Indian cricket has an opportunity to break its mould

  • Pradeep Magazine, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2016 02:40 IST
Chairman of the Supreme Court Committee on Reforms in Cricket Justice (retd.) R M Lodha with members Justice Ashok Bhan (R) and Justice R V Raveendran. (PTI Photo)

The erudite judge of men and now matters cricketing, RM Lodha, who often quotes Shakespeare to buttress his argument, should find the following lines form the Bard apt while the Indian cricket establishment grapples with the thought “to implement or not to implement” the revolutionary recommendations he has made.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.”

If put into practice, Justice Lodha’s recommendations are bound to change the face of Indian cricket for the better. Indian cricket is today placed at the cusp of a path-breaking, historic opportunity, an opportunity which, as Brutus tells Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “if taken at the flood will lead to fortune… and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures”.

In one broad sweep, the Justice Lodha panel has made suggestions of such staggering magnitude which have exposed to the core, the selfish, venal and self-serving functioning of the cricket board. The panel has placed a mirror before the Board and shown them a face they are loath to see. The beauty of this mirror lies in not reflecting the real ugly face of the gazer, but what the mirror believes it should be like.

The tragedy of Indian cricket has been that so used are the administers to seeing and admiring their own faces full of warts, that any change that requires a surgery to alter its very contours, is resisted like a person would his own death.

Would the Indian Board be able to circumvent these recommendations by challenging them in the Supreme Court? Will the Court listen to their own constituted panel and make it mandatory for the Board to implement them in toto? These are questions that immediately strike one as the cricket fraternity waits with bated breath to know the answers. Will it be a long drawn legal battle, or will the courts strike one swift blow and tell the individuals who form the Indian Board, that the larger good of the game and its governance can’t be held to ransom for petty, selfish gains.

The panel, of which the wise and loquacious Lodha was the pivot, with the very quiet Justice Bhan and the stern-looking and sharp Justice Raveendran being the two main pillars, has come out with an outstanding set of recommendations which no right thinking person would have any objections to. Well, except those who have over the years manipulated a system more for their own benefit than the good of the game.

The heartening aspect today is that the majority stake-holders, be it the fans, the players and to some extent even sponsors and broadcasters, do realize that the time for change has come and this historic opportunity should not be frittered away. The disturbing part is that those who have to accept and implement the change will resist it the most.

According to a newspaper report, one of the officials has said that these recommendations should be thrown into the dustbin. The Board should realize that those who resist an idea whose time has come, are the ones who are thrown into the dustbin of history.

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