The recent ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against the petitioner Bihar Cricket Association has kept the Indian cricket fan most eye-catching. BCCI President N Srinivasan must make way for legendary cricketer Sunil « Sunny » Gavaskar, who will serve as interim president for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
It is evident that the SC made this decision in order to restore confidence in the average Indian cricket fan who was disaffected by the murky events. Spot fixing and illegal betting by key members of some of the IPL’s franchisees. Millions of dollars have been invested in the Blue Riband tournament over the past six seasons and the imagination of cricket fans has been sparked – which actually increases the « fan base » to a staggering number.
Fortunately, the SC allowed the BCCI to host the tournament for the seventh time and allowed two controversial teams – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) – to participate in the series. This is good news for the fans, players, franchisees, media, and the many people involved in running the tournament.
With the IPL a few weeks away, the driver of SC is that no employee of India Cements, the N Srinivasan-run company owned by CSK, will be part of the BCCI, an issue raised by the August organization needs to be resolved. For starters, Sunder Raman, the IPL CEO, happens to be part of the company. In addition, many India Cements employees are part of the BCCI in various functions – from coaching to administration.
SC’s instruction that Gavaskar will now oversee the IPL Governing Council (which includes his brother-in-law and the other Indian legend, Gundappa Viswanath) in running the tournament has a strong message for those associated with the tournament People sent. Gavaskar is known for his hard work, cleverness, patience, and disposition to play with a straight racket. Given his reputation as a disciplinarian on and off the pitch during his playing time, it will be difficult for anyone to twirl and flip a norm under his watchful eye.
As far as is known, SC’s latest policy is the first of many changes that may be in sight. The next hearing, scheduled for mid-April, will be crucial for the BCCI, which hopes the Apex Court will not bring about any further changes and disrupt the portals of « the most exclusive club in India ». ‘
The SC gave the players and fans a breather and clearly signaled to the BCCI to formulate the consequences or to face the consequences by allowing the IPL to continue. Never before in the history of the game has a judicial authority intervened in India to put the house in order. The BCCI has had conscientious administrators who put the game above politics since its inception in 1928. Indian fans, familiar with Gavaskar’s penchant for fair play, can rest assured that the armpit tactic will be hit with a straight stick. Howwzat !!!
(Hemant Kenkre is a communications specialist, cricket columnist, and former Bombay University cricketer. The views expressed are his own. )
Cricket, Indian National Cricket Team, Cricket Control Authority in India, India
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