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The order changeth

The order changeth
Highlights

The Diwali-eve coup that has been staged by the Shashank Manohar-Anurag Thakur combine is certain to have long-lasting ramifications on the way cricket is run in the country.

The Diwali-eve coup that has been staged by the Shashank Manohar-Anurag Thakur combine is certain to have long-lasting ramifications on the way cricket is run in the country.

Irrespective of whether it was intended or otherwise, the fact remains that the incumbent administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have thrown out the legacy of former President Narayanaswami Srinivasan in one stroke, something that every destructive batsman would love to have in his repertoire.

On the face of it, Monday’s decision to remove Srinivasan from ICC Chairmanship brings the curtains down on the career of one of the most controversial administrators any Indian sport has ever seen. However, the much-hyped cleansing operation and 29-point charter that is being trumpeted by Manohar needs a lot of explanation, failing which it will send wrong signals and also point to the overly fact that throwing out Srinivasan has been the one-point game-plan of the present body.

One is not talking of Srinivasan or his role in the scandals that tarnished the image of Indian Premier League (IPL) during his controversial term as the Board chief. Moreover, he has been absolved by every committee that probed into corruption in the sport. Perhaps, the Damocles Sword was hanging over the Tamil Nadu strongman for quite some time now, but he turned a Nelson’s Eye because of his arrogance. That is how the cookies crumble.

In a way, the situation seems incredulous considering that three powerful administrators – Srinivasan, Jagmohan Dalmiya and Lalit Modi who used their individual clout to bring in money and sponsors to the sport – are away from the picture. Each has been accused of being involved in alleged frauds.

Of course, every incumbent body has the right to chart its own path but the way the current body appears hell-bent on eliminating all those linked to Srinivasan is likely to boomerang on them. In hindsight, the Board played its masterstroke before sounding Srinivasan’s death-knell. With a slew of financial bonanzas for retired cricketers, it has won the loyalties of almost every player. Money can make people talk or fall silent. A look at the larger picture brings out a glaring faux pas. On the other hand, the current players are to come under the scanner for ‘conflict of interest.’ Such steps can restore credibility.

But one wonders where was Manohar’s rationale when he announced that Sourav Ganguly would head the BCCI technical committee. Considering that Ganguly is the President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), does this not tantamount to conflict of interest? Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been suspended from IPL because of the involvement of players/co-owners in match-fixing. But then the promoters of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad are facing criminal charges; the boss of Kolkata Knight Riders went overboard at the Wankhede Stadium. Yet, each of these franchises will be in the thick of the IPL action. Can one hope for a fool-proof image makeover?

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