The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s decision to seek the Supreme Court’s approval to extend the tenure cap of its office-bearers is a move against the Lodha Committee’s administrative reforms plan. However, it isn’t a surprise that such a decision has been taken because the BCCI President and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, who took charge on October 23 this year, would have to otherwise vacate his office in 2020.
The Supreme Court had to step in and appoint the Committee of Administrators (COA) at a time when a few members considered BCCI to be above all laws. It was this thinking that led to the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting scandal in 2013. The phrase “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” proved to be true.
All those who believed that anything was possible if they had a majority then learnt a bitter lesson. They now know that cricket has to be kept clean and there should be transparency in the governance of India’s richest sports body.
The CoA has played the role expected of them and passed on the power to an elected body. It is now important to ensure that this elected body functions smoothly and for that, the tenure cap rule must change, if only for continuity. Fortunately for BCCI, a personality like Ganguly has come to the helm. To stop him from continuing in the position purely to follow a reform does not look appropriate.
Ganguly has been accepted as the right man by one and all. The faith people have in him, based on his credentials as a captain, is huge. If all the reforms that were implemented are also changed, then all that the CoA did during their tenure would turn out to be a waste. It is here that Ganguly, as the leader, has to demonstrate his skills and project the game as the priority.
If an attempt is made to recall all changes, then once again it will be a return to the stage of absolute power in the hands of a few. The reforms that introduced the players’ association and players’ representatives are laudable. Anything, where cricket and cricketers will be in the fray should remain, and Ganguly has to ensure that it remains.
In India, the turnout for cricket is so huge that support from the government machinery is a must. Though politicians holding ministerial positions are not there for the moment in the BCCI, it is useful to have officials like the present secretary Jay Shah, the son of Home Minister Amit Shah, who can get things ‘done.’
Cricket administration should adapt to the need of the hour and not stick to rules for namesake. Cricket should be promoted but at the same time, protected too.