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BCCI needs to shed its negative image

cricket Updated: Feb 01, 2008 18:59 IST
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May be it is time to look ahead and not back. There is always the danger of an issue getting lost in the drone of arguments. The Harbhajan fracas that threatened to split world cricket and allowed the Indian public to voice their anger and protest through the Indian board, has been sorted out.

It is now the turn of the Australian public to cry foul and of the Indians to feel vindicated. Who cares what happened or may have happened on the field of play?

Australian columnist Peter Roebuck, who overnight became a venerated figure in India, after he demanded Ricky Ponting’s head for his “uncouth” behaviour during the Sydney Test, has now criticized the Indians for their “naked aggression”. I wonder what the Indians may be thinking about him: the world’s most celebrated writer or another biased interpreter of cricket from the West.

There is always going to be a problem with a worldview that believes that as long as you are with me, you are good and the moment you say uncomfortable things about me you are a “Ba…” Mr Roebuck, if you want to do business with India, choose your words carefully. Don’t forget India is a superpower now!

Should the Indian public feel proud of the fact that whenever the world talks of cricket it talks of the power of money India has and how it uses that to blackmail various boards and the ICC, if its viewpoint is not accepted?

Today, that perception is becoming a reality and there is this feeling of unease and resentment across the cricketing world that India is taking unfair advantage of its financial powers.

India, now for most, is a country for which the business of sport and not the sport itself is the most important business. It is a dangerous sign and the sooner India tries to dispel this notion, the better it will be for its image and for world cricket.

I know we all want and see ourselves as a global power but does that mean when confronted with uncomfortable facts about our own country, we should react aggressively and try to shoot the messenger instead of addressing the problem?

Justice is not the sole prerogative of the rich and powerful and India, with its colonial past, understands this better. The more powerful you become, the greater the responsibility to dispense justice without any bias.

In the cricket world where India has now become a global player due to its financial clout, needs to tread a careful, responsible path. It should not do to others what others have done to it in the past.

The victim syndrome is not good for healthy growth and who else but India understands that better.

Today, when India aspires to redefine the structure of world cricket through an overtly ambitious, mind-boggling money-funded IPL tournament, it has to assure the world that it believes in right is might and not the other way round.

In no way am I suggesting that the Indian board should not fight for the rights of its players and not seek justice from the international governing body. But there are ways and means to fight for those rights and the impression should not be that our players can never do any wrong. They, like all of us, are human and subject to the same laws that govern international sport.

There are serious problems with those laws, with the code of conduct and with millions of other issues involving the sport.

Instead of reacting only when we get into trouble and try to disown the same body of which we are members, it is time for the Indian board to use its clout to correct those loopholes. The person who holds the scales cannot blind justice.