Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani has been asked by the BCCI ethics officer Vineet Saran to respond to a conflict-of-interest complaint filed against her.
The complaint was made by former Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) member Sanjeev Gupta, who raised the issue that Ambani, the owner of the Mumbai franchise in the IPL, is also a director at Reliance Industries (RIL), whose subsidiary Viacom 18 bought broadcast rights for the IPL from 2023 to 2027 for a sum of INR 23,758 crore (US$ 3 billion approx).
Viacom 18 secured the digital rights to stream the IPL in India, and also the media rights (both TV and digital) for Australia and New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa, at the e-auction* conducted by the BCCI in June.
According to Gupta, Ambani’s positions as a team owner in the IPL and as a director in the company that owns the subsidiary that has acquired IPL broadcast rights, represents a conflict of interest.
“It is submitted that RIL website states that Viacom 18 is a subsidiary company of RIL,” Mr. Gupta wrote in his complaint about the alleged conflict of interest, according to PTI.
Saran, a former Supreme Court judge, has given Ambani until September 2 to file a written response to the complaint.
“You are hereby informed that a complaint has been received by the Ethics Officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India under rule 39(b) of the rules and regulations of BCCI, regarding certain acts, allegedly constituting ‘conflict of interest’ on your part,” Saran wrote in his notice to Ambani. “You are directed to file your written response to the accompanying complaint on or before 2-9-2022.”
Gupta, the person who filed the complaint, has a history of raising conflict-of-interest issues in Indian cricket. In the past, he has filed such complaints against Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla among others.
*ESPNcricinfo and Disney Star are part of the Walt Disney Company. Disney Star was also part of the e-auction and acquired the IPL TV rights for India from 2023 to 2027