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)

 

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 Alastair Cook Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

tsMS Dhoni takes 5th spot in Forbes Magazine’s valuable sportspersons list

PCB launches revamp of Pakistan’s domestic structure

Sri Lanka to look for new coaching staff

MS Dhoni better wicketkeeeper than what he showed at Lord’s: Farokh Engineer

Sachin Tendulkar: Century at Perth in 1992 against Australia changed my career

India tour of England 2014: Ishant Sharma’s feats at Lord’s

India tour of England 2014: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s feats at Lord’s

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Dale Steyn’s feats at Galle

India vs England 3rd Test at The Ageas bowl: A sneak peek into England squad

Mohammad Irfan hopes Pakistani players will play in IPL

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Sex Tip #26 – What to do after sex?

Idea offers free web pass to its users on Opera Mini

Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony: India make a grand entry on the tunes of ‘Nagada, Nagada’!

Bang Bang teaser gets over a million views within 13 hours of release!

9 reasons sprouts are good for your health

Leaked: Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s romantic video from Corsica!

How many Xiaomi Mi 3 units did Flipkart sell in India?

Randeep Hooda’s erotic movie Rang Rasiya will release in Diwali

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here