Former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi on Saturday accused the country’s cricketers of acting like “slaves” of the powerful board governing the game which, he said, stood in the way of forming a players’ association.
At a panel discussion during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, the former left-arm spinner and one of the few outspoken voices in cricket, highlighted the role of players in helping the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) become a better place.
“Our players’ mentality is like slaves,” Bedi said. “They won’t utter a word against the BCCI. Till recently India had a few giants of the game playing together. But none of them have said a word on some of the key issues that has plagued the game. Nothing on match-fixing, nothing on chucking.”
The panel discussion, on whether BCCI can be made professional, also featured former Australia skipper Ian Chappell, Justice Mukul Mudgal and former India player Gautam Gambhir.
While Justice Mudgal said a players’ association was a must, Bedi remarked that such an association should focus on cricketing issues and not about increasing one’s bank balance.
“If the world over cricketers are represented by their associations in the board why should BCCI be different? In the past we have had a players’ association but it did not work for some reason. Our cricketers are the easiest folks who can be divided and ruled by administrators. The money-mindedness needs to change,” Bedi said.
Justice Mudgal, who is leading a Supreme Court-appointed panel to probe corruption in the game, said a players’ association could have solved the issues raised by Bedi.
“Players would have been more forthcoming to voice their views and not feel not secured about it,” said Justice Mudgal.
He said just having an anti-corruption unit will not be able to tackle the problem of match-fixing.
“The anti-corruption unit needs to work with the police. There needs to be intense intelligence inputs and a serious intent from administrators right at the top,” he added.