India's cricketing credibility continues to be rock bottom, never mind if Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team won world cricket's biggest prize -- the World Cup -- only five months ago.
After a 0-4 whitewash in the Test series came the one-day series defeat to England. Dhoni and his teammates don't know what victory tastes like on this tour. The other day, the team didn't turn up at the International Cricket Council annual awards night in London. The official reason: The team manager was informed about it on Monday. The ICC was quick to point out that they had informed the BCCI.
The BCCI offered no comment. While we have paucity of truth in this issue, the fact remains the manager Shivlal Yadav was told about the function on Monday. The BCCI bosses could still have sent the team and raised the issue of not being informed later. The media would have lapped it up and the cricket-loving public would probably have welcomed a pro-BCCI story at last. In these commercial times, administrators forget that the sport comes before anything else; that courtesy still is the fabric of sport. And an Indian -- Sharad Pawar, a BCCI chief not long ago -- heads the ICC!
The BCCI must look seriously at their image even as they take pride in their wealth. They cannot under-perform on this score because, as in life, there are no guarantees in sport. There could come a time when the Indian team will not have the star power that plays a significant role in money coming in.
It needs no reminding that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman are in the evening of their careers. And Yuvraj Singh, another big draw, doesn't seem to be living up to billing, although Dhoni has still a few good years ahead of him. This may sound far-fetched, but a lack of stars may affect India's clout. Sport teaches one never to take anything for granted. If anyone needs a lesson on how to be humble, it is the BCCI.