Money being well used: Pawar

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G. Viswanath

Mumbai: Sharad Pawar will step down as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President after he officially becomes the Senior Vice-President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June.

“I am satisfied with the functioning of the BCCI. The intention was always to use money for development purposes,” Pawar said in an email interview to The Hindu.


How would you describe your tenure in the last 28 months?

I am satisfied with the manner the BCCI has functioned. There has been all round development which is visible; whether it is the BCCI headquarters becoming a reality, professionalism, transparent marketing measures and the development of the game. .

For someone who has been in politics for over four decades how different was it addressing issues relating to cricket

In the Mumbai Cricket Association, I could do a lot of good things thanks to the support of the member clubs. In the BCCI, my priority was to take everybody into confidence. I did not believe in politics once elections were over. I am very happy with the manner we have dealt with important issues.

You had the support of 21 State and institutional units at the Kolkata AGM in 2005. Things have changed a lot since then with everything in place for a smooth transition; Shashank Manohar has been elected President-elect till September 2011

Shashank Manohar is respected a lot by the members because he speaks his mind on issues related to the Board. He is very fair and gives a patient hearing to the members about their problems and helps them. His unanimous election is good for the working of the BCCI and I am sure he will do well.

In an interview to The Hindu the day after the AGM in 2005, you had highlighted the need to improve the constitution

Yes we amended the Constitution to do away with the annual elections and make it a two-year term for the office-bearers and with an extension of one year making it three-year tenure which is helpful in the smooth working of the Board. We have also ensured that unlike in the past, the President now has to be from one of the affiliated units in the same zone from where he is to be elected.

You had also said that the BCCI was not supposed to keep money in the bank only to earn interest

I am of the firm opinion that our responsibility is not to collect huge reserves and earn interest, but to see that the money available is used in the development of infrastructure. We therefore decided to increase the infrastructure funds from Rs. 4 crore to 50 crore. The infrastructure fund is reimbursed after the Finance Committee is satisfied with the report accompanied by audited statement of accounts for the work being carried out by an affiliated unit. We reimburse only 50 per cent of the expenses incurred. The BCCI has also made it clear that every association should own a ground in the next two years if it wants to stage international matches in future and that it must have an academy by the end of April 2009.

The revenue generated from global media rights (Nimbus), Sahara and Nike must have been very satisfying

The biggest achievement of my tenure is the aggressive marketing strategy adopted by Lalit Modi and his committee in raising huge sums of money in a transparent manner.

What’s the feedback from first class cricketers? This season it’s going to be Rs. 36, 000 match fee per day for all the senior tournaments

I think that if a cricketer is hard working, sincere and has the ability, he can now look at the game as a career option because the match fees are almost half of what the player in the National team would earn if he is in the playing eleven. The earnings of domestic players are surely to go up in years to come with the additional revenue from IPL.

The chairman of the Selection Committee, Dilip Vengsarkar, had raised issues. Has the BCCI addressed it?

The BCCI will implement the revised policy of the appointment of selectors in September 2008.

Where do you see Indian cricket heading in terms of development (NCA), opportunities for juniors, India ‘A’ tours and women’s cricket?

I am confident of the future of Indian cricket. The NCA is slowly taking shape with fulltime appointments like Director (coaching), physio, trainer and the setting up of a full-fledged rehabilitation centre. Talented juniors and internationals are bound to benefit from this and will use the facilities to sharpen their skills.

Women’s cricket is certainly showing up with all our affiliated units organising coaching camps. They now have better training facilities and our team will be a force to reckon with in the next two to three years.

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