Controversy thy name, Indian cricket

By: Joseph Hoover

Bengaluru, June 2: Indian cricket is never short of controversies. The pot has been boiling ever since the match-fixing scandal rocked us in 2000. Our cricket thrives on festering issues. We wake up to controversies. We go to sleep with controversies. It is part of our cricket psyche.

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Controversy thy name, Indian cricket

People have accepted that controversies are synonymous with Indian cricket, lambasting the system when the team flounders on tours; and celebrating a triumph late into the night.

Things have come to such a sorry pass that even Supreme Court's orders are challenged by desperados in the BCCI, who wish to hold on to their position for a lifetime.

Former board president N Srinivasan has used every loophole in the justice system to question the July 18, 2016 Supreme Court judgment.

Except for a couple of associations which spontaneously accepted the verdict, everyone has thrown their weight behind N Srinivasan. Their hope is to hang to power in their respective associations, while compromising the development of the game and cricketers.

Even as we write this piece, we are not sure if the SC orders will be accepted by the BCCI and its affiliates. Our cricket has been flung into the nether world of obscurity. There is no heart. No soul. No pulse. No ethics. No integrity. But, there is heap loads of money, something which our Board officials have their eyes on. More money. More votes. More power. This has been the tragedy of Indian cricket.

The Committee of Administrators (COA), appointed by the apex court, to ensure that the Lodha Committee recommendations are followed in principle, has been a silent spectator. Instead of insisting that the recommendations are followed, it has developed a soft corner to certain cricket associations.

Apparently, Vinod Rai, who heads the COA, has been encouraging BCCI affiliates to continue with their old ways!

In this context, it is not surprising that one of its members, Ramchandra Guha, has brutally exposed COA's ineptitude by resigning from his 'decorated' post. Guha has even expressed his anguish about the lack of transparency, lamenting that certain decisions were made without the concurrence of all the members. Was Vinod Rai taking unilateral decisions? So it seems. Guha's resignation is an indication.

In the larger interest of Indian cricket, the Supreme Court should sack Vinod Rai. Either an administrator, who does not play ball with his political masters, or a former international cricketer, who wouldn't been swayed by the power of N Srinivasan, should replace Rai.

The Supreme Court should set COA a deadline to ensure that all Lodha committee recommendations are thrust on the cricket affiliates. Else, this stalemate will continue for eternity. Indian cricket will continue to be besieged with controversies. We can wake up to it each morning.

(Joseph Hoover is a leading cricket writer)

OneIndia News

Story first published: Friday, June 2, 2017, 19:37 [IST]
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