With all the fuss about the World Cup and #WontGiveItBack or whatever it is that is trending on Twitter, perhaps it is time to look back and dissect exactly what is happening as far as who is controlling the organization that is responsible for the control of cricket in India.
What had happened:
The BCCI and its President N. Srinivasan got into all kinds of trouble when 3 members of the Rajasthan Royals team were accused of spot-fixing in IPL matches way back in 2013. Further investigations had led to the arrests of Vindu Dara Singh (honestly speaking, I don’t even know what he is famous for) and Gurunath Meiyappan (I’ll tell you more about him, in a bit) for betting on the matches while Raj Kundra (owner of the Rajasthan Royals, better known for being Shilpa Shetty’s husband) and several others were called in for questioning.
The fact that Meiyappan was the son-in-law of Srinivasan (yeah, that’s who he is), who was not merely the Board President but also a stakeholder in the Chennai Super Kings team made the media (basically Arnab Goswami) to go crazy (yeah, crazier than normal). While CSK immediately declared that Meiyappan was simply a member of the management of the team and not a team-owner or CEO, the suspicions didn’t die and his connections to Srinivasan and therefore Srinivasan’s role in the incident were all questioned, leading ultimately to the formation of the Mudgal Commission, a 3 member body appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the episode.
It was however only in March 2014 that Srinivasan was finally asked by the Supreme Court to step aside from his role as President, to ensure a free and unbiased investigation after the SC called him ‘nauseating’. (One of those rare moments when you’re proud of the court! :P)
What is happening:
The Mudgal Commission has already presented its findings to the Supreme Court and while the names of offenders have not been made public, speculations are rife as to the names of the 30 odd people who have apparently been mentioned, with the Zee Network even being sued by MS Dhoni for suggesting that his name too appeared in the findings.
What is interesting is that while Srinivasan was officially asked to step aside, he never formally resigned from his post as President, and as the next annual general meeting is around the corner (March 2) in Chennai, it is believed that he will be back in his post far sooner than believed earlier, especially since he has been given the task of chairing the AGM. Further, he continued to be ICC Chairman even while not being BCCI President. (Some people are as thick as rhinos, dude!)
While Srinivasan has, from the beginning, refused to step aside on the grounds that he was not involved, the findings of the Mudgal Commission and the stance taken by the Supreme Court has put his position at risk. At this moment, it seems ‘nauseating’ (God, I love that word) that someone could still fight for the post even while his name is being dragged through mud, clearly Srinivasan is convinced either that he is somehow completely innocent of all charges, or that he’s superhuman and beyond the ambit of the law and just does not need to give up his role of BCCI President. We don’t know how many things will change by the time the 2nd arrives or what the BCCI decides to do in the AGM. Or even if it matters in the days of 67 and 3, because really what else should.
And no one cares about the BCCI if India ends up doing well in the World Cup (don’t ask me how this logic works but apparently a cup makes all sins forgivable), it’ll all be rosy and chaotic and exuberant and all accusations of corruption and mismanagement will be forgotten. But I want to know. Not just because I’m more curious than the proverbial cat but because I want to know who all messed up with my beautiful game.
And because Indian cricket needs passionate administrators. Passionate, wise administrators who love the game as much as the moolah.
By Shreemayee Das