Today the BCCI is facing a crisis. It has got involved in the complexities, complications of the IPL and the debris left behind by Mr Lalit Modi.
The world is watching how well it (BCCI) can climb out of this mess.
The other point I want to make is about match fixing and the kind of danger, and the kind of threat that this exposes to Indian cricket and world cricket.
A few weeks ago, some Pakistani players quite blissfully and allegedly I must say, were caught spot fixing. That is fine. That is Pakistan. That is the ICC (world body’s problem), but everybody said that the money emanated from India. Well, that is an accusation which hurts. But it rings true especially for those who live in this country and have been reading about the scams that have taken place in the last few days, last few weeks. It is quite possible to believe the kind of money that is generated illegally in this country.
In my paper day before yesterday, a bookie was nabbed by the police. The paper said that Rs 500 crore was his turnover and it continued to say that there were many like him.
The ICC has in place, various rules and regulations regarding corruption. But what can they do about India? What can the BCCI do? People have mentioned that it is the players’ responsibility; the players can be misled easily.
Many senior policemen have told me that the laws for illegal gambling are so vague and so weak in this country that they really can’t do much about it.
Now, the BCCI itself will know that they have several central cabinet ministers. It has leaders in the opposition. It can certainly lobby for more stringent laws. Is the BCCI stepping forward – the BCCI which generates 70 per cent of the income in world cricket and 80 per cent of the viewership? Does it also give any leadership towards cricket? The ICC may well be the voice of cricket; BCCI is the invoice!
We would like to see a more proactive, more eloquent and a more constructive BCCI in world matters. It is of course a democratically elected cricket body and we are fine with that. But it keeps its doors very closed so that none of us actually know what is happening behind those doors. It is obviously going to miss Raj Singh and so are we.