Qaiser Mohammad Ali
If retired judge Mukul Mudgal, appointed ‘observer’ by Delhi High Court for the next month’s India-South Africa Test in Delhi, is unhappy about the existing lackadaisical DDCA administration he is not showing it. But the words he chooses to describe his experience so far with the association and its officials – “they have to suffer me” – convey his feelings clearly.
In a careful and polite way, Mudgal also said that in the DDCA “people are used to a certain way” of working and that he was trying to do things “slightly differently”. He did not elaborate on this due to his ongoing task, but his annoyance could easily be assessed from the unusually despondent, though polite, tone he spoke in.
“Well, I don’t think they [DDCA officials] will get used to me; they have to suffer me, frankly,” he said in a lighter vein when jantakareporter.com asked him if people have got used to your style of working in six days.
Why will DDCA administrators have to suffer him?
“It is because things are being done differently [now] while people are used to a certain way. Things are being done slightly differently. Obviously, it takes time for people to adjust,” he said without going into specifics. But what he was indicating, perhaps the widespread mal-administration, couldn’t be missed.
Despite the odds, Mudgal, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to head a committee to probe the 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal, sounded determined to do his best and hinted that if in the process he offends some people at the DDCA then so be it.
“It can’t be helped if some people are used to a different way of working. I have changed certain things. I am doing what I think is best for the game. I am not sure whether I am right, but I have a right to wrong also,” he said and laughed. “So, that’s it.”
Amongst the steps Mudgal has taken have been to plug financial loopholes, like correcting ‘faulty’ tenders, and appointing retired Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of India I.P. Singh, known for his “very good reputation”, to take charge of all the tenders.
DDCA has been mired in various kinds of corruption – from financial to cricket-related – for many years and in recent times it has only shot up remarkably. All this promoted a few people like former India players Bishan Singh Beda and Kirti Azad to launch a crusade a couple of years ago to cleanse the association.
The Delhi High Court requested Mudgal, who has watched many international matches at the Ferozeshah Kotla as a cricket fan, to oversee the conduct of the India-South Africa Test after it was becoming increasingly clear that the match, due to the DDCA’s various shortcomings, would be shifted to Pune by the BCCI.
On taking charge, Mudgal immediately took some hard decisions that left some DDCA bigwigs sulking. One of them reportedly said in frustration “ab who yeh bhi karenge (now he will control this too)” after one such decision that Mudgal took on his maiden visit as in-charge on November 21 didn’t go down well with him.
Since then, Mudgal and his trusted team of hand-picked lieutenants have streamlined the tender process that is said to be one of the biggest sources of financial corruption over the years. All the contracts allotment, through proper tenders, was expected to be completed by Thursday evening.
Is Mudgal satisfied with process he has initiated and have the concerned people adhered to that?
“Well, frankly, I would not like to comment on it, because my task is ongoing. But it is a difficult task. That’s all I can say,” he said, again not sounding too gung-ho about the enormous faults he is going about rectifying.
Despite plugging the widespread financial loopholes that may have annoyed certain people in the DDCA, Mudgal said no has one tried to exert pressure on him.
“No, no…no pressure,” he said, as politely as ever.
Amidst the gloom, Mudgal has also won a few admirers, like Kirti Azad.
“As ex cricketers, we have a lot of expectations from Justice Mudgal, not just because he has been appointed by the Hon’ble High Court, but because he is a sports lover himself. This is the right way to go, Justice Mudgal. We all are with you,” said Azad, a former Delhi captain.