Ian Chappell termed the Indian Board as a "bully" when asked to describe it in one word © Getty Images
Ian Chappell termed the Indian Board as a “bully” when asked to describe it in one word © Getty Images

New Delhi: There are far too many politicians in the BCCI and cutting back on some of them might help it become more professional, according to former Australia captain Ian Chappell who said it is important for the Board to put in place a good team to restore its credibility. “BCCI has got way too many politicians involved. Cutting back on them isn’t a bad start,” said Chappell at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Besides Chappell, former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi, opener Gautam Gambhir and Justice Mukul Mudgal were also a part of the panel discussion, where all the panelists demanded more accountability, transparency and honesty from the BCCI.

Chappell termed the Indian Board as a “bully” when asked to describe it in one word and said that it actually bullies other Boards to fall in its line. Citing the example of the Decision Review System, Chappell said there should be similar rules for every cricket playing nation but India never uses it in bilateral series. “India has a lot of power now, but with power comes responsibility. I don’t trust the DRS either and I think it is a rubbish system. But that is beside the point. Either every one has to use it or not use it,” he insisted.

Chappell suggested that the BCCI should have a proper team to run the sport in the country. “Like you cannot have all 11 bowlers or all 11 batsmen in a team. Similarly, to run a cricket body, all should not be cricketers but some administrators also. Putting an administration body together is like picking a cricket team,” he said. Bedi rated BCCI zero on a scale of 1 to 10 as far as BCCI’s professionalism is concern.

“The credibility factor is very low as far as the BCCI is concerned. The accountability of the BCCI is absolutely zero,” stressed Bedi. The legendary spinner said it was important for players of high stature who are currently playing the game to speak up against malpractices and corruption. “The players’ voice is very important in issues of match-fixing or chucking. Unfortunately, the giants of Indian cricket have always been silent. It is important that they should raise their voice,” said Bedi.

Gambhir also said it was important that the BCCI employ right kind of people so that there is transparency. “I think there should be more transparency and I feel the current regime is looking to bring in that,” he said. But Gambhir felt that bringing in only professionals to run the body is not a solution. “Something like FIFA had all professionals running the organisation but look at the kind of corruption that happened, so what matters is getting the right kind of people.

“In BCCI, the problem is there not many right kind of people in the State associations. So once you get right people in the state associations that will be reflected in the BCCI also,” said Gambhir. “You got to have the right people in the mix, especially those who have played the sport. BCCI becoming professional depends on the quality of people involved,” he added.

Gambhir said it was unfair that the Big three (India, Australia and England cricket boards) have maximum say in the affairs of the International Cricket Council. “I think it is not fair to give everything to Big three because that would be unjust for the other countries. ICC must look into that,” said Gambhir. Both Gambhir and Bedi insisted that the the BCCI administrators should be picked up on the basis of their performance.

“Like our cricket teams are picked on the basis of their performance, the same should be applied to the administrators also,” felt both Bedi and Gambhir. Justice Mudgal said that the BCCI should be run like a proper corporate or an industry, which has a CEO. “BCCI should have an executive officer to oversee the affairs,” said Mudgal. Mudgal said as compared to the BCCI, the Indian Premier League functions better as they run as a corporate.

“If we leave aside some of the evils associated with IPL. But as a organisation IPL’s functioning is fantastic. It is much more professional than the BCCI.” Mudgal said since there is no coordination between the BCCI anti-corruption unit and the police, it is difficult to curb corruption in cricket. “The BCCI anti-corruption unit does not have coordination with the police. The BCCI has to ensure that the two work in tandem to check malpractices,” said the former judge.