Home > Features >

Lok Sabha Elections 2014: Will a new government change things for Indian cricket?

Narendra Modi (left) government could mean Arun Jaitley (centre) and Anurag Thakur emerging as men who could all the shots in Indian cricket © PTI & AFP
Anurag Thakur (left) and Arun Jaitley (centre) could emerge as men who could call the shots in Indian cricket, if Narendra Modi comes to power © PTI & AFP

Will the 2014 General Elections impact the game of cricket in India? Sudatta Mukherjee looks at some of the possible realigning of political forces within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) post the elections.

If Bollywood and Indian cricket has been almost inseparable, then politics and Indian cricket have been Siamese Twins. There is far too much fame, power and money in the game in India for the politicians to stay away. Almost every state association is headed by a political heavyweight. Men like SK Wankhede, NKP Salve, Madhavrao Scindia, Ranbir Singh Mahendra and Sharad Pawar went onto head the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The ambitious Pawar even went on to head the International Cricket Council (ICC).

There is widespread belief that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will come to power with Narendra Modi likely to take over as the 14th Prime Minister of India. Will BJP’s and Modi coming to power make a difference to the cricket equations? It could. Many of the state cricketing associations affiliated to the BCCI are headed by powerful politicians. The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) is no exception; the head being none other than Modi himself.

The biggest cricketing casualty, if Modi emerges as the Prime Minister, could be bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.  Modi has been scathing in his attack of the present government in handling Pakistan in all matters. His speeches have left no room for ambiguity what he thinks of the Congress government and Pakistan.

Sample this:

India is a financial powerhouse in cricket. Under N Srinivasan’s autocratic regime, the BCCI has not hesitated to flex its financial muscle and get just about everything its way — rightly or otherwise and umindful of the furore around the world among right-minded people. If there is one area where the BCCI — under Srinivasan or any other person — could find support from a BJP-led government,  it is in making the northern neighbours feel the pinch of money and opportunities to play India. Even at an individual level, by continuing to deny Pakistan players the opportunities to rake in big moolah in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In 2009, when the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack occurred, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition decided to call of bilateral series between India and Pakistan. It was only as recent as December 2012-January 2013 that Pakistan got the opportunity to tour India. Pakistan is hopeful of touring India again sometime after the general elections, but a lot will depend on the mood and the munificence of a new government that is likely to take over.

Congress losing power at the centre will mean the BCCI losing a key man at the centre in Rajiv Shukla, a Member of Parliament with close access to 10, Janpath. But the BCCI need not worry, as it has adequate representations in all political hues. The man who could call the shots in BCCI in the days ahead could be suave Arun Jaitley, a Modi confidant and touted as the next president of the BCCI.

The BJP also has a seasoned politician in Kirti Azad, a former cricketer. But his relations with Jaitley have been anything but cordial. That would mean someone like Navjot Singh Sidhu — a Jaitely protégé but  controversially no contesting the 2014 elections — or Chetan Chauhan, both former India players, could have a bigger role in Indian cricket. But The BJP also has in its ranks Anurag Thakur, an MP and son of Himachal Pradesh’s former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. Thakur brings lot more to the table in BCCI and in politics than Azad, Sidhu and Chauhan.

One gets the strong feeling that Jaitley and Thakur could well call the shots in Indian cricket post the elections.

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)


Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Sri Lanka women’s senior player accuses selector of asking for sexual favours

Karnataka enter SK Acharya Memorial Trophy final

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Wriddhiman Saha fit for first ODI

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan birthday special: Some spectacular pictures of the former Miss World

Happy Halloween 2014: Top 5 movie character looks you can try this Halloween

Telecom Secretary to meet Vodafone, Airtel executives on November 5 to discuss problems in sector

Nokia’s Chennai plant not a part of the Microsoft deal, to shut shop tomorrow

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Raman and Ishita to get arrested!

Ayurvedic treatment: 7 types of Ayurvedic massage you should know about

Beauty Tip #43 — Get fuller-looking lips with home-made sugar scrub

Kumkum Bhagya: Will Tanu convince Abhi to marry her?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here