If expressions are anything to go by, the footage of N Srinivasan's press conference a day before the T20 league final in Kolkata was worth a thousand words. While Srinivasan read out his haughty statement reiterating his desire to continue as BCCI chief, his secretary Sanjay Jagdale, seated beside him, looked disillusioned and disgusted. One should have sensed his intention to quit then.
In a ship that's primarily steered by businessmen and politicians, Jagdale was a rare entity. Cricket runs through his veins. Hailing from a family of cricketers, he gave up first-class cricket at 30 to help nurture talent from Madhya Pradesh. “When I started playing, kids around the country were struggling due to lack of facilities and funding. I decided to do something and started a club. I never wanted to be an administrator though,” he tells HT.
A former selector and coach too, he did go down that path when former BCCI chief, the late Madhavrao Scindia, appointed him joint-secretary in the early 90s. During his tenure as administrator, Jagdale came across many who lacked honour and did not respect the sport. But recent events forced him to act. He doesn't wish to ever come back. “I am deeply hurt by what has transpired. I don't have anything against Srinivasan. In fact, I have respect for his contribution to Indian cricket. But when certain issues come up, it is the duty of the leader to own up and take moral responsibility. That hasn't happened. And that's why I decided to walk away. I'll never be back,” says the 62-year-old.
For a man who has over 200 books on cricket in his Mumbai home, Jagdale truly was an odd one out. “It's true many administrators don't love the sport the way I do. But it varies from person to person. I am glad former cricketers like Anil Kumble have now made an entry.”
Jagdale hopes his resignation would bring about positive changes. “Whatever happens from now, whoever runs BCCI, we need to find ways to overhaul the sport and clean it up.”