By Dhananjay Devasper
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is back to doing what it does best: thumb their nose at everyone, show absolute disregard for the scathing comments made by the Supreme Court a few months ago and of course, throw its weight around and behave as obnoxiously as anyone with a lot of money in India and little common sense does. And very similar to the political mood in India, where there seems to be no fear of repercussions, the BCCI also seems to believe that it is perfectly fine to behave in the most ungentlemanly manner while running “The Gentleman’s Game” in India.
It all began with the BCCI Working Committee meeting. After enough deliberation on “Will he or won’t he chair the meeting”, a compromise formula on Jagmohan Dalmiya “chairing” the meeting, and N Srinivasan taking charge of proceedings after being present as a “special invitee” was reached. Srinivasan even set the agenda for the AGM. While a lot could change between now and the AGM, where Srinivasan will be seeking an extension of his term, it is clear that the decks are being cleared for his return. The only thing that might throw a spanner in the works, is a decision against him in the Supreme Court.
Another interesting piece of news that also came out was the announcement of a West Indies tour to India in November. ‘Killing many birds with one stone’ would be an apt description of the decision. Firstly it was a salvo fired at the South African cricket board. While there was no mention of the effect on the South African tour in the meeting, this was an obvious reaction to the appointment of Haroon Lorgat as chief executive, who has been known to stand against the BCCI on many matters during his stint at the ICC.
However this would also mean that Sachin Tendulkar could possibly play his 200th Test Match in India, and more presumably at his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium. It has also become apparent for a while now that this is probably the only milestone left for the Little Master to conquer, and there might just be the much awaited retirement announcement once Sachin crosses this milestone. The BCCI intends to send him off in style for years of yeoman service duly rendered. There was no way that they were going to let this happen outside their own backyard and deny the people of Mumbai their personal “I was there” moment. With coach Duncan Fletcher advising the Board to look at the younger players after the India A matches and the potential candidates it has thrown up, it might just have been the catalyst to ensure that Sachin retires on a grand stage.
While there might be financial repercussions for the South African board with this announcement, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will not be complaining. And as one might just put it, the West Indians will get a chance to retire another great West Indian. Add the financial windfall that this will generate for all parties involved and it seems to be a win-win situation for the BCCI once again. With so much money at stake, it could care less about all the naysayers and its detractors for now.
(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)