Dragging names of former players donning different roles in cricket did not cut much ice for N Srinivasan to remain at the helm of the affairs of BCCI, as the Supreme Court drew a clear distinction between commercial interest and professional engagement of a player on account of his proficiency in the game.

There is always a certain point of clear cut distinction between commercial interest and professional engagement of a player on account of his proficiency in the game. It might be well contended of the engagement of a player even though made on the basis of a remuneration, remains a professional engagement due to his professional skill in the game and not because he has made any investment in like India Cements Ltd has done in acquiring a franchise or in any other form, a bench headed by Justices TS Thakur was found saying.

The remarks were made in the wake of submissions of the BCCI and its President-in-Exile that if administrators were held to be disentitled for having any commercial interest in BCCI events including Indian Premier League (IPL), it may adversely affect not only the League format, but will also disqualify certain outstanding sports persons from getting engagements like coaches, mentors, commentators or other similar positions as they are often engaged “by reason of their proficiency in cricket.

It was also contended that if the amendment in 6.2.4 rule of the BCCI is interperated to oust Srinivasan from BCCI for being the Managing Director of India Cement Ltd which owns IPL team Chennai Super Kings, the same rule will come in the way of former players for donning multiple hats.

BCCI had submitted a list of renowned players including former greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Saurav Ganguly and administrators with commercial interest in the IPL. The list also included the names of Anil Kumble, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Venkatesh Prasad and Lalchand Rajput.

It refrained from passing order on the issue of conflict of interest for players and confined itself to the case of cricket administrator and said the issue may be examined when it comes before the court for consideration.