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Ex-cricketers hail Sunil Gavaskar's post as BCCI President

Mumbai: Former Test stalwarts Chandu Borde, Ajit Wadekar and Kiran More hailed today's order of the Supreme Court to make Sunil Gavaskar as the president of the BCCI for IPL affairs as beneficial to the image of the T20 League which is under a cloud following last season's spot-fixing and betting scandal.

"This is a very good thing that the Supreme Court has done. It's a great opportunity to the cricketers as cricket would be given priority in IPL whose image has taken quite a beating because of the allegations of betting, match fixing etc," said Borde from Pune.

"Gavaskar is a man known for playing with the straight bat. There will be a lot of transparency under his guidance. He is known to have his own mind and I don't think anyone would dare to indulge in corrupt practices with him at the helm," said the 79-year-old Borde. "In the past cricket and cricketers were pushed to the background in IPL with dancing girls (cheerleaders) being given more importance. This will not happen now," he added.

Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar
Sunil Gavaskar and Ajit Wadekar. Pic/ Ajit Desai

Wadekar, under whom Gavaskar made a sensational debut in the historic 1971 Test series in the West Indies, also said it would be good to see a top cricketer at the helm of the Board's affairs.

"Glad that a legend like Gavaskar has been given the charge of the BCCI. Really good to see cricketers at the helm, including Shivlal Yadav. Good that he (Gavaskar) will also not lose his remuneration as commentator," he said referring to the Supreme Court's order that BCCI compensate Gavaskar for getting freed of his contractual obligations to it while performing the job as president in charge of IPL.

"It is good. He (Gavaskar) was a player, so he knows what are the problems faced by the cricketers. He was also part of the IPL governing council so he would know about the workings of it. He was the ICC Chairman (cricket committee), so he shouldn't find the role of the president difficult," former stumper More said.

The former chief selector said that he has always maintained that players who have done very well should be part of the administration set-up.

"There are lot of issues, but the most important thing for me is cricket should go on," he said when asked about the challenges Gavaskar faced in the immediate future.

Borde also felt happy that another ex-cricketer Yadav, who has got a lot of experience as an administrator connected to running the Hyderabad CA, has been named as the president in charge of BCCI's functions barring IPL-related activities.

"I also welcome the appointment of Shivlal Yadav to be the man in-charge of overall Board administration other than IPL. He has got experience in cricket administration. It's a challenge for these former cricketers, but I am sure they will emerge with flying colours," said Borde. Wadekar said that the big challenge before these two former cricketers was in restoring the faith of the fans in the game.

"The big challenge before them is to restore confidence of fans in the game which has taken a beating. If some poor chap gets bowled people will look at him with suspicion and not credit the bowler! Restoring the credibility of the game is going to be a major challenge for them," said 72-year-old Wadekar. While Borde said he was happy that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will be part of IPL-7, scheduled from April 16, after the Supreme Court proposed yesterday that they be suspended, Wadekar felt the two teams are still under a cloud over betting and spot-fixing allegations.

"I am also happy that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have not been banned. Supreme Court seems to have thought hard on this matter and perhaps felt that banning them would have hurt the game," said Borde. "Supreme Court has taken a tough stand on IPL. These two teams are under a cloud," opined Wadekar.

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