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Benevolent BCCI?

rsz_kapil
Kapil holding aloft the Prudential Cup in 1983

Trust the BCCI to take a noble gesture and turn it into a tool to settle scores with.

The recent announcement that India’s richest sporting body was donating Rs. 70 crore (app. USD 14 million) from the IPL playoffs to nearly 170 ex-cricketers was warmly welcomed.

But in the last few days rumours are swirling over those who are being excluded for one petty reason or the other from this windfall. These rumours have been fuelled by the partial list of beneficiaries released, all part of the lack of transparency that the BCCI is infamous for.

News is that BJP MP Kirti Azad – a member of the victorious 1983 Prudential World Cup team – is being denied his due following his token fast at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground on Sunday where he protested against the IPL and the Board’s high-handedness. So it is clear now that once again the BCCI is using money power to silence its critics.

One of cricket’s living legends and the captain of that iconic 1983 team, Kapil Dev has also fallen victim to this bullying.

It was Kapil who was one of the architects of the short-lived breakaway Indian Cricket League that was launched in 2007 but faded out after barely two seasons.

The IPL was launched in 2008 partly in a bid to crush the ICL and succeeded soon enough. With the lone T-20 league now woefully short of Indian players, an “amnesty” scheme was announced in 2009 to bring those associated with the ICL back into the “official” fold. Kapil to his eternal credit stuck to his guns and refused to kowtow to the Board.

The Rs. 1.5 crore (USD300,000) he is eligible for may not count for much for this cricketer-turned-tycoon. But in this case it is the BCCI that has emerged as the villain and Kapil as a man of principles.

Ironically, in 2008 on the 25th anniversary of the 1983 victory Kapil and his team were honoured by the BCCI with each player awarded Rs. 25 lakhs (app USD50,000)

Is it too much to expect from some of our icons, including those who played under Kapil’s captaincy, to come out publicly in support of their colleagues? Or has the BCCI succeeded in buying their silence too?

Azad is not the only ex-cricketer to voice his concern over the excesses of the IPL and its mega-money power that has shaken the foundations of international cricket and threatens to flatten all those who dare stand in its path. Are some of the other vocal critics also going to be hounded down and blacklisted for expressing their views?

The payments are supposed to honour those who graced the game of cricket in India according to the BCCI’s own announcement. Many of those who will benefit played in the days when cricket had few monetary benefits. But it now appears it is being used as a payoff to seal the lips of the cricket fraternity and buy their loyalty.

It has certainly been a bad month for the IPL. Many skeletons are tumbling out of the closet and those on its payrolls are closing ranks in support of the gravy train.
The five young players trapped in the TV sting who claime
d they received under-the-table payments from their franchises blew the lid off the IPL’s worst kept secret. But instead of questioning the big-shot owners, it is these hapless cricketers who are being victimised.

Packed with powerful netas from across the political spectrum, the BCCI considers itself above the law. Its refusal to come under the RTI clearly shows it has something to hide. Already the income tax authorities are sniffing around for black money.

Vested interests, cronyism, corruption, opaqueness and pettiness characterise this behemoth of a board. But it should keep in mind the phrase, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Remember Lalit Modi?

Comments

hahaha when i heard about I thought similar

Comment by Spikey | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

[I]”If you give them all your money, they’ll give you their hearts”[/I] as Matt Johnson would have it.

Comment by BoyBrumby | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

The most interesting thing will be the people who they’ve *not* given money to.

Comment by Scaly piscine | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

Yeah, same here.

Comment by G.I.Joe | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

If they have hand picked a few and given money it would have looked like that…but they are giving it to almost all.don’t think they didn’t have to do that if they was trying to achieve what fred suggested.

Comment by biased indian | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

Whatever be their reasoning behind it, it’s doing a lot of good to many old players and even domestic ones who need the money. Many Widows of former cricketeres were present today to take the money too.

The part where they have left out certain players using some dodgy criteria, who usually speak out against them and criticise is really shameful though.

Comment by Cevno | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

[QUOTE=biased indian;2858716]If they have hand picked a few and given money it would have looked like that…[B]but they are giving it to almost all[/B].don’t think they didn’t have to do that if they was trying to achieve what fred suggested.[/QUOTE]

..Yeah almost everyone. Except the ones who have been critical of the bcci. You can bet your bottom dollar Indian cricketers will be watchful in what they say now, no-one likes missing out on free money…

Comment by Spikey | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

Leaving out Kapil Dev was blasphemy.

Comment by gvenkat | 12:00am GMT 27 May 2012

See nothing wrong with this initiative.

Comment by intcricket | 12:00am GMT 29 May 2012

Nothing in theory. Leaving out guys like Kapil Dev is a disgrace. They wouldn’t have the money they do now if it wasn’t for Kapil Dev’s 1983 victory.

Comment by silentstriker | 12:00am GMT 29 May 2012

There would surely be some implied obligation for cricketers to be supportive or atleast not be critical of the BCCI in future. But a lot of these cricketers need the money as they didnt make a lot during their playing days. Regardless even if most of the cricketers were critical, they wouldnt get much attention – e.g. BS Bedi.

Comment by ganeshran | 12:00am GMT 29 May 2012

[QUOTE=ganeshran;2859417]There would surely be some implied obligation for cricketers to be supportive or atleast not be critical of the BCCI in future. But a lot of these cricketers need the money as they didnt make a lot during their playing days. Regardless even if most of the cricketers were critical, they wouldnt get much attention – e.g. BS Bedi.[/QUOTE]

Yea, so the award is for staying in line with the BCCI, not for playing cricket for India.

Comment by silentstriker | 12:00am GMT 29 May 2012

I mean the only thing that can even possibly keep the BCCI in check are the players, and there’s no players union ’cause the BCCI say so, and now the BCCI are more or less paying former players to be quiet.

Comment by Spikey | 12:00am GMT 29 May 2012

It’s a private body and can do as it pleases, like all private bodies do, as odious as it may be for more idealistic eyes.

Comment by Arachnodouche | 12:00am GMT 30 May 2012

Except interfere with freedom of association, if they really are blocking the formation of a player’s union.

Comment by andruid | 12:00am GMT 30 May 2012

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