We have entered a time where every sports body in India is either headed by a bureaucrat, businessman or politician. A cricket player may win matches on the field but the shots are called from somewhere else. Isn’t this unfair? Shouldn’t former players themselves be allowed to run sporting bodies and work for their betterment?
A popular DD Sports analyst recently questioned as to why there isn’t an invitation extended when an advisory committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is to be formed and why only some elite cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman are given all the moolah.
At one time, Bishen Singh Bedi was an active agent of change in the way Indian cricket is governed. But he too was shunned and removed by the politicians.
Ex-BJP MP Chetan Chauhan recently told the Hindu, “For creating facilities, getting government clearances, organising funds, getting approvals for grants and scholarships for youngsters, politicians can certainly be a big help.”
But shouldn’t politicians be automatically willing to extend help? Surely all the political class sees the sports administration job as a source to gain illegal money, fame and power.
“Sports means glamour and recognition. It has a wide base; makes you popular,” BJP MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra even admitted recently.
We were recently in a huge mess with the International Olympic Committee. The Indian Olympic Association was derecognised after not holding fair elections as demanded by the IOC and Indians for a long time, competed under the Olympic flag at world events. Winter athlete Shiva Keshavan was one such example. What Shiva said to the media later is a slap in the face of every such selfish politician.
“Although I will not get to perform under the Indian flag, millions of people from the country want to see me perform and this would be my source of motivation,” Shiva said before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
There is no dearth of patriotism in the feelings of our athletes. They want to make the country proud. Only, the administration goes on making them frustrated with their ‘chalta hai’ and corrupt attitude. While some athletes come out and complain in the media, others keep quiet because it is their source of livelihood, whatever little they earn from the sport.
The question to ask also is that why are all the administrators only interested in cricket. If promotion is what they want to do, they can pick any sport. The politicians, however, are only looking for fame, money and clout to increase their power.
The BCCI in recent times has shown how it can amend its own laws to protect the administrators. It is by no means fair or neutral. They way BCCI chief-in-exile N. Srinivasan abused the system and kept on delaying annual general meetings despite it being against the body’s constitution depicts the crony capitalism that has entered Indian sports.
Even greats like Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Ravi Shastri or Laxman could not speak their mind against Srinivasan. This brings us to wonder, is the BCCI today being run by goons?
Now, through Lalit Modi’s explosive revelations, the BCCI faces a threat of being toppled. It is sad to see how the matter is being politicised so much and how big names like Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Arun Jaitley are coming up.
It pains to see the state of Indian cricket administration as it is today. In my mind, FIFA was the most corrupt sports organization in the world earlier and BCCI came second. But with what has transpired so far in recent developments, there is no doubt in my mind that BCCI is the most corrupt sports body across the globe.