Edit/Op-Ed

Gavaskar Ready to Begin Short Inning for Clean Cricket

Rakesh Manchanda for BeyondHeadlines

Thanks to Supreme court for asking Sunil Gavaskar to take over to clean the game. Gavaskar who has the record and courage to face bouncers on the field during his cricket tenure has a strong secular moral record outside the field in Public.( It is on media records that Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar had to come out on streets to save Muslims  getting attacked in his apartment block during 2002 communal riots .) Some critiques quote Gavaskar parking illegal 15000 usd in his gym locker in year 2001, but he was honest to admit this mistake.

The tenure of Mr. Shivlal Yadav and Mr. Gavaskar, however brief like Delhi-49 days AAP Government, it shall be an opportunity to clean up the BCCI’s affairs.Like AK-49 days Sarkar it is another opportunity for Public to enjoy the game and to see how Gavaskar handles the Corruption pressures.By disclosing his honest interest in advance — that he had a contract as a commentator with the BCCI –India`s best opening batsman has got off the mark with a touch of accountability and a class. For a corruption free Cricket administration, Gavaskar needs to bring in his old field qualities — the courage to evade a barrage of bouncers, the guts to carry on without the protection of a helmet and the instinct to know where the ball shall come, where the fielder is and where his stump is.

Captain M.S. Dhoni who was tainted and nor spared was driven by obvious conflict of interest, joined the chorus before the Supreme Court-appointed Mukul Mudgal Committee that Gurunath Meiyappan was not the owner or principal of CSK, but only a cricketing enthusiast.

All stakeholders with a sportsmen spirit must accept the blame for the Cricket reaching such a shameful climax that the country’s highest court has had to intervene and make arrangements to run cricket without a taint or suspicion. The Board in the past displayed fear and doubts in implementing anti-corruption transparent measures and failed to act on the evidences of spot fixing.

Supreme Court order asking the former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar as interim head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to manage the bad affairs of the Indian Premier League this year is cheered by players, administrators, stakeholders and fans alike. Removal of N. Srinivasan, who had refused to step down as president of the Board despite his position getting over and outdated long ago is the happy outcome. The judgement also addresses the conflict of interest between Mr. Srinivasan’s double role of a franchise and as head of the national cricket body. Court has directed that none associated with India Cements should be part of the BCCI. Two former Test cricketers — Shivlal Yadav and Sunil Gavaskar will discharge the BCCI president’s functions. Gavaskar, role will be limited to IPL operations this year. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the two franchises who were dragged in the scandal, will stay in the tournament.

In Cricket the public pressure, transparency and participation of both rich-poor shall never allow the game to die. With right to recall the old players and Managers driven by hidden business interests shall get replaced. Millions hope Supreme Court tries to rescue and clean with same speed the hidden Cricket played by Politicians-Corporate nexus in India.BCCI  with its Member State Associations are controlled by various traditional politicians such as Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Rajiv Shukla, CP Joshi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arun Jaitley, Narindra Modi, Anurag Thakur, and others who have, over the decades, have manipulating & handpicking members of their Electoral College and under the excuse of holding “honorary posts” have made Cricket as their personnel hen who lays golden eggs. Time has come when Indian cricket bodies need to be restructured in order to clean them.

Media stories are flooded with sports scam and how Indian athletics were not allowed to participate in London Olympics-2012.For more details see my article in the same columns title-STOP CORPORATE MATCH FIXING : APPLY CRICKET SWARAJ. My appeal & article in these columns is to rescue Cricket from billionaires club and bring it to the Public Domain which needs 100% attention. Need of the hour to make BCCI accountable to Public needs a pending sports bill called Khelpal.

In cricket as a popular sport thanks to transparency and collective pressure put up by rich and poor audience the score board cannot be hidden. This game still has fair rules. It remains more transparent then the `political cricket` played by billionaires in the production units and factories. During Production the score board in the factories indicating fixed audit is tempered and manipulated to ease out black money to Tax Havens.

There are still experts who say there is no `honest rules` in any form of organisation from Cricket to Politics- due to no Pressure of Public. For a safe job, safe sport ,safe terror free market, safe work, safe team, safe nation and for a safe contest a transparent sharing of all money matters and wealth distribution plan by responsible stakeholders is essential. Games hold the connecting spirit and role model of any country.

It is time to change the country holistically from Cricket to Governance.

[Views expressed are personal.]
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