Venkatesh Prasad embroiled in "conflict of interest" row - Reports
Former Indian fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad runs a cricket academy called the 'SLS Academy for Cricket Excellence' with his former Karnataka teammate Sujith Somasunder in Bangalore, as per an “anonymous complaint”. Reports by Cricbuzz said that BCCI ombudsman justice AP Shah has advised Prasad to choose one option, either to run his academy or continue to be a selector.
A similar step was taken against Raghuram Bhat, a former leg-spinner from Karnataka. He is guilty of being a selector and also the spin bowling coach at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). Venkatesh Prasad has played 33 Tests and 161 ODIs for the National team.
AP Shah’s order stated, "A notice was issued to Prasad on May 14. In his reply, Prasad admitted that SLS Academy is owned and managed by a company, 'Starting Line Sports and Education Private Ltd,' co-founded and co-promoted by him along with Somasunder in 2014. Prasad said he still owns 50% of the shareholding of the company. He then clarified that he was nominated as a BCCI selector only subsequently, in November 2015, after which he had not participated in any coaching assignment at the academy,“ a copy of which has been put on the BCCI official website.
Recently, former Indian Cricketer Pravin Amre was also under the scanner for a similar issue, as he was charged on the grounds that he held a managing committee post at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and was on the Delhi Daredevils coaching staff.
The rule which finds Venkatesh Prasad guilty mentions, "Rule 2(C) of the BCCI `Rules of Conflict' of Interest make it very clear that retired cricketers who are appointed as coaches of Indian teams or national selectors shall not be associated with any private coaching academies during their tenure. This implies that retired cricketers are not permitted to be involved in running or owning or being associated with a cricket academy if they are national selectors."
Ever since AP Shah was appointed as the ombudsman, he was able to detect 55 “conflict of interest” issues in Indian Cricket, which includes cases of former Indian cricketers like Brijesh Patel and Arshad Ayub.