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.