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Updated: April 3, 2014 03:03 IST

Cricket hardly a priority for BCCI

Makarand Waingankar
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Makarand Waingankar
The Hindu Makarand Waingankar

Gavaskar can be the Renaissance Man of Indian cricket, writes Makarand Waingankar

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in a crisis of its own making. As a sports organisation it spends more time and money fighting cases in courts than doing something worthwhile in improving the standard of the game.

SC recommendation

Had not the honourable Supreme Court intervened and recommended Sunil Gavaskar for the post of the interim president of the BCCI, perhaps the BCCI would not have suggested his name.

Gavaskar is one of the most reputed players of India. And his credibility, experience and integrity ought to have granted him the post of the president of his home association. However, Gavaskar chose not to dirty his hands in the political atmosphere of the Mumbai Cricket Association. He continued to be associated with various committees of the BCCI including the National Cricket Academy (NCA) which he headed. But the BCCI didn’t seem keen on granting him a post of importance.

His elevation by the Supreme Court has been welcomed by everyone but it would have been a dream come true if he was given the charge of Indian cricket for two years. In a country where people worship cricketers, it is ridiculous that it is the first time in five decades that we are having a Test player as the president of the BCCI. The last Test cricketer was the Maharaja of Vizianagaram.

Somehow, cricketers carry the reputation of being mediocre administrators and apart from Ghulam Ahmed, Polly Umrigar, Brijesh Patel and Shivlal Yadav most have not been able to handle responsibilities of administration of associations satisfactorily.

Gavaskar seems to be the person who gets things done. He has been running his company successfully. With Brijesh Patel, he ran the NCA quite effectively. As a technical committee head of BCCI and ICC, he implemented some meaningful changes. As an administrator, he concentrated on real cricketing gains but the BCCI didn’t persuade him to get into the mainstream.

Money has been pouring into Indian cricket and former players want to be the beneficiaries. The reason is some of them are incapable of even coaching a team.

Great tactician

The tact of Gavaskar can be helpful in sorting out many problems of Indian cricket. Issues like the preparation of pitches, the standard of umpiring, tournament structure, planning of series, all need to be addressed by an expert. The NCA can also benefit immensely from Gavaskar’s leadership.

He can be the Renaissance Man of Indian cricket if he gets to control the golden leash. However, there is a huge lobby of non-cricketer administrators who have been in the BCCI for decades. They do not want cricketers in vital positions because that will make them redundant.

Cricket is hardly a priority for the BCCI. Look at the irregularities. Despite crores of rupees being given as subsidy to each association, a majority of them have no proper infrastructure.

When international cricket has been played at Kanpur over half a century, how is it that the UP Cricket Association is unable to get land for its stadium especially when the UPCA is controlled by a Central Minister?

It’s time Gavaskar is appointed the Director of Indian cricket. He surely can save Indian cricket from becoming a breeding ground for oligarchy.

All politiians, whosoever it may be, thorown out of the BCCI
authority, if the country want cricket to have the right place in the
minds of this great country. Pawars, Abdhullas, Shuklas, Jaitly and
the rest, who never played this game are the main culprits of the
current scenario of cricket in this country. To top it all, Manmohan
Singh, being the ever born most inefficient PM in the world, gave
encouragement to all walks of life to do nothing but corruptions and
scams. The entire country need changes in all fields, in the
goverment, in the autonomous bodies,and u name it. We should get a
change or else the coming generation might not hesitate to take up
arms to achieve it! Mind it...

from:  umesh
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 18:32 IST

Strange article! Hasn't the SC asked Gavaskar to take care of IPL
related issues this year? How does pitch preparation, tours etc. come to
the author's mind? Has he written the piece thinking that Gavaskar is
now head of BCCI in all matters concerned?

from:  Anand
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 18:01 IST

"In a country where people worship cricketers, it is ridiculous that it is the first time in five decades that we are having a Test player as the president of the BCCI."
good point! So, why didn't it happen all these years? Because each player was busy pulling down the other player. When have cricketers come together to clean up the administration? why didn't Sunil Gavaskar support Dilip Vengsarkar when the latter contested the MCA elections?

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 14:22 IST

Sunil never took a stand against anyone in power.He promoted players from Bombay while he was Indian captain.He prefers sponsered Commentry to thankless coaching jobs.He will never go against Srinivasan.He will play safe.In the meanwhile he will make some money as BCCI boss.

from:  VENKAT
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 13:03 IST

Gavaskar is the front for BCCI , he is the paid PR guy who does not raise a word
against establishment along with Ravi Sashtri and K.srikanth. Why cannot court appoint kapil dev or M.amarnath to run BCCI, all this are eye wash and its very surprising supreme court is behind in this cheap acts
Why Srinivasan has to be the president , is he god of cricket , had he played a first class game in his life

from:  lax
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 11:29 IST

What a strange and incoherent article. Does Hindu's online Editor even read such pieces before posting? Examples of total befuddlement:
"Money has been pouring into Indian cricket and former players want to be the beneficiaries. The reason is some of them are incapable of even coaching a team."
The reason that money has been pouring in, or the reason that former players want to be beneficiaries? Either way, the logic is opaque.
Example 2:
Great tactician . The tact of Gavaskar can be helpful in sorting out many problems of Indian cricket.
Is tact used here in some strange way to substitute for tactics, or is the author incapable of distinguishing between tact and tactics?
Now to the major premise of this article, which is that Gavaskar is such a respected cricketer of great integrity that it is strange BCCI has not tapped on him for anything in administration. THis premise is false on various counts:
(a) BCCI did tap on him, for example as a member of the IPL Governing Council.

from:  Subbu
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 09:48 IST

I would like to go a step further and say that cricket is no longer a
priority for even our legendary cricketers. Except a mild protest
from Dravid, none of our cricketing heroes raised their voices when
the corrupt practices in some of the IPL teams came to light, last
year. How can they, when they have bartered their Souls to the Devil,
like the legendary Dr. Faustus, albeit for a short duration. There is
both power and pelf in the coffers of BCCI and every member of the
Board and the Governing Council is contented with a piece of the pie.
Now, Gavaskar has the god sent opportunity to be a crusader in the
history of Indian cricket and miraculously cleanse the system within
the short time at his disposal. He has the courage, conviction and
capability to at least initiate this daunting task. Will he justify
the trust reposed in him by the Apex court or be happy with getting
the lucrative contracts for self and his son extended ? Only, Time
will tell.

from:  R. Seetharam
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 09:40 IST

A howler ...Gavaskar is not President of the BCCI. He is interim president for IPL-7. That's all. He will be a commentator after June 1.Can THE HINDU not stop the columns by this person.

from:  Rishi Raj
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 07:57 IST

The title should have been, "Gavaskar: The Right Choice"

from:  Hari
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 03:11 IST

What not Kapil Dev? Kapil has done lot more to Indian Cricket growth than Gavaskar. His idea was stolen by Mr. Lalit Modi to form IPL. Gavaskar has been the rubber stamp of BCCI and his appointment will be of no good. His vision is to make money nothing more. Did the nation forget about an incident few years ago Gavaskar hiding several thousand unaccounted USD in his Gymkhana club locker? The Hindu newspaper published the news. No explanation was given by Gavaskar for the money. Gavaskar played the game to create record for his name and nothing more. Recommendation of Gavaskar by Supreme Court Judges conveys nothing but their limited knowledge about cricket and their age group.

from:  Nathan
Posted on: Apr 3, 2014 at 01:03 IST
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