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Time to rescue sports from redtapism

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been accused of inefficiency when it came to recommending batting great Rahul Dravid for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

A source in the sports ministry revealed to a newspaper that Dravid thus missed out on the highest honour given to a sportsperson.

It seems strange that the BCCI filled out only details about Dravid’s wondrous tour of England last year when he scored three hundreds in four Tests. The BCCI could do better than that, if the allegation is true.

However, why should the committee appointed to pick the award-winner need the sport’s parent body to enlist achievements of the player concerned? Shouldn’t the men who sit on that panel be aware of the candidates’ credentials? The ‘excuse’ given for Dravid missing out on this mighty honour is ridiculous although shooting silver medallist Vijay Kumar and bronze-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt deserve to be in the short list after their heroics at the London Olympics.

Cricket administrators have been ridiculous in the past when it comes to the written word. If players wanted to avail of a benefit match, they had to apply to the BCCI and provide details of their performances. Many years ago, when former captain Nari Contractor learnt about this ‘procedure,’ he refused to do so as a matter of principle. Hence, the man who nearly died on the cricket pitch when a Charlie Griffith delivery fractured his skull on the 1962 tour of the West Indies, did not enjoy a well-deserved benefit game.

Sports administrators need to grow up and learn to live without the red tape, the very type which is the bane of sporting activity in this country. Hopefully, Dravid — who has been nothing short of a batting colossus for India — will get his honour next year.

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