Batting for reforms in cricket administration and other sport, Sunil Gavaskar said at the Kolkata Literary Meet on Saturday that he hoped a decision on administrators would be taken at the soonest so that planning of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could start.
Gavaskar said while everyone may not agree with all the reforms, they were needed. “Not just in cricket but in all sport federations.”
“Having said that, the BCCI is probably the only national sporting federation where there was a change in the offices of the president and secretary every three years and five years. There was always a new person coming in.
“So Mr (Sharad) Pawar had three years, Mr Dalmiya had three years. Every one has three years, and then they moved away and the senior vice-presidents took over. So, there was this thing happening, it’s just that in other federations it is needed. Whatever it is, the Supreme Court’s decision has to be respected. As I said, the quicker we get ahead, the better it will be for Indian cricket,” he said.
The former India skipper turned commentator said he had no issue with all states having a vote but said care should be taken to ensure that the standard of first-class cricket isn’t diluted.
“My only concern is that it should not automatically mean that states which are not ready for first-class cricket are given first-class status,” he said.
Gavaskar gave the examples of Meghalaya and Nagaland as states without adequate cricket infrastructure to elucidate his point. “I think the standard of cricket will be diluted and that’s not going to help Indian cricket.”
Sunny Days’ regret
The conversation prior to that involved a lot of looking back at his career. And Gavaskar said his depiction of Jamaicans in Sunny Days, which was published in 1976, was “totally wrong.”
“Even though what happened (the West Indies often bowling five bouncers and one beamer per over) was totally hard to digest, I think I would have described it differently now,” said Gavaskar. The book states that fans at the Sabina Park in the Test where Indians were intimated they should go back to the trees.
The book, first of the three he has written, happened because he had a lot of time. Gavaskar said he was working for a cement company and had no work. “So, to pass time between 9:30-5pm, I started penning thoughts. Then Sharad (Kotnis) of Sportsweek thought it could be made into a book,” said Gavaskar.