Virat Kohli is the reigning skipper of Team India and is also rated as the world’s best batsman. He also endorses a number of brands, including Mobile Premier League, which happens to sponsor Team India’s kit, as it has landed him in a conflict of interest.
Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has seemingly landed himself in a fresh controversy with one of his endorsement brands. The brand also happens to be a primary sponsor of Team India.
According to a report by The Indian Express, Kohli’s current deal with Mobile Premier League (MPL), a gaming app, that also sponsors the kit for Team India, sees him earning ₹33.32 lakh. He was roped in as the ambassador in January 2020, as he was awarded 68 Compulsory Convertible Debentures (CCDs) that would be converted to equity after a period of 10 years.
MPL’s parent company, Galactus Funware Technology Private Limited also has 34 CCDs with Cornerstone Sport LLP, worth ₹16.66 lakh. Cornerstone also manages the commercial rights for Kohli, along with some other Indian cricketers, that include KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Shubman Gill.
However, Amit Arun Sajdeh, Cornerstone CEO, has denied any conflict of interest. “I have said this time and again, Virat and Cornerstone are free to invest in as many businesses as they wish to. There is no conflict whatsoever, as long as Virat is not invested in Cornerstone,” he told TIE.
Meanwhile, a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official was quoted as saying that the board was unaware of Kohli and Cornerstone having their respective shares in MPL. “We cannot be expected to track investments of players. He (Kohli) is an influential figure in Indian cricket and such interconnections aren’t ideal for good governance,” he said.
However, as per the BCCI constitution, there is no such conflict with such deals. “When an individual enters into endorsement contracts or other professional engagements with third parties, the discharge of which would compromise the individual’s primacy obligation to the game or allow for perception that the purity of the game stands compromised,” defines the commercial conflict of the constitution.
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Last Updated Jan 7, 2021, 12:24 PM IST