1. Political interference will continue
BJP President Amit Shah is Gujarat Cricket Association head, succeeding Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was Delhi District Cricket Association chief for a whopping 14 years. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar was both BCCI President and ICC chief.
Politics and cricket are married in India with absolutely no chances of divorce. Even Lalit Modi is sitting cosy in London because he’s friends with leaders from the all political parties, Bollywood stars and industrialists.
Only political leaders have the clout to end corruption, inefficiency and professionalism in Indian cricket and they are very much part of the system. For example, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla has been roped in to clear the current IPL mess. What a joke!
2. Conflict of interest will continue
In the grapevine Pawar is called the richest politician in India through his many businesses. Congress President Sonia Gandhi had controlling stakes in National Herald. Forget owning it, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has a TV channel named after her.
Conflict of interest is a fundamental right in Indian politics and all other industries in India follow that example. To expect just cricket to shed that in isolation is a pipe dream.
3. Every layer has been tainted
Jagmohan Dalmiya was called corrupt and ousted. He was replaced by Pawar who has “corruption in his blood” according to activist Anna Hazare. Lalit Modi was called corrupt and even he was ousted. They were all succeeded by N Srinivasan who has proved to be the “baap” (father) of them all.
Right now people are moving heaven and earth to oust Srinivasan. But even if he goes, there are zero chances that a clean management will replace him. Most of the state board heads are tainted. Most officials are in on it.
Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have become cosy with the system. Legends like Sachin Tendulkar hardly ever speak against all of the above let alone do something. Who will clean Indian cricket? There is no-one in the horizon.
4. There is no solution to IPL
Spats with international boards. Scheduling conflicts and fatigue issues. Sweat equity. Match-fixing. Cancelled franchises. On field altercations and bans. Tax exemption issues. The never-ending Lalit Modi saga…
IPL is the mother of all controversies of sports in India and it has become so rotten that the only solution is to scrap it, something that will never happen.
5. Match-fixers are never convicted
Sure many match-fixers are caught and banned, but how many are convicted? Zero. Most match-fixers get away and are declared innocent in the long run.
If a cricketer is coming to the end of his career he can make loads of cash by match-fixing and use that to build an alternative career
Also Read: Eight professions still open to the match fixers
Match-fixing will keep raising its ugly head from time to time because of that.
6. There’s simply too much money
That’s the main problem. Indian cricket has more money than it can handle. It makes thousands and thousands of crores and no-one even knows where and when the money comes and where and when it goes.
Forget accountability and transparency, no Indian cricket fan has the foggiest idea of what is going on regarding the BCCI coffers.
7. Even MS Dhoni is jaded
From 2007-13 MS Dhoni was the man with the Midas touch and could do no wrong. He won all the ICC trophies and took India to No. 1 in all the ICC rankings.
But he’s not doing that great now. He has lost three straight IPL finals and we virtually choked in the 2014 World T20 final. He gave up his Test captaincy but most worrying for Indian cricket is that his name has been dragged into IPL controversies.
His name came up during the betting probe; he’s been accused of conflict of interest and lying about the role of Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings.
His replacement Virat Kohli is yet to fill his shoes, drawing a blank in IPL for RCB and is yet to win a Test (though he has captained just 3). If Kohli fails, then the Indian cricket fan will have no-one to look up to.
8. Overseas Tests have totally collapsed:
From 2003-10, India didn’t lose a single overseas Test series by a margin of more than 2 Tests. We also won tough series in England and New Zealand while seeing our only Test series tie in South Africa.
What was the reason for that success? Now we’ll never know and no-one cares as even the BCCI seems to have accepted overseas Test whitewashes as a given.
What’s keeping it alive…
Our victories keep Indian cricket alive. After every major scandal, great on field victories help sweep everything under the carpet. Also the problem is that there are too many ICC trophies which have become an annual affair.
Just look at the schedule…
2016: T20 World Cup.
2017: ICC Champions Trophy.
2018: T20 World Cup.
2019: ODI World Cup.
2020: T20 World Cup.
A single victory in any of that and everyone will go Ghajini for a few years!
The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.
He blogs at http://www.sunilrajguru.com/