Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly today made light of the controversies surrounding the fifth edition of IPL and also supported underfire BCCI, saying the sports body has run cricket in the "best possible way".
IPL V has been hit by a series controversies, starting with spot-fixing allegations. Shah Rukh's ban and Luke Pomersbach's molestation episode only gave the wrong headlines to the tournament. Maken has also demanded a probe into BCCI's finances and also want the body to be put under the purview of RTI. The Sports Ministry wrote to the finance ministry seeking a probe into BCCI's financial matters.
"BCCI has run cricket far better than others. People may criticise BCCI, but they have to give credit to the body for managing Indian cricket really well," Ganguly told a leading news channel today.
Talking about the five-year ban KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan by the MCA over his alleged scuffle with a MCA official, Ganguly said, "It was a minor issue."
"My advice to Shah Rukh is to lie low for a few months. SRK tends to get excited and hyper which causes emotional outbursts. This gives him wrong headlines," he said.
"It's difficult to ban SRK who is an IPL team owner. I don't know what happened, but such fights happen in life. At the end, banning SRK from Wankhede Stadium is as futile as banning Sachin Tendulkar for Mehboob Studios," he added.
Ganguly also rubbished role of black money in IPL. "I have been involved in dealings during players' selection. No franchisee will pay you over and above the contracted amount."
Asked if BCCI should come under RTI as demanded by Sports Minister Ajay Maken, Ganguly said, "BCCI is a private body. But it runs cricket better than others sports bodies like hockey, etc. BCCI is not stupid, they work with a lot of transparency and I don't think it is the responsibility of BCCI to let people know how they run the sport."
Asked about Ravindra Jadeja emerging as the highest paid cricketer ahead of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Ganguly explained, "IPL is a perfect example of demand and supply. It depends on a player's availability. IPL payments are not as per the standard of the player. Michael Hussey is paid far less than many others."
Ganguly also didn't rule out being available as a player for the next season even though team promoter Sahara had announced he would be mentor. "I feel I can still play and contribute," said Ganguly, whose team Pune Warriors ended at the bottom of the heap in the ongoing IPL.
Asked if he would continue to play domestic cricket, Ganguly said: It depends on the way forward. "If I have to play IPL, I will continue to play domestic cricket."
Ganguly also came out in defence of his teammate from Pune Warriors Mohnish Mishra who was shown in the TV sting operation claiming to have received much more money than the officially contracted amount. "I think Mohnish spoke out of proportion. I don't think his intentions were bad. Most of these players shown in the video also hardly played in the IPL," he said.