Indian sports administration is, as usual, in the news for all the wrong reasons.
While the country keeps producing dedicated athletes despite, and not because of the system, a tainted official gets elected unopposed to hold an important position in the Indian Olympic Association.
Not many would have visualised Lalit Bhanot coming back into sports administration after serving 11 months in jail last year over corruption charges connected to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi (Bhanot, the secretary-general of the Games’ organising committee is out on bail). But then, this is Incredible India!
Abhinav Bindra, India’s Olympic gold medal-winning sportsperson, knows the kind of injustice and hardships men and women of his ilk have to endure before reaching the top. Hence, sports lovers can understand his sentiments when he says in a national newspaper, “how can he return? It is agonising to see such people coming back. It makes my blood boil.”
The Indian Olympic Association has a chance of getting banned by the IOC this month for not sticking to the Olympic charter when it comes to an election process.
Doubtless, the decision will create a buzz. It will also add insult to injury considering how poorly, unprofessionally and politically sports federations are run in this country.
In all this, the BCCI must be complimented for the way they run their sport. They may be viewed as arrogant by their fellow cricket boards and the media, but overall they ensure there is less drama and more action on and off the field of play. Like other sports federations, elections are big for the BCCI too. But once the elections are over, everyone works for the betterment of the game. This is not to say that there are no irregularities, but overall the players get a good deal. And most things must boil down to that.
Yes, there is a lot to learn from BCCI.