A tall order, indeed!

A tall order, indeed!

Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anurag Thakur seems to be in a hurry to win back support from every quarter.

Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Anurag Thakur seems to be in a hurry to win back support from every quarter. As is visible, the credibility of the Board is fast losing ground given the myriad controversies that are erupting every other day. He also appears to be oblivious of the stinging comments and observations coming from the Supreme Court.

It goes to the credit of the three-time Lok Sabha member that he is calling the shots amid talks that he is wielding a monopolistic hold over all cricketing affairs in the country. The water crisis and the conduct of IPL has drawn nationwide flak but the administrators are least perturbed and it is business as usual for them. The Board is occupied with naming an Indian to the ICC chairman’s post and extending an olive branch to the West Indies Cricket Board.

The latest instance of Thakur’s care-a-damn attitude is his call for a ten-year jail term for all those players found guilty of match and spot fixing. On the face of it, there is no doubt that it is a suggestion that can be a good deterrent. The BCCI has been groping in the dark since the time the fixing scandal was exposed. It did not merely shock the world, it actually maligned the image of the country in the cricketing world.

The point to consider is Thakur’s contention that a long jail term could yield better results and help reduce on and off-field manipulations by players with a criminal bent. One doubts if such a cleansing method can work in reality. Many sports ‘crooks’ have been ‘reformed’ after jail terms and bans but the fact is that the criminal activities are only increasing and today cover a whole lot of disciplines.

The intention of Thakur may be good but the same cannot fetch any meaningful results. S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan have all served jail terms but today they lead respectful lives in other fields. Same goes with former cricketers who were slapped with bans. Yet, they make a name for themselves in other arenas. Morality is individual-centric and depends on one’s conscience and how he or she responds to the inner call.

A tall order that the BCCI secretary is charting is his decision to establish a national sports ethics body to ensure ethical practices, including elimination of doping practices, match-fixing, age-fraud and sexual harassment of women. At a time when people running associations are accused of laundering and all sorts of criminal acts, one wonders as to which respectable men will be in the panel.

No ‘reformed’ sportsperson has been brought on board because even the administrators do not trust the individual’s integrity. This applies to several administrators who have been punished but have done precious little to counsel the vulnerable sportspersons.

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