Time to look inside, BCCI

The BCCI's officials should remember that "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

BCCI interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya (C), BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel (L) and BCCI Chief Administrative Officer …


The BCCI has for long been under fire for using its financial muscle to give diktats to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and to tweak decisions according to its own whims and fancies. The BCCI has also not been shy to tell the ICC how it should conduct its affairs and toe the Indian Board's line or else; this despite the fact that its own house hasn't been in order for an eon.

The BCCI recently took its 'power madness' and interference further and told Cricket South Africa (CSA) that former ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat shouldn't be made its chief executive, because of differences the Indian board has had with him in the past. CSA, however, rebuffed BCCI and appointed Lorgat after its selection process.

There was speculation that the BCCI may call off India's marquee tour to South Africa later this year following Lorgat's appointment, but BCCI interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya has allayed those fears for the moment. Dalmiya has said the BCCI is awaiting a reply from CSA regarding the tour's scheduling.

The BCCI may shout itself hoarse and threaten calling off the tour to South Africa, but Dalmiya and the other officials know that this step will not be taken to kindly by cricket fans. And, let's face it, BCCI is all about the money, and no way are the administrators going to let go of the plenty of moolah on offer from this series.

The BCCI is incensed with Lorgat because during his tenure as ICC CEO he had the audacity to have a tiff with now suspended BCCI president N. Srinivasan regarding the implementation of the Decision Review System. Lorgat is also said to have annoyed the power mandarins at the BCCI because he had the temerity to bluntly state that the Indian board used its clout to bully and influence other member Boards.

Dalmiya though has his own issues with Lorgat, and his grouse is that the former ICC CEO played a key role in moving the India-England 2011 World Cup match from Kolkata to Bangalore. This decision apparently was taken as an insult by the Cricket Association of Bengal as well as its then president Dalmiya.

Since his appointment, Lorgat has been keen to mend fences with the BCCI, but has so far been rebuffed.

Lorgat has even said he would apologise to the BCCI, if that's what it takes to mend bridges with the disgruntled Indian Board. BCCI has a strained history with new CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

"India is an important stakeholder in cricket and, even from a personal perspective, I don't like to be out of favour with someone who was once a friend of mine," Lorgat said. "I will do my best to go there and find out what their issue is, and apologise if I must."

This offer shows Lorgat has been pushed into a corner, but truth be told, he doesn't have to apologize for doing his job as ICC CEO to the best of his ability only because the officials and administrators of the BCCI have demanded one.

The reaction of the BCCI and Dalmiya was on expected lines and reeked of arrogance and high-handed authority. Dalmiya has said the BCCI isn't ready to accept the olive branch extended by Lorgat, adding that the new CSA chief executive should walk the talk and take action on his intentions to set things right with the Indian board.

The BCCI's officials have a penchant for making fool-hardy and foot-in-the-mouth statements, and this is the latest in the list. A senior Board official in reference to the World Cup match being moved away from Kolkata told Mail Today, "These instances are etched in our memory. Now one can’t just say that we should forget the past and embrace the present."

Right, so, the grown-up babies at the BCCI are still crying over the fact that Lorgat had the audacity to throw their toys out of the pram during his tenure as ICC CEO. This, when they haven't taken action to set things right in their own backyard, right from developing grass-root cricket to tackling corruption in the Board and Indian cricket.

Dalmiya still hasn't said anything on MS Dhoni's conflict of interest stake in Rhiti Sports nor has there been further development or action taken on the spot-fixing and betting scandals in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League after the initial storm blew over.

The Central Information Commission had sent a notice to the BCCI and all its 30 full member units for details about the land and buildings occupied by them ahead of a hearing on July 25 and 26, but in another blatant misuse of its clout, the Indian Board has got a stay order against the proceedings.

The BCCI obviously has skeletons hidden in its closet because its officials have repeatedly said the Board should not come under the purview of the Right to Information Act as has been specified in the new draft of India's sports bill.

And, as the topping on the BCCI muddle cake, is the fact that despite making sounds that Srinivasan would be ousted if he doesn't step down as Board president, the Tamil Nadu strongman was only suspended until the investigation into the IPL spot-fixing scandal is completed.

For a body that has steadfastly refused to correct the flaws in its own functioning and be professionally managed; and instead dictate terms to other ICC member Boards smacks of downright hypocrisy.

Dalmiya and the other BCCI officials will do well to remember that "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".


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