Anil Thakraney: The BCCI has to be controlled

18 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Constant readers of this blog might remember my post on IPL 5 when the tamasha had just gone underway. And in that post, I had spelt out various reasons why the tournament doesn’t interest me in the least. Now, I know it isn’t very nice to boast ‘I told you so’. And yet, on this occasion, I feel no hesitation in reporting that I had mentioned at the time that I would be mighty surprised if there was no match fixing going on in this cricket ‘fest’. I also recall saying that for the tabloid media, IPL is a goldmine for sensational stories.


Don’t know if the India TV guys read my post or not, but their sting operation has confirmed my fears. Good story. The only little grouse I have with the channel is that maybe they went out with the story a bit too soon. Perhaps if they had been more patient and had cared to dig a little harder, they may have nailed some big fish too.


To be fair, it isn’t entirely BCCI’s fault if some youngsters decide to sell their souls for some extra moolah. Surely the board cannot keep an eye on the activities of every single player. So perhaps we can’t slam only them for this scandal. The real question is this: What will the BCCI do NOW? Their future conduct will determine if they are serious about protecting the credibility of these games. They have to not just impose a life ban on the offenders (if proved guilty), the richie rich cricket board has to draw out powerful anti-corruption mechanisms to make sure the games are run cleanly.


And this is where the problem lies. How can an organization that’s not answerable to anyone, that has been following dodgy practices as standard operating process all these years, be trusted to run clean and transparent games? Which is why I really think the government, through the sports ministry, must clamp down on their activities. To begin with, they must bring the BCCI under the RTI regime. Of course, this is going to be tough because a whole lot of netas are involved with cricket in India, but it simply has to happen. As long as the BCCI is run like a private party, a personal fiefdom of a chosen few, rats will keep crawling under their glitzy carpet.


If the latest shameful expose doesn’t trigger massive changes in the functioning of the BCCI, nothing will. And yes, thank god I chose to stay away from the IPL. Imagine wasting so many man hours each day watching this nautanki, only to discover later that some players have been busy cutting private deals with freelance agents. Bollocks, mate!


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PS: An interesting billboard created by JWT, London. The National Centre for Domestic Violence, through this interactive billboard, asks people to use their cell phones to drag an abusive man away from his partner. Folks can visit a website featured on the billboard, and click on that to remove the man. Good way to directly involve people on the issue of domestic violence. Wonder when India’s hoardings will get a little imaginative!


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