Monday, April 09, 2007

BCCI takes popular decisons, not the right ones!

Two days have gone by since the BCCI met up to discuss the future of Indian cricket। One thought that probably this would result in some forward steps for the sport in India. Sadly, the major decisions taken are contrary to the same. Well, I shall try and list them down one by one.

1) There is to be a cap on endorsements: Players cannot do more than 3 endorsements. Which genius arrived at the number of 3, and what are the reasons that the cap has been set to 3? This decision has been taken purely because many people watching cricket and large sections of the media have been insinuating that the cricketers’ means of livelihood should be strangled. In my previous article I had written at length about the public and the board having nothing to do between a contract between a player and a company.

2) Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh have been sent notices: Well, the board has hauled up two cricketers who have given their lives to cricket because they wanted to clear the air about accusations flung at them by a pig-headed coach. Why didn’t the BCCI give showcause notices to Chappell when he (a) Showed his middle-finger to some Indian supporters (they hushed it up saying that he had injured a finger) ;(b) When Chappell gave an interview to the Guardian saying that the former Indian cricketer wanted to stay in the hot seat because of the money; (c) when Chappell had made it a habit to leak team plans and his thoughts on selection to his subservient legion in the press; (d) When he started leaking like a sieve on cricketers after the world cup debacle. Why hasn’t the BCCI issued a show cause notice to all the board mandarins who have been giving sound bytes to the media even before an important meeting was held?

3) We hear no commitment on the number of days an Indian cricketer plays: Why haven’t the BCCI given blueprints on the maximum number of days that Indian cricketers will play per year? We play too much cricket, especially one-day cricket, and that needs to be stopped. Why doesn’t the board say that these are the maximum number of matches that the team will play per year?

The board seems to have misread the whole thing very badly. They need to realize that the players don’t exist because there’s the board but we have a BCCI because of the players. The points on endorsements and on the notices to players will have a serious effect on the players’ morale. By all means, have performance related contracts. This is a very good step, in the right direction. Apart from the appointment of specialized coaches and Shastri’s appointment as manager, and the performance graded contracts. But to rap the players on their knuckles so badly, because of two defeats is really in very bad taste. Bangladesh just beat South Africa, the No. 1 team in the world, so Indians losing to them is actually no disgrace. For God’s sake, the Bangladeshis played better cricket than we did. Why is that so hard to digest?

There are decisions that are taken, some are popular decisions and some are right decisions. Unfortunately, board has taken popular decisions. Banning endorsements would be very popular among those so-called fans that are baying for blood. But this is not a right decision. We need to look at things objectively. The board needs to have performance-related contracts, appoint a CEO who’d be accountable and responsible, ensure player welfare by seeing that they don’t play too much cricket, appoint a full-time media manager, and give specific timelines by which the selection process would be overhauled.

What does the board do instead? Needlessly give in to incorrect opinion and thereby wrongly punish those who have given their sweat, blood and emotion for the Indian flag, and taken pride in representing their motherland, for 2 days where another team happened to play better cricket. What a shame! Or should I say, What a Sham!! That’s what the administration and sections of the media are, at the moment.

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