Opportunity to prove BCCI integrity

Opportunity to prove BCCI integrity

Until Monday’s elections to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it was a widely held notion that one man controlled the richest cricket board in the world. Most would have accepted that its 30 full members unanimously backed the controversial former Board president N Srinivasan and his authoritarian ways. However, the BCCI Annual General Meeting held in Chennai may change all those beliefs. Jagmohan Dalmiya, closer to Srinivasan than politician and former BCCI and ICC chief Sharad Pawar, has returned as the full-time president. But the Pawar faction won the second most important post in the board hierarchy – secretary – through Anurag Thakur. Therein lies the core of the latest BCCI elections. 

The Srinivasan group won seven of the nine posts that they contested. But then, the camp will no longer be able to remote control the Board functions. Dalmiya might be a consensus candidate but the wily Kolkatan is a seasoned administrator who knows the pulse of board politics. He was, of course, earlier accused of misappropriation of funds. But then, he cannot be expected to simply yield to all demands of the Srinivasan group. Thakur, a BJP MP, is expected to bring a semblance of balance in the BCCI power structure. This, then, is just a first step. The set of new administrators – particularly Dalmiya and Thakur – may have to face bigger challenges and obstacles soon. There is need for the duo to work in harmony to ensure that the BCCI name is not sullied again. 

Their immediate task at hand is to infuse trust into the scam-tainted Indian Premier League. The eighth edition will kick-off in April, and the Dalmiya-Thakur combine will have to work closely with a committee that was set up by the Supreme Court to weed out corruption in the cash-rich league. For that, they need to reconstitute the IPL Governing Council with individuals of integrity and purpose. It can no longer be a herd of a BCCI yes-men. The new set of administrators  must now ensure more transparency in Board’s functioning, as the Supreme Court will closely monitor it. There are calls from several quarters to bring the BCCI under the purview of the Right To Information Act. However, in its recent verdicts the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Board officials can no longer afford to be contemptuous of the need to put in place credible administrative norms. There, hopefully, lies a change in familiar pattern. This is a great opportunity for Dalmiya and his team to bring in credibility that was lost amid corruption, betting, nepotism and several other diseases that afflicted the mega cricketing body.


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