It is hard to believe that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is actually a sport organisation and not a kingdom.
A decade ago, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi wondered who gave the BCCI the authority to say that it ‘controls’ cricket in the country.
No one has had an answer to that till now. Pataudi claimed that the word ‘control’ gives absolute power to these people who are anyway unwilling to accept suggestion.
They make it clear that they are the ‘ones’ who control the game and unsolicited advice is not welcome.
Enough has happened in the past one year to suggest that the Board has a policy of not paying heed to any suggestion.
That the Technical committee has completely messed up the rules is old news.
Now it is the planning that has taken a vacation.
With a non-cricketer-cum-central-politician busy with his party problems heading the most important sub-committee of Programme and Fixtures, chaos reigns supreme.
With change in the format, some of the Ranji teams have been asked to go on ‘Bharat Darshan’.
Consider this mess between the domestic schedules: At the start of the season, most cricketers who played in a warm-up game against England had to rush to the Mumbai airport on the last day to reach their respective destinations for Ranji Trophy.
This meant that they had to play seven days in a row resulting in most bowlers back in the NCA for rehabilitation.
The Ranji Trophy final starts on Saturday and a day later India will play the last ODI against England.
The BCCI says four players — Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara —cannot be part of the Ranji final since they are officially in the Indian team.
We can only sympathise with these boys for the confusion they are in.
Now, how could the sub-committee overlook such an obvious clash of dates? What level of planning and strategy can we expect from such an organisation which cannot plan proper schedules?
One would have expected the former Ranji captain and now BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale to at least caution the committee.
This messed up programme could have been rectified with a little bit of planning. How difficult was it to postpone the Ranji Trophy final by three days?
Perhaps with the ‘controlling’ body having a majority of non-cricketers, one shouldn’t even expect cricket planning.
Gone are the days when Farokh Engineer was not picked for the tour of the West Indies in 1971 mainly because he didn’t turn up to play Ranji Trophy.
Now players yearning to play the Ranji Trophy final will be made to sit in the pavilion with nothing to do but watch and clap.
With the series decided, surely the BCCI can release the players who will not be part of the final XI on Sunday.
The controlling body may have the right to ‘control’ the game in the country but it also has the responsibility to take care of players’ careers.