The past few weeks have possibly been the darkest period for Indian cricket in a long while considering the match fixing allegations flying thick and fast from one corner of the country to another; however, something that has gone under the radar a bit is Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s involvement with Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited- a company that manages his endorsements as well as that of many other prominent Indian cricketers. However, the reason why this has been in the news is because of the fact that the company is owned by one of Dhoni’s friends and now it has emerged that Dhoni himself owns a 15% stake in the company.
Truth be told, there has never been a bigger conflict of interest in Indian cricket since India Cements Chairman and BCCI president Mr. N. Srinivasan owned a franchise that is controlled by his company. So what are the exact implications of the fact that Dhoni owns a part of the firm that promotes him and other Indian cricketers other than the Chennai Super Kings- a team which is captained by Dhoni?
Complete Disregard for Regulations
It seems the Indian captain is tracing the footsteps of his IPL franchisee owner and BCCI president N. Srinivasan in owning a stake in a concern that directly manages him, his franchise and also some of his IPL and India team mates. Even in a country like India where almost anything goes in the name of personal gain; there is some sort of corporate governance that does not allow a person to hold a stake in a company which is directly involved in his financial status. Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited manages Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s endorsement and appearance portfolio and the company has guaranteed him an earning of at least Rs. 210 cr. a year. Currently Dhoni is the top earning sportsmen in the world but unfortunately that does not seem to be enough for our captain who has taken it to a new, twisted level. He has recruited the company in which he owns a stake to manage the endorsements of his CSK and India team mates Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina. So, as you can see Dhoni stands to earn 15% of whatever the company makes and on top of that he is one of the contributors to that profit, which makes it one of the most brazen displays of conflict of interest in recent memory.
The Effect On Team India
As the average cricket fan is still recovering from the shock of the scandals that have engulfed Indian cricket over the past few weeks, he has to fight with another one- that the captain might be manipulating the team for his personal gain. You might have wondered how come Suresh Raina got into the Indian Test team in England although he had a horrible tour of the West Indies in which he struggled against fast bowlers. However, now you might have the explanation when you consider the fact that both Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja are players who are contracted to the CSK and managed by Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited- a firm in which in which the Indian captain has a financial interest. If the player is not selected in the side then his stock goes down and if that happens then there might be less sponsors queuing up to get them to endorse their products. Now, only if the captain could make sure that they remain in the side then it would be a coup for all parties involved- the players, Dhoni as a stake holder in Rhiti and Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited itself.
So as the reader can understand Indian cricket is going through one of its darkest phases when the Board President and the Indian captain, both are engulfed in conflicts of interest of varying proportions.
Why did you need to do this Dhoni – Surely you understand conflict of interest ? This makes you as much of a criminal as the bookies who are now in CBI custody.
Image Source : IANS