conflict of Interest, more so, because that is an increasing problem in Indian cricket in the last few years.

“The pattern is very interesting. The man who sets the question paper is the Team India trainer. And one of the candidates who topped the exam worked in his personal gym. Now, if this is not Conflict of Interest, then what is? Hopefully, COA will take note of this,” a senior BCCI office-bearer was quoted by Sportskeeda.

There are questions also asked about Desai’s apparent inexperience. It arises because he has hardly worked with any first-class teams in recent years. There are some of the NCA accredited trainers, who have been associated with first-class teams for a number of years but have still not been considered.

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