The Board has a duty to restore Indian cricket to where it belonged

The enquiry committee of the BCCI has arrived on the scene looking as dim as a hound dog without teeth.

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the BCCI never took its brief seriously and now that Indian cricket finds itself in this disgraceful mess, the ACU has predictably sought information from the Delhi police.

It’s ridiculous how surprised everyone seems to be. Weren’t the cases of T.P. Sudhindra and Mohnish Mishra last year warning enough?

The news about rampant spot-fixing flashing on TV channels every day has pervaded people’s consciousness. Gossip has been floating about how the Delhi and Mumbai police have managed to get to the root of the problem. All and sundry have become forensic and legal experts.

The bitter reality is that the controller of cricket in the country, the BCCI, has yet again failed to guard the ethos of this beautiful game and made many lament, ‘Oh, those were the lovely days’. The cricket fans prefer to go back to listening to the recorded husky voice of John Arlott and the good-humoured Brian Johnston that sounds as melodious as a raga of classical music.

Controversies

Indian cricket has always had its share of controversies, true. But passionate and committed officials such as M.A. Chidambaram, S. Sriraman, M. Chinnaswamy and Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad ensured that nothing damaged the fundamental ethos of the game.

Some of the present decision makers of the BCCI have been with the institution for decades; they have seen both those times and these.

Have they bothered about the impact of bang-bang Twenty20 cricket, gilded with money? And in 2006 the same BCCI steadfastly tried to stall the T20 format!

Did the BCCI make an effort to investigate thoroughly the cases of Sudhindra and Mishra or was it assumed the ban for life would act as a deterrent to every act of corruption in Indian cricket?

There was enough proof about the disorder in the league. The franchises, eager to get results, were a confused lot. And now the BCCI, in its Working Committee, decides that the player agents will be accredited.

When you have a President of a State association mentoring another team in the IPL, running a player management company, how do we expect transparency and non-interference when the process of accreditation begins?

In 2007, the BCCI had stated that they will investigate the player-agent nexus which was getting pro-active. Now we are talking of accreditation cards.

Professional system

Compared to other sports in the country, the BCCI has a professional system to manage the large number of matches. Shouldn’t we then expect the BCCI President to give importance to handling the impressionable minds of young cricketers by appointing counselling psychologists at the zonal or state levels?

Whatever needs to be done with the spot fixers will be now done by the police and the courts. The least the BCCI can do now is to clear the weeds from the system before it crumbles entirely.

Indian cricket has become a joke all over the world. It doesn’t look like the BCCI can do much to better the game. But it has the duty to at least restore Indian cricket to where it belonged. A one-man enquiry committee is certainly no answer.