Monday, December 28, 2009

Ground realities about the BCCI

(Also in
Exhibit One: The Eden Gardens
One of the greatest cricket grounds in the world; it has to wait close to three years before getting a one-day match. In the interim, grounds in Mohali, Mumbai, Kanpur, Jaipur and many others have been allotted match after match.

Exhibit Two: The Ferozeshah Kotla
In the dock at the moment, after preparing a pitch that schoolkids wouldn’t rent for a match. Now staring at sanctions from the ICC.

The first instance tells you what’s wrong with the BCCI.

The second instance also tells you what’s wrong with the BCCI – not because it should defend the Kotla or the DDCA, but because of the reasons why it won’t defend the Kotla or the DDCA.
Cricket fans come last in the BCCI’s list of priorities, and that’s why the Eden Gardens has been ignored as a one-day venue for the longest time. Only because the Cricket Association of Bengal is led by Jagmohan Dalmiya, a man known to be against the Sharad Pawar regime. That’s the only reason.

Dalmiya is also known to be close to Bharatiya Janata Party. Pawar is not.

Ditto for Arun Jaitley, chief of the DDCA. And the DDCA is not one of the associations that support the Pawar regime at the helm of affairs in the BCCI. And that’s the reason the BCCI will not support the DDCA. Not for any other reason.

And here’s the thing: the BCCI should go against the DDCA. But not for the same reasons. The BCCI has always defended Indian cricketers and cricket associations whenever the ICC has gone against them; often without a proper defence, but only because it is more powerful than the ICC. So the BCCI can force the ICC to avoid banning the Kotla if it wants to. But it won’t. Only because it doesn’t want to, not because it is the right thing to do.

I can also put it down in black-and-white that if a similar situation had cropped up around an association that is a supporter of the Pawar regime, the BCCI’s reaction would have been vastly different.