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By IS Bindra
Finally what I have been saying for weeks, months and over a year, has been vindicated. It is not a moment for me to gloat personally, especially as the Supreme Court of India has raised questions about the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), an organisation I once headed. It has raised questions about an organisation, which has seen some brilliant sports administrators like NKP Salve, Raj Singh Dungarpur and Sharad Pawar, Madhavrao Scindia and Shashank Manohar, at the helm.
It’s a moment of shame for us to see the game gaining such disrepute across the globe for a single man’s obsession with power. It is time for all of us involved in the sport; all the stakeholders of the game in the country to take a call and express our displeasure at the way the game is being administered.
What stung me most was the use of the word ‘nauseating’ by the apex court in describing BCCI and its chief, N Srinivasan. If that is not reason enough for someone to be ashamed, I wonder what is? It has been over 24 hours and the BCCI and its chief have taken no action as yet.
What surprises me even more is the fact that there has been no murmur from the top brass in the BCCI. Yes, there have been statements from the BCCI vice-presidents but they are too open-ended. The inaction by the BCCI top brass reflects Srinivasan’s shamelessness to stick to his chair. How else would you explain the defiance by the man? He is surely worried about the skeletons in the cupboard tumbling out if and when he departs. Why else would he be resisting stepping down after being castigated by the Supreme Court?
I fully agree with the apex court’s observation that till Srinivasan is not removed, the real truth of the match-fixing saga will not be revealed and the main culprits will not be brought to justice. Most importantly, the image of cricket will not improve. The longer he takes to vacate the chair, the longer it will take to regain the confidence of the fans and stakeholders. I appeal to all the right-thinking BCCI officials to stand and be counted. Wake up gentlemen, the sport needs you.
A man of high integrity, Manohar – former board president, has made a valid point. Why hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the hotbed of fixing, Sharjah? As BCCI president and later as a senior member I was party to the boycott of the venue, which I believed was the epicentre of nefarious activities in cricket.
In a policy announcement, the government of India had refused permission to the Indian cricket team to play in Sharjah and advised the BCCI not to participate in these ‘non-regular venues’, especially Sharjah.
I think, we still have time and we can still pull matches out of Sharjah. This IPL provides a backdoor entry for Sharjah to be accepted by one and all. IPL needs an urgent cleansing process. It requires a concerted effort from the top to bottom. But it seems that there is just no will to cleanse the sport or improve the image of the tournament.
Everyone is happy with the money being doled out to the various associations through the process of IPL.
I wholeheartedly support Shashank Manohar’s suggestion to cancel IPL 7 this year till the mess is cleaned up. We can re-assemble in 2015 once the tournament is cleared of the unwanted elements. With so many doubts and questions around the tournament’s integrity, the players and officials’ integrity, it is better to not have the tournament this year.
I am all for this solution, but Mr. Srinivasan are you ready for it?
Above all Mr. Srinivasan, are you able to see the writing on the wall?
Quit before you drag Indian cricket down the gutter along with yourself.
(Inderjit Singh Bindra is a former Indian Administrative Service officer who has been associated with cricket administration in India since 1975. He has been Punjab Cricket Association president for nearly three decades. He was also the Special Secretary to Giani Zail Singh when he was President of India in the 1980s. He played a key role in staging the Reliance World Cup in 1987 and opening up the Indian cricket television market. India’s stock in world cricket rose dramatically with the increase in commercial muscle, thanks largely to Mr Bindra’s efforts. He was president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1993-94 to 1995-96. India’s first ultra-modern cricket stadium at Mohali, among the best in the world, is Bindra’s brainchild. He was also the advisor in forming the Indian Premier League and ICC’s Principal Advisor)
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