It is more than certain that the administrators running the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are oblivious of adages like ‘old habits die hard’ and ‘Once bitten twice shy.’ One need not be an expert in human psychology to come to such conclusions. It is a tragic irony that although wings of the once larger-than-life Board have been clipped, the people helming its affairs are yet to see the writing on the wall. 

They still believe that they enjoy the Big Brother powers that existed during the days when charismatic and assertive individuals like Jagmohan Dalmiya, Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan were presidents of the BCCI, and who were responsible for the Board to emerge as the richest cricketing body in the world, thanks to ruling with a dictatorial authority.  Despite being brought down to ground-realities by the Supreme Court, and changes recommended by the three-member Lodha Panel to cleanse the body of all its notoriety, the incumbent administrators are in a defiance mode.

The latest faux pas pertains to the Board’s reiteration that Indian cricketers would not be subject to any National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) tests. It is somewhat of a joke that these gentlemen (each is a stop-gap arrangement) are acting as if they are beyond any laws of the land.

The oft-repeated statement that BCCI does not fall under NADA jurisdiction smacks of a highhandedness that is at once condemnable. Most cricket nations have sworn by dope tests, some cricketers have been found guilty of abuse, but BCCI remains unmoved by a step that would give a clean chit to cricketers of every hue.  By stating that they have a scientifically-woven anti-doping system in place, the Board is merely buying time.

This is a violation of established norms, and comes across as an illogical decision that could destroy whatever remains of the goodwill that Indian cricket administrators commanded till the other day.  The statements emerging from the bosses of the Board make for a joke of the worst order. That the BCCI has a robust dope testing mechanism whereupon testing of samples is done at WADA accredited laboratory (NDTL) under aegis of the Sports Ministry is downright an excuse that does not hold water.

What is more disgusting is that BCCI authorities remain adamant when the fact of the matter is that a stern opposition to the DRS saw India cut a sorry figure in the eyes of the world. For all its defiance, the BCCI was compelled to accept the system, failing which they would have lost its well-cultivated identity. Till recently, the International Cricket Council (ICC) would dare not rub BCCI on the wrong side. But that has changed to dramatic proportions. 

In what can be seen as the final straw, in spite of BCCI opposition, the ICC had no qualms in passing a new financial model that included a revised revenue distribution structure. It is time the BCCI behaved like a body that ensures that the credibility and image of Indian cricketers don’t take a beating for no fault of theirs.