“There should be no politician managing the affairs of cricket”
Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken feels that banning the Indian Premier League (IPL) isn't a solution for putting an end to the controversies, although corrective measures have to be taken.
“Banning isn't the solution. I think we should rectify the mistakes,” said Mr. Maken. “I've three suggestions in this respect. First of all, there should be no politician managing the affairs of cricket; secondly, the BCCI and IPL should come under the RTI, and should be managed by the cricketers. There should be at least 25 per cent of former players in the management of BCCI. Thirdly, BCCI and IPL should distance themselves from one another,” he told CNN-IBN in an interview.
“If BCCI has to be the honest watchdog, then it shouldn't have a conflict of interest with the IPL. So, with these three things, I am sure the IPL will automatically improve, and it will be a step in the right direction as far as the sport of cricket is concerned,” he said.
While the Minister didn't take the names of his fellow politicians, who are playing an active role in managing cricketing affairs in India, he said that a particular sport should be run only by the experts of the game.
“I wouldn't go into names. The politicians managing cricket at different levels belong to different political parties. Please leave the game of cricket to people who have specialised knowledge of the game or former players. Politicians should do their own job in Parliament,” he said.
Although he didn't take names, Mr. Maken stressed that when he spoke of politicians, it included those from his own party.
“Including my own party, I am saying all politicians who have no domain knowledge of the game, who have never held a bat in their hand…why should they run the affairs of cricket? Let cricket be run by experts who know the game, know the management of the sport. Unless you do these things, you will be having these controversies coming up and credibility crisis in days to come,” he added.
Elaborating on the accountability factor in IPL, the Minister said: “I would like to reiterate that both BCCI and IPL should come under the RTI. They should make everything transparent.”Meanwhile, regarding the arrest of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Australian player, Luke Pomersbach, for allegedly molesting an American woman, Mr. Maken said the franchise should have done a background check before selecting him.
“I don't know. As far as Mr. Vijay Mallya is concerned, he should also answer to the fact. Did he first inquire into what kind of player this Australian player is? He also has past history of such an incident in Australia, in Queensland. ”