Cricket

BCCI — headless and friendless

A view of the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.  

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), lacking direction, is struggling, not having a shoulder to lean on. A clarion call by the chief of the Committee of Administrators, Vinod Rai, asking the legends of the game to speak up and force a massive change must have shaken up those in charge of running the game.

The Indian cricket administrators, a long list of stalwarts, had a vision and drew a roadmap for the growth of the game. There was no money, only passion. When India won the World Cup in 1983, the Board had to organise a Lata Mangeshkar show in Delhi to raise funds to reward the team members!

All that changed during the path-breaking association forged by Jagmohan Dalmiya and I.S. Bindra when cable and satellite TV was entering the Indian market. The Board became financially rich and the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the brainchild of Lalit Modi, in 2008 opened the gates to a remarkable rise in its coffers. The money that came through the mind-boggling marketing of the broadcasting rights saw the BCCI become one of the richest sports bodies in the world.

The flow of funds, however, encouraged a new set of administrators. N. Srinivasan set the tone, keeping the cricketers happy, but there was also sycophancy.

The Board, however, paid heavily for its arrogance. The Supreme Court ensured transparency in its functioning while the International Cricket Council (ICC) brought it back down to earth in Dubai recently.

Desperate situation

The Board has been left to fend for itself in its fight for a greater share of the ICC revenue. Indeed, it finds itself in a desperate situation in the wake of its representatives’ failure at the ICC meeting.

“To me, this is the biggest crisis Indian cricket has faced,” said veteran Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) administrator M.P. Pandove.

How to regain its prestige is the question that haunts the BCCI, which unfortunately lacks leadership during this testing phase. “Headless and friendless,” was how a veteran official put it, ahead of the Special General Meeting (SGM), scheduled for May 7.

The BCCI may have been a family, as Bindra had said, but it is a headless body today.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 12:19:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/bcci-headless-and-friendless/article18347921.ece

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