A new chapter opened in Indian cricket yesterday with the Supreme Court’s recommendation of having Sunil Gavaskar as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) coming to fruition.
Gavaskar will effectively be chief only with regards to matters relating to the Indian Premier League-7 and not the day-to-day running of the BCCI. The Supreme Court’s verdict has been hailed by all and sundry. However, it should be remembered that for Gavaskar to function to the best of his ability, there has to be some level of teamwork. It is here where his job is most challenging, because only a well-meaning team flushed with integrity can make the IPL hassle-free, and more importantly, corruption-free. In addition to the existing hands, Gavaskar must be allowed the freedom to pick his lieutenants.
It’s as easy to be hopeful of an ideal scenario just as it is to be cynical of new personnel. Gavaskar is no stranger to administration. He has headed committees and has been a good listener to views. It is the nitty-gritty of the IPL that may be new to him. At the heart of the IPL is a business module and in business, there are several avenues open to malpractices and high-handedness. Now that the IPL will be at full strength in terms of teams (Chennai and Rajasthan didn’t get banned), it’s time to monitor team officials and players microscopically so that we don’t see a repeat of May 15, the night on which S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were picked up by the cops. Post the spot-fixing scandal, IPL franchises and their players have spoken a great deal on the importance of restoring the faith of cricket lovers. Now is the time to put all those words into action.
It will be premature to say that the initial Supreme Court verdict will rid the game of its demons. A start has been made and it is only apt that an opening batsman — India’s greatest one at that — is given the responsibility of opening a very critical innings. Gavaskar, despite his controversial past, has to be backed. After all, it’s a supreme appointment.