We need a solution that will break the Board’s monopoly, offer lovers of the game pure cricket and yet retain the incredibly popular IPL

There are many reasons for the BCCI’s failure to meet the expectations of the people of India. The fact that the BCCI is a monopoly is one. Monopolies are not answerable, are non-transparent, dictatorial and arrogant. Further, monopolies do not respect any view that is not from within, least of all the views of a billion Indians who do not form a part of the Board.

The present scandal and intrigue within the BCCI though is mainly related to its prodigal child, the IPL. This tournament was founded on more than just cricket. Conflict of interests, multi-million dollar franchises, cheerleaders and the promise of freely available post-match ‘entertainment’, Bollywood and cricket stars, raging television ratings — the IPL fed on it all and became a raving success.

Hats off to Lalit Modi for creating this unique monster. Now match-fixing, betting, bookies and the alleged involvement of players and a man related to the president himself have converted the tournament into sleaze. And the ravenous IPL continues to feed on this baseness, taking it all in, bursting at its seams. My fear is that IPL 2014 is going to be a far bigger brand than IPL 2013 because of this extra dirt that it is feeding on of late.

The danger

I repeat, the danger lies in the sleaze. It’s now impossible to differentiate between true cricket of old and sleazy cricket of today. For no real fault of theirs, Test matches that have withstood the test of time, and ODIs have both been painted with the tainted brush of corruption. It’s because IPL sleaze has seeped so deeply into the very foundations of Indian cricket that it has become of paramount importance for the BCCI to cleanse the system from its very roots. It’s time that the BCCI severed itself from the IPL. 

We need a solution that will break the monopoly of the Board, offer a pure form of cricket to people like us yet at the same time retain the incredibly popular IPL. The perfect solution is for the BCCI to dump the IPL.

Sell or lease it to an entertainment company with all its licenses and permissions intact. The BCCI will continue to earn billions from it yet not be a party to the sleaze. The two months of IPL with all its entertainment will continue to rock India.

The ridiculous sum of money that BCCI will make from such a deal could then be used to continue its development of cricket in India. And further, now the BCCI will no longer be a monopoly as another company would be selling cricket.

Making it clear

If this is done then the young 12-year-old budding cricketer, who is presently terribly confused between sleaze and cricket, will have a clear-cut option of which path to take; the pure path of cricket of old or the sleazy path of the IPL circus. Even the viewer would then have the option to watch his true-blue cricket or the T20 soap opera. 

As far as the N. Srinivasan story goes, it hasn’t ended because it never started. The non-starter was because no one in the BCCI ever understood why Srinivasan should resign. Should he because his son-in-law has done something wrong? He didn’t do anything himself, he claims.

Because of a conflict of interests pertaining to CSK? If so the entire governing committee that took the decision should go and no one wanted that. In order to allow a fair probe against Gurunath? Maybe. And so he set up a committee and stepped aside for a month setting up a convenient precedent for all to follow if and when they face such a similar situation.  

Srinivasan has done to the Board what the Board has been doing to the world for a few years. With his usual bluster, high-handedness and arrogance, knowing he had no opposition from within, he stood unwavering in the face of a salvo from the media; a media representing the true feelings of a billion cricket lovers in India. 

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