The BCCI’s response to the existential crisis facing them has been typical of an organization steeped in a feudal mindset that is unable to read the signs of the changing time. It is hamstrung by those very contradictions and vested interests that in the first place led to a situation which has demolished the very foundations on which an entire edifice of lies and half-truths was built.
Any organization faced with such grave charges and being punished by the highest court of the land with bans and life bans to two IPL teams and a couple of team owners, would have called an emergency meeting of all its stakeholders to discuss threadbare its future course of action.
Instead, it chooses to place its trust on one of its sub-committees – IPL Governing Council – to figure a way out. And what does that committee do? Once again shift responsibility to another committee to do the same exercise! It seems obvious by these moves that the Board at the moment is groping in the dark and is clueless about what they should be doing. In the backdrop of the Justice Lodha committee’s future pronouncements hanging like a sword of Damocles over their heads, the Board is treading on thin ice.
The first question that emerges after Sunday’s governing council meeting is that who is controlling the Board? Why should the Board, at this crucial juncture, leave all its pronouncements to be made by the chairman of the governing council? Isn’t this same governing council in many ways responsible for creating the mess by first letting Lalit Modi do his bidding without any checks and later let N Srinivasan get away with murder? Any other responsible organization would have dissolved its governing council so that a fresh start could be made.
Just imagine that among the decision makers in the governing council was the IPL COO Sundar Raman, the man who is under the scanner and is being probed by the Lodha panel for his alleged role in shielding and being in touch with Vindu Dara Singh despite getting to “know” Dara Singh was involved in betting. Shouldn’t this man have been removed by the Board till his name is cleared? Bizzare as it may sound, Sundar Raman even attended the ICC meeting in Barbados, if reports in the media are to be believed.
And given that the conflict of interest has become such a notorious word, one may raise the question that why is Ravi Shastri still a member of the Governing Council? Shouldn’t he have been removed from that position the moment he became the Technical Director of the Indian team?
That brings me back to the question, who is in control of the Board? Why is the Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya not seen in action?
Reports emerging from Kolkata and from all those who have met Dalmiya suggest that he is not fully in control of himself, an ailing man with a fading memory. If that be the case, Dalmiya needs medical attention and his name should not be used by Board members for the decisions they take on his behalf. This is neither ethically nor even legally right.
All these are pointers to a much larger malaise that needs serious and urgent course correction, which this Board is incapable of undertaking.