MS Dhoni should break away from management firm, BCCI says

NEW DELHI: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s alleged conflict of interest situation has not gone down well with the BCCI with its new treasurer Ravi Savant saying that he should immediately disassociate himself from the company.

Savant said that Dhoni should be given a notice for conflict of interest if it was not part of his contract earlier.

Dhoni found himself in a controversy when it came to light that he had 15 per cent stake in Rhiti Sports, which also manages Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha, besides the Indian captain.

However, the firm has made it clear that Dhoni was a shareholder only for a brief period, and currently has no stakes.

“Dhoni should immediately disassociate himself from the management firm while he is captain. Dhoni should be given a notice for conflict of interest if this was not part of his contract earlier,” Savant said.

The BCCI had said that it would look into the issue of conflict of interest after the Champions Trophy was over.

“I don’t want to disturb the team during the Champions Trophy. I gain nothing by doing that. We have taken note of the issue. We are looking into it but we are not going to hound someone,” BCCI’s interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had told a press conference on Monday.

Rhiti Sports management was set up and run by Dhoni’s long-time friend Arun Pandey, who played three first-class matches.

In 2010, Dhoni signed up with Rhiti Sports reportedly for Rs 210 crore, an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the costliest deal in Indian cricket.

Interestingly, two of these players — Raina and Jadeja — are part of the same IPL franchise, theChennai Super Kings, which is also captained by Dhoni.

Ojha had joined Rhiti Sports during Australia’s last tour of India.

However, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel’s comment was contradictory to what the treasurer had said.

“Whatever Mr Savant has said is his personal opinion and the board has nothing to do with it. The board has no intention to send any letter to either Dhoni or any other cricketer with the Champions Trophy going on. There was no discussion on this issue at the working committee meeting,” Patel informed.