Tag Archives: Board of Control for Cricket in India

Why Dhoni’s Silence On IPL Spot-Fixing Is Not Justified!

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Ravi Sharma, Sports Editor, Novosol Mobile Magic writes why Dhoni’s silence on the entire spot-fixing scandal does not justify his position as Indian captain and also shakes the faith of a cricket fan on him. 

The last few days in Indian cricket have been the darkest since the 2000 match-fixing fiasco which saw the fall of stalwarts like Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja amongst others. The names of famous players went for a toss as Indian cricket’s image got tarnished. After 13 years, the rot of fixing is back but with a new name… This time, it is called spot-fixing! But the fact of the matter is that fixing of any sort remains ‘fixing’ and courtesy that, the sport and the ordinary cricket fan have suffered the most.

From cricketers to bookies to team owners… From spot-fixing to betting to conflict of interest in the Indian cricket board… From Delhi Police to Mumbai Police to the crisis in the BCCI, this scandal has got murkier by every passing day! IPL’s credibility has hit rockbottom and a cricket enthusiast will find it difficult to believe what he sees on TV is true from now onwards! So, what happens to this fan, who has seen, followed and loved this game so passionately for all these years? How does his faith in the game get restored?

A statement from the legends of the game would help the cause. The Sachins, the Dravids, the Dhonis are players people trust. And few words from them will help cricket’s diehard fans getting their confidence back in the game and its players. However, Sachin and Dravid have commented on this issue but the biggest name in Indian cricket at the moment is silent… MS Dhoni is tightlipped on this whole issue! He is yet to speak on the burning topic in Indian cricket.

It was a mockery of a press conference from the Indian skipper ahead of India’s departure to England for the Champions Trophy! The Indian skipper chose not to respond to questions related to the spot-fixing case. He didn’t even say ‘no comments’. And that too, many times! Evidently, the BCCI had gagged him over this issue. Since the time this scandal came into light, he has skipped two press conferences also.

Yes, Mahi is a contracted employee of BCCI. But why can’t Mahendra Singh Dhoni understand that he plays cricket for INDIA! MSD is a national icon apart from being the Indian skipper and he shouldn’t succumb to BCCI diktat! He is answerable to millions of fans who have followed Indian cricket like a religion all these years!

It’s high time Dhoni should retain his dignity and answer the ordinary cricket fan! A man of such high dignity, so much credibility and a true leader is fast reducing to a mere puppet of a corrupt cricket board! Time to break your silence, Mr Captain Cool!

CSK rocks

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Get Srini: The Comedy Show

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N. Srinivasan stepping aside should have been a passing reference in the so-called news channels, instead of being a do or die effort at one-upmanship between some megalomaniacs, says Jaideep Ghosh

It was with a feeling of intense relief that I picked up a newspaper this morning. The lead headline wasn’t about BCCI, fixing, Srinivasan, Shirke, Jagdale, Dalmiya, Jaitley or any of the names, organisations or gangs that has held the nation, or rather, the nation’s media, captive for the past week.

Let’s face it. What exactly is wrong? Three players – two minor hopefuls and one has been – fixed some overs (allegedly) and made money and Srinivasan’s son-in-law was in the thick of things. And? Some bookies bet on the IPL, which never was the paragon of virtue ever. On the contrary, it was always a veritable den of vice. So where’s the surprise.

And where is the case? I am no lawyer, but one of the Penal Code sections being thrown at the cricketers is 420 – cheating. But who did they cheat? No one has complained, as far as I know. There has to be an aggrieved party, but there is none.

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So essentially, a dodgy tournament saw some betting and fixing (allegedly). That became the life blood of a few television channels and hogged newsprint, when it should ideally have been a news item, developing story, to be reported, maybe even commented on, and left for that. The country faces enough problems otherwise.

But no. From the beginning, the Delhi Police, and subsequently their Mumbai counterparts, made this a platform to preen about how efficient they are, with both Police Commissioners seen in action, mostly on TV.

Thereafter, the TV barons stepped in with their own brand of justice, trying to dethrone Srinivasan, who declared at the outset he wouldn’t resign.

Oh yeah? You know who we are? We are TV! We can change sarkar, stock market, crime index and even the weather! You think you’ll get away? Watch your least favourite channel then!

So come Sunday, and there was euphoria galore ‘Yeh (Srini, as he is so endearingly called) to gaya”, was the buzzword, as smug smiles were all over the screen. The smiles changed rapidly into frowns and then expressions of consternation as ‘Srini’ didn’t go anywhere. He stuck to his guns and just took what may be best explained as an involuntary vacation – that too on paper.

The great ‘Get Srini’ campaign ended up as a laughing stock, with increasingly shrill screams on the channels reflecting agony more than conviction.

Anyone who has covered sports in India knows that the BCCI won’t be bullied. Many have tried and failed, including the ICC, the Government, the media and even some players. They have tremendous infighting, but when it comes to ‘foreign’ invasions, they close ranks tighter that the Spartan 300.

This little nugget of knowledge seems to be missing from our generic media bosses. It would have saved them much agony and even more embarrassment had they worked on this premise.

But then, where would be the fun in that?

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IPL, Indian Politics And The People of India

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Our anonymous government critic points down why IPL is the least important with what is happening around India and its governance. 

One of those special weapons, super power which is used by spin doctors is the hook, a competitive mental angle, weapon of mass distraction which came in the form of the Indian Premier League and the Congress spin doctors are rejoicing. The UPA celebrates its fourth birthday recently, they tried distracting the public sentiments by their ‘Bharat Nirmaan’, their Bharat Nirmaan sounds like a female wore a mini-skirt, not because she was independent, but because, she shaved her legs. The Bharat Nirman sounded like those advertising programs decreed to vagaries of ignorance.

What the Congress could not do with crores of advertising budget, a hook in the form of the IPL did. Even Rajiv’s birthday and the Congress failures in the fourth-term did not defer our mass media. They covered the IPL with much-gusto disregarding Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress.

What is more surprising is how the media/police/officialdom found a Bollywood scape goat in the form of Vindoo. Everything said and done, the Congress is loving this moment in history. For once no one wants to know of strategic matters and corruption they are involved in. The Japan-China-India foreign affairs is now less important in the media than having foreign players in the Indian Premier League. With the spot-fixing, there are more hooks for story-telling linked to legalizing of betting, increasing role of the BCCI and the thin line between cricket and entertainment.

If you need to look at breaking news, ask yourself, what are they breaking news against. Perhaps, we owe much political debate against our government and Congress’ performance than the IPL, also important, but not at this moment.

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Twitterati On N Srinivasan and his Defiance

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Here are 10 awesome tweets on Srini uncle’s power love and his inability to move away from his chair. 

The UnReal Times (@TheUnrealTimes): N Srinivasan: “Rochelle Rao will be the third person on the 3 member commission probing spot fixing scandal” 😛

Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt): N Srinivasan is a power hungry enthusiast. And, everybody else is his resignation enthusiast.

Faking News (@fakingnews): Disclosure: I’ve no business relations with N Srinivasan. I’m just a Srini Enthusiast.

Alternative Cricket (@Altcricket): N Srinivasan, India’s New Wall: http://j.mp/nsrinivasan 

Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay): Trying hard to think of a joke better than Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan saying they have zero tolerance for corruption.

Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats): Currently N. Srinivasan is checking with his CA whether Rohit Sharma is tax deductible.

Sanjay Jha (@jhasanjay): N Srinivasan of BCCI is right. He has no conflict of interest, only interest in conflicts.

Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats): N. Srinivasan becomes the boss of BCCI. Board of Cement & CSK in India.

Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats): Yes. CSK is sure to win CLT20. They have the two best players in Indian cricket today. Dhoni. And N. Srinivasan.

Err_responsible: (@ca_boy19): Rajiv Shukla & Sharad Pawar asking resignation of N Srinivasan on moral grounds. Irony just shots itself in head.

The image used in the story belongs to the owner on the web. We are thankful to use it. 

Leaving Cricket be-Sahara?

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Sahara pulling out of the IPL as well as the Team India contract at the end of the year comes almost as a natural sequence to the fixing scandal and potential threats of more exposures, says Jaideep Ghosh

The Sahara India Pariwar isn’t quite in the best of health financially, that is no secret. On the contrary, what surprises people is the fact that they seem to be able to conjure up immense amounts of money from the proverbial thin air. But that magic trick is obviously not working too well now. Pune Warriors alone cost Sahara Rs 1700 crore. Then we have other assorted commitments – hockey is one, though that is loose change for the Sahara Group.

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The other big thing is the Formula One deal, where Vijay Mallya virtually hypnotized Subroto Roy Sahara into dishing out some obscene amount to get a sticker on the Force India car – a barely-visible sticker. Then of course, we have assorted commitments like sponsoring the Bangladesh cricket team.

All of this shows just one thing – having money does not necessarily mean being able to spend it. On the flip side, from the BCCI’s viewpoint, there is only so much arrogance that anyone will take, especially those investing millions of dollars in what is essentially the BCCI’s domain, without any arguments.

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Sahara has a record of pouting and walking out, like they did in 2012. That didn’t evidently come as ample lesson for BCCI, who encashed their bank guarantee, almost instantly, the moment the deadline for the contentious franchise fees had ended.

Also, Sahara, already under the microscope, would definitely be in some rush to dissociate from anything that looks shady – which the IPL has become in a span of just two days. So this is a good time to take a hike which serves two purposes.

For one, Sahara managed to jolt BCCI again. The second is that they have wriggled out of what was a disastrous deal for Pune Warriors. That they did it like some small-time retailer reflects the general mindset of the company.

There is a third thing too. God forbid any Pune players are hauled up by any of the state police forces (after all, you can only fix to lose, and who loses more than Pune?); Sahara can say they aren’t in the mix any more. As it is they don’t need more bad publicity.

The sad fallout of it all is that what used to be a sport is fast becoming a joke. Sure, marketing forces will make it a saleable property again soon (read, as soon as the IPL ends and the action shifts to the Champions Trophy), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that cricket by and large is played in a shadow of illegal or not-so-legal activities. And no one can change that in a hurry.

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Bemoaning The ‘Destruction’ of Cricket

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BCCI President N. Srinivasan is the most destructive man in cricket, says an angry Australia daily. Amazing how threat perceptions are tempered when it comes to making big bucks in the IPL, or otherwise in Indian cricket, observes Jaideep Ghosh.

Cricket is a dangerous and destructive sport. Has always been, but with the development of insanely huge bats and immensely aggressive batsmen, it’s become quite a risky affair to play, or even watch the game, as some spectators in the Indian Premier League have experienced over the last couple of editions, especially the last two.

Equally, India is a risky place. The traffic is insane, the law and order leaves a lot to be desired and the corruption levels, according to the said newspaper, are somewhere in the high 90s (almost as good as Bradman’s average).

Funny though, how none of this stops Australian players, coaches, physios, therapists, psychologists, umpires, commentators, cheerleaders and assorted guests in various team jerseys from thronging the country, savouring its diverse culture, food, rapidly deteriorating weather and most of all, the greenbacks pouring into their accounts.

Oh by the way, how many of these people have work permits?

All that is fine, till such time as when the Australians are challenged at the international level – namely the international players union, FICA.

As all would know by now, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan beat former Australia off-spinner Tim May as chief executive of FICA over three bouts of voting – the scores progressively ranging from 1-9, 5-5 and finally 6-4 – in favour of the former Indian leggie.

The Australian media reacted like they always do. Badly. They just can’t handle going down to these Indians, be it on the field (where there was precious little left to say) or off it.

Sure, the election process wasn’t sacrosanct, but do excuse me, which thing in the sport is? The International Cricket Council (ICC) has had situations where two matches under its umbrella have been played in two venues – one with DRS, one without.

Chucking has been legalized with some gibberish about 15 degrees of flex (??). Fixers aren’t ever caught by the Anti-Corruption Unit but invariably by the police of the said nation where the fixing was enacted.

So to expect FICA, which is essentially another arm of the hydra that is cricket, to have absolutely free and fair elections, is a little optimistic. This is cricket, after all.

The Daily Telegraph had little material to fall back on, so barring the angst surrounding the use of muscle by BCCI, its article essentially has what all Srinivasan is being investigated for; how badly India does on the transparent international corruption index (94 to Australia’s 7), etc., are thrown up.  It is essentially not a swing at Srinivasan and BCCI, but India as a whole.

As for the CBI investigations, I am sure even the Daily Telegraph knows that a person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. A transparency index rating of 7 should surely ensure that?

Or maybe only in Australia.

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