New Delhi: Do Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri say on air what BCCI wants? If reports are to be believed, they are being paid Rs 3.6 crores each annually by the BCCI to voice forth the opinions of the board on different cricketing issues.
This led to suggestions that when they speak on contentious issues like UDRS or IPL, they are likely to have a biased opinion.
The two former Indian greats are currently commentating in the ongoing India-England series and a particular incident involving Shastri and former England captain Nasser Hussain brought to light an unspoken fact that Gavaskar and Shastri are currently under BCCI’s contract that prevents them from speaking anything that might be adverse to Indian cricket or to say BCCI’s interests.
The duo’s current arrangement has raised questions regarding conflicts of interest as Ravi Shastri also happens to be a member of International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket committee that made the decision to employ Decision Review System in all international matches.
In a sharp contrast to that, Shastri as a TV commentator, strongly opposed DRS’ implementation until suitably modified that has been BCCI’s argument as well. It was this opposition that led to the verbal argument with Nasser Hussain while commentating for a TV channel.
Of late, BCCI has drawn criticism over the poor scheduling of India’s matches leading to a mediocre performances from the team in the current high profile England series but the duo has been shying off from making any comments against the cramped scheduling and IPL that might be the plausible reasons behind team’s poor show.
Speaking to a daily, a top BCCI official confirmed that Shastri and Gavaskar are employed by the BCCI and the board offers their services as their official commentators to TV channels covering any international match on Indian soil.