Why then the stakeholders of the game in the country — the cricket fans — not have the right to know of the internal operations of the BCCI as well as the off-field ‘functioning’ of the team that is chosen to represent the national team? © Getty Images

 

 

By Vincent Sunder

 

We seek transparency and the right to know information in the functioning of the state and central governments, government departments and agencies. Public business corporations are required to inform their shareholders the status of business and operations through an Annual Report after duly having an audit conducted. In every sphere of activity which has any public interest, there is a vociferous need for transparency and information/facts.

 

Cricket in India is run by BCCI, the richest sports body in the country. The manner in which this body manages internal affairs as well as the game is public knowledge. Where and how does this body get the riches, and who contributes to making it what it is financially? You and, me and every cricket follower in this cricket-crazy nation who patronize the game have a right to know. We either are paying to watch the games at the stadium, or we are tuned in to every game possible and also, probably, patronizing many of the products that some of the heroes of the game are endorsing.

 

Why then the stakeholders of the game in the country – the cricket fans – not have the right to know of the internal operations of the BCCI as well as the off-field ‘functioning’ of the team that is chosen to represent the national team? There was a hue and cry in 2005 that the ‘leaks’ in the Chappell-Ganguly soap opera should not have happened.

 

Former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu claimed on a popular national TV network that worse things than the present drama have happened in Indian cricket, and such issues should be kept within the dressing-rooms and never exposed. Pray, why? Why shouldn’t the stakeholders of Indian cricket know what their heroes and gods are really up to? Is it disgraceful? Is it obnoxious? Is it detrimental to the game? Does it affect the performance on the field? Would the happenings lower the esteem of the heroes and gods in the eyes of the stakeholder, the ordinary Indian cricket fan? Pray, why should all of us not really know what happens?

 

As with the IPL auctions, why not telecast selection meetings?  There is no compromise of national security if we were to know what really happens when team selections happen. The economy of the country isn’t going to plunge if we were to know facts. Why then should these, apparently, sordid details be buried or shoved under the carpet? Why?

 

Why shouldn’t the report of a coach, the report of the captain, minutes of the deliberations made on those reports, and the conclusions after review meetings be made available to us, the people, who keep this game alive and prosperous? Why not? Every paisa that the Board makes has roots to the support of every cricket lover. And should we NOT be aware of what happens?

 

(Vincent Sunder aspired to play Test cricket, but had to struggle to play ‘gully’ cricket! He managed a league side to title triumph in the KSCA tournaments. He was debarred from umpiring in the gully games after he once appealed vociferously for a caught-behind decision when officiating as an umpire! After two decades in the corporate sector, he became an entrepreneur with the objective of being able to see cricket matches on working days as well.  Vincent gets his ‘high’ from cricket books and cricket videos and discussing cricket)