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Bring cricket back into cricket

india Updated: Mar 28, 2007 04:48 IST

There’s bound to be an exhaustive post-mortem on what went wrong for Team India that’s licking its wounds after being knocked out of the World Cup. With the kind of batting and bowling talent it had at its disposal, shouldn’t it have at least entered the Super Eight stage? Wasn’t the team strategy good enough? Or, did the team simply not play according to strategy, as seems to have been the case from all accounts? Only by finding satisfactory answers to these and many other questions can Indian cricket hope to pick up the pieces and move on. That said, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will also do well to engage in some soul-searching of its own, as the manager, coach, captain, and players give their version of what went wrong in the Caribbean.

The need of the hour for Indian cricket is a professional organisation, free from political interference, to preside over it: perhaps one comprising cricketers, or ex-cricketers, with a knack for administration. As in other sports like football, tennis or golf, professionalism can ensure that the administering body’s watchword remains passion for the game, and nothing else. The size and financial value of the BCCI — the richest in the world — warrants that professional administrators run it in the mould of a corporate entity. Professional administrators — who are ‘paid’ for their services — can bring about positive changes, not least because they will be accountable.

Unfortunately, the BCCI — which owes its wealth to sponsorship, TV rights etc. — seems to have begun the commercialisation of cricket in the country without any vision as to how all this money could be ploughed back to ensure better administration of the game. For all its high-profile status in world cricket, the BCCI doesn’t even have an official website! It’s time the board took a leaf out of the England Cricket Board’s notebook. It is so transparent about everything — from its national coaching scheme, directives, and guidelines, to fund-raising activities and sponsors. Otherwise, Team India will continue to flatter to deceive.