An aggressive electronic and print media has kept up the pressure on the BCCI President. The BCCI has attracted constant criticism and the pressure will be on till the truth comes out. The BCCI President’s irrational defence in the media conference was there for all to see.
Some individuals have tried to evade the issue completely, absolving themselves of responsibility. The more they stonewall through their dogged defence, the more they will attract criticism.
The saddest part of all this is the silence of those whose voice could matter.
Bishan Singh Bedi remains a disturbed soul as he always has been whenever the game of cricket has faced ignominy, and the Kirti Azad is attacking his senior party functionary Arun Jaitley with venom.
No other former cricketers of repute have spoken up, especially those who are television commentators.
What happened to the trust these players elicited in the public. Again and again the people have asked for cricketers to be the chiefs of the game in India.
Having seen them give their sweat for the national team, the people trust the cricketers to be fair to the nation, to love the game as they always have, to guard the ethos of the game.
BCCI has always been a master player of bulldozing the player’s movements and this time it sensed the cricketers’ willingness to forego principles. BCCI reportedly inserted a few clauses into the contracts of the television commentators which would make the cricketer-turned-commentators dummies of the BCCI.
Many cricketers, most of them being former Indian internationals fell prey and signed on the dotted line for huge sums. Bedi aptly said that if money can make one talk, it can keep one silent too.
Apparently the clauses don’t give freedom to commentators to discuss any issue which will bring the BCCI or the game of cricket into disrepute. In a nutshell, it has commanded the commentators to do as told, and they gulping their self-esteem and reputation have agreed. Thus, paid commentators have remained silent and in fact defended BCCI even after obvious documentary evidence.
The only person who refused to toe the official line was Ian Chappell who was offered a commentator’s role for the India-Australia series.
There is also a case of a former New Zealand player-turned-commentator who was asked to pack off suddenly! Did he pay the price for merely introducing a young India Test cricketer before the toss as a future India captain?
The ironic part is that over the years, some of the Indian cricketers had been rebels in dealing with the Board. Under the alleged reason of taking a principled stand, they always took the Board heads on and on quite a few times they won.
Having played for the country with distinction, their views matter now but they don’t want to offend the BCCI. At a time when Indian cricket is in doldrums, and the President of the BCCI showing no sign of remorse, the least the people of the country expected was some sensible views from the former cricketers. By choosing to not get involved in the issue, they have exposed themselves to the masses. They have proved that they don't care for principles if they are adequately covered financially.
The freedom of speech is a fundamental element of democracy. The commentators were supposed to be the bandwagon of this transparency. However, the public has to gulp the bitter fact that the people who they put their trust on aren’t speaking for them at all.