The name Srinivasan may not ring a bell among those not interested in street boxing, sorry cricket, but then nowadays there is not much difference between the two.
Those acquainted with a bit more than innings and dismissals will know that not all persons interested and associated with the game have any direct contribution to 'gentlemen', the antiquated appendage to the game. Wikipedia records the following about N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
“Until September 2008, BCCI regulation, Clause 6.2.4 stated that 'no administrator of BCCI could have had, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the cricket board'. Later, after the start of IPL in 2008, the clause was amended to give unfavourable benefit to BCCI members such that they can own stakes in the IPL franchise. N Srinivasan later went on to become the owner of Chennai Super Kings. The case against N Srinivasan on the grounds of conflict of interest is still pending in the Supreme Court of India. In 2013, under the massive Indian Premier League Spot fixing controversy, N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai Police under the involvement in heavy betting and trading of inside information to bookies. Despite media and national outrage asking for his resignation, he (Srinivasan) remained defiant. But ultimately, he stepped aside on June 2, 2013 and appointed JagmohanDalmiya as the interim president. On September 27, Supreme Court restrained him from holding the post of BCCI President until its further orders. On October 8, 2013 Supreme Court allows N Srinivasan to take charge as BCCI President.”
It was not surprising that former BCCI president AC Muthiah, who first recommended Srinivasan (a Tamilian) for the post of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president years ago, said during the IPL controversy: “It was a huge mistake to bring Srinivasan into administration”. But no one seems to be listening.
The recent and on-going drama in which Cricket Australia (CA), England&Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and BCCI tried to run a knife through the world of Test cricket somehow tingles, indeed engages the mind to wonder whether all this hassle is drummed up to divert the attention of the Indian media and the cricket-crazy nation away from the controversies that has dogged Indian cricket despite its glories.
The three Test-playing countries, their names beginning incidentally with 'a', 'e' and 'I', teamed up (read ganged) to overhaul a system that has been the very essence of the century old 'game', if you can call it that.
BCCI's agenda is to make boss Srinivasan a greater Indian, which is understandable. But, what is the interest of the other two? Well, historically the English were always merchant tourists and have been famous for being interested in international booty. Their recent on-field losses Down Under will not be a selling point, and so why not peddle their memoirs as founders of what today is truly global merchandise to make more money? And as for the Aussies, well, they hail from England and have little option but to toe the English (and Welsh) line.
It now appears that despite the furore his actions kicked up in India itself a few months back, Srinivasan can be crowned the King of World Cricket, for all anyone cares. But how any self-respecting organisation as the ICC can name a national sports organisation (read BCCI) as it did in its declared principle at the Dubai meet: “Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading Members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility.”
Leadership evolves from the members of an organisation; cricket does not need a Maharajah. It is the same ICC that is demanding a democratically elected president and board in all member countries. Hah!
The report also says: “The decks were also cleared for BCCI president N Srinivasan to become the chairman of the ICC Board with effect from June 2014 as the first chairman will be from BCCI.” Why, pray can anyone please say?
So the person who was questionable as the BCCI president in his own country only a few months back in reference to IPL shame is good enough to become the chair of the entire cricketing world. Have they all gone insane?
Cricket booty is indeed being shared among the proponents of the controversial two-tier Test system. According to the dealings at Dubai, “a Cricket Australia representative will be the chairman of the Executive Committee (EX-Co) while the ECB representative will be head of Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee”. That requires no slo-mo replay to see the darker side of sports.
How is that the entire ICC comprising of members even from Bangladesh can sit out there un-dignifying and dis-reputing the game in the name of development?
Being a Bangladeshi I may be assumed as biassed against Srinivasan and the BCCI. But following are a few reactions from some true fans of the game. Pssst! These are Indians reacting online to the news coverage in Times of India.
Says Ajay Dahinwal from Delhi: “Srinivasan becoming ICC chief is a disgrace for world cricket. His son-in-law is betting specialist... disappointing... upset.
RKG from unknown location agrees with this writer saying, “Well, it seems the downfall of a brilliant sport is on its way,” only to be reinforced by Kranthi of Delhi who writes, “so again its bad time”.
Bivya from Bangalore has a grievance: “Now everyone has forgotten what happened in the last IPL and this year all will follow IPL in same way.” He continues: “As an Indian I feel proud that India is playing a major role in world cricket. I also feel bad that Srini is becoming first Indian ICC president (chairman), with the cases behind and the bad name he got through IPL. He should not take up that post until the cases are resolved. Forget about that post, he should have resigned from the BCCI post.”
From Bangalore wrote Sundaramthiags: “I cannot stop envying …Srinivas, who would not have touched a cricket ball or bat in his life (is now) controlling, regulating and dictating terms to the whole world of cricketers and cricket administrators. I think Srinivas is the most powerful Indian in the world. Should we not be proud of such an Indian?”
Also from Bangalore reacted RJSH Saha: “Though an Indian, I feel Srini is the worst person to be ICC chairman…I have no confidence in this man to do anything to improve Cricket anywhere in the world.”
Abhijit A K Kulkarni remarked: “These BCCI folks are making plans now to grab money at ICC level. Laage Raho Srininvasbabu.”
Will the BCB please explain to the nation what the wickets is going on? Yes, I am minding my language for this was once a game of gentlemen.
Appreciated and accepted that some teams will draw more honey from TV advertisers, but that state of commerce is temporary, and can change in another one, three, five, ten years. It has changed in the past.
So large is the intimidation to allow upper hand to the biggies, reference obviously to money that most countries, seven at last count, were in favour of the divorce although it meant they could be thrown out of the house. Such loyal wives are rare in the real world.
The BCCI-CA- ECB logic is that they make more money and so the three should have a greater share. Their lame logic is as stupid asthe following: Bangladesh whitewashed NZ 3-0 Oct-Nov 2013, and NZ whitewashed India 4-0 in January 2014, so Bangladesh whitewashed India 7-0. Perhaps that day is not far!