Anil Thakraney: A Sahara lesson for BCCI

08 Feb,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Though they may eventually resolve their dispute, and Sahara could again partner the BCCI in some form, it must be said one feels happy that the former decided to pull the plug on constant moolah supply to the cricket board. And the Sahara group has also opted out of the IPL. The world’s richest (and most arrogant) cricketing body can do with some hard jolts like these.


In fact, I do believe sponsors and advertisers are the ONLY entities with the power to clean up cricket in India, so that the sport doesn’t wither away and lose its mass appeal. They must list down harsh terms and conditions on the BCCI before they put the money down. And this includes demand for complete transparency in the way the BCCI functions. The cricket body has conveniently cloaked its workings in dark secrecy, and this has led to many dubious deeds. Including financial scandals, unethical business practices, badly planned tour itineraries and a myopic vision of the future of Indian cricket. Humiliating defeats of the team in the recent past is sure to affect viewership of both, international tournaments and the great IPL. This means ad rates must be slashed as well.


The big problem is that the BCCI appears to be accountable to no one. And quite characteristically, they are completely allergic to being put under the purview of the RTI Act. Which means there is no way to clean up this dodgy organization. Unless of course the advertisers gang up against them, and put some serious pressure. The autocratic style of operating Indian cricket cannot be allowed to go on. This is very important for the future of cricket in this country.


Hopefully, Sahara’s bombshell will serve as a wake-up call for everyone else.




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PS: An ad tailor-made for the commercial break. Chrysler released this stunning patriotic commercial during the Super Bowl half-time, featuring the Hollywood superstar, Clint Eastwood. I can feel the blood rising miles away in Mumbai, imagine the impact on Americans. Super stuff.


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