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Thursday, March 27, 2014

BCCI & Indian Cricket at Cross roads - Supreme Court proposes Sunil Gavaskar and ...

India play Bangladesh tomorrow and with a win is assured of a Semis berth in T20 WC ~ back home, there is turmoil – for BCCI, its President, IPL and Cricket itself is at the cross roads. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headquartered at Mumbai, is the national governing body for all cricket in India. The board was formed in December 1928; BCCI is a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. As a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has the authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international events and exercises total control over them.

BCCI has a long and chequered history …. dating back to Mughals disintegration, when a British ship dropped anchor off the coast of Kutch in western India. The recreational activities the sailors indulged in on the coast elicited curious reactions from onlookers.  They perhaps brought cricket to India.  Calcutta Cricket Club was established in 1792.  Ten years after its inception, the CCC organized a match between its team and the Old Etonians. The Parsis were the first Indian civilian community to take to cricket. They set up the Oriental Cricket Club in Mumbai in 1848. 1911 witnessed the first-ever tour of England by an 'All-India' team. Sponsored and captained by the Maharaja of Patiala, the team featured the best cricketers of the time.  India got Test status in 1932 and played its inaugural Test at Lords in 1932, captained by Col CK Nayudu.  ~ Cricket which has developed at a very rapid pace, is now at crossroads…… !!!

In a big setback to BCCI president N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court today  proposed his replacement by Sunil Gavaskar and suspension of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL 7 till the pendency of case of betting and spot fixing scandal before it. The court said it is intending to bar CSK, owned by India Cements, which is promoted by Srinivasan, and RR, whose players and team officials are allegedly involved in the scandal, from participating in the IPL 7 tournament slated to begin from April 16. A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik proposed the name of veteran cricketer and commentator Sunil Gavaskar to head the Board during the pendency of the case in the apex court. "(Being recommended for post of BCCI chief) Probably the greatest honor I have received. They will take a call," Sunil Gavaskar was quoted as saying by ANI News. He also said that nobody from the BCCI had contacted him as of now.

In seemingly a rattled response,  India's media manager Dr RN Baba issued a gag order on the media, stating that questions will be entertained "only on ICC World Twenty20". Once Dr Baba came into the press conference arena with Rohit Sharma as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni again stayed away, he first announced that questions should only be based on "India team and the World Twenty20". However, Dr Baba later clarified that Dhoni "will from now on be available if India loses any match or else the man of the match will be coming to attend the customary press meets."

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjurycharge and a charge of abuse of power, failed in the House. He was acquitted of both charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding. Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the legislature that allows for formal charges against a civil officer of government for crimes committed in office. Impeachment is analogous to indictment in regular court proceedings. 

This time last year MS Dhoni had a series of question marks against him through his involvement with India Cements; but the great win in  Champions Trophy extinguished them all… now there is pressure on Dhoni too, on the front that Dhoni had not revealed things about CSK and it  Guruanth Meiyappan, who used team information for illegal betting. The Supreme Court has proposed sweeping changes to the BCCI, including replacing N Srinivasan as the board's chief with Sunil Gavaskar or a "seasoned or respected cricketer" and suspending Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL; the board has been asked to reply to the proposals on Friday, after which the court will issue an interim order. The court also proposed that employees of India Cements, of which Srinivasan is managing director and which owns Super Kings, should be kept out of the BCCI set-up.

Counsel for Cricket Association of Bihar - whose petition in 2013 had led to this hearing - Harish Salve's arguments took up most of the session, with him recommending termination of the Super Kings and Royals franchises. Salve said that in denying any knowledge of Gurunath's role in Super Kings, "the Indian cricket captain has been indulging in corrupt conduct". Interestingly, Harish Salve’s father NKP Salve was a BCCI president in the 1980s. The present occurrence is seen as an unprecedented approach by the Apex Court  to salvaging the cricket establishment in India; and the cleanse promises to unearth much of the rot so far well-hidden under the spanking carpet.

The present occurrences cast a shadow on the IPL 7 itself ~ and there would be no interesting IPL without CsK & RR…
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Mar 2014.

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