Captain of the Indian cricket team, Virat Kohli lands in another controversy off the field as he has reportedly invested in the online gaming platform — Mobile Premier League (MPL) which is also the official kit sponsor and merchandise partner of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Owned by Galactus Funware Technology Private Limited, MPL was announced as Team India’s kit sponsor and merchandise partner in November 2020 ahead of the Australia tour. The Men’s team, Women’s team, and the Under-19 teams will sport the MPL logo on their outfits till December 2023. Kohli, individually, has been endorsing the e-gaming application for a while now and was appointed as their brand ambassador last year.
Virat Kohli is given CCDs of over 3 million rupees
According to a report in Indian Express, the Indian captain was allotted Compulsory Convertible Debentures (CCDs) worth over Rs 32 lakhs in the Galactus Funware in February 2019 – which is believed to be a case of a potential conflict of interest. Galactus is a subsidiary of M-League Pvt Ltd, a company registered in Singapore in April 2018, having its headquarters in Bengaluru
As per the report, Kohli was allotted a total of 68 CCDs having a face value of Rs 10, each issued at a premium of Rs 48,990 adding to around Rs 33.32 lakhs. The CCDs will be converted into equity shares at the end of ten years following which the batting maestro will have a 0.051 percent stake in the company.
The report further added that Galactus Funware also issued 34 CCDs worth Rs 16.66 lakh to Cornerstone Sport LLP in the same meeting where the RCB skipper was allotted the CCDs.
Cornerstone LLP’s CEO, Amit Arjun Sajdeh, is Kohli’s partner in two other firms – Magpie Venture Partners LLP and Virat Kohli Sports LLP. Sajdeh has denied any potential conflict of interest speculations.
“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 was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
The 32-year-old batsman is currently in India with his wife, Anushka Sharma as the couple is expecting their first child in early January. Kohli had to miss out on the last three Tests of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series in Australia.
The series at the moment stands level as India, led by Ajinkya Rahane, made an inspiring comeback in the second Test in Melbourne after succumbing to their lowest Test total in the first Test in Adelaide.