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Indian cricket opening up to era of openness?

india Updated: Nov 04, 2010 23:12 IST
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Sunil Gavaskar has the strongest voice in Indian cricket but when he spoke recently, there was anger in what he said. Simply put, Gavaskar feels the media handed him two bad decisions, declared him caught behind when he had clearly not edged the ball.

First, the IPL governing council issue. The media reported that he was dropped, whereas the position was the terms offered with the job were not acceptable to him. This raised a related point --- should Gavaskar ask for money instead of making himself available to Indian cricket, thus upholding the lofty ideal of "giving back to the game".

Gavaskar is right in taking the position he has. As a professional --- and the best in the business - he has every right to put a price on his time, commitment and expertise.

Gavaskar is justifiably aggrieved by the media bashing on the Kochi issue. That he is routinely approached for advice is hardly surprising because Gavaskar is remarkably hands-on. The allegation about conflict of interest and Gavaskar providing a leg up to a bidder is difficult to understand. The IPL team auctions are decided by money that is put on the table by a bidder and, more strategically, amounts offered by competing bidders. In this transparent process, cricket knowledge, however profound or deep, from Gavaskar or anyone else, is of no value.

Apart from the Gavaskar issue, the media has thrown up more interesting questions. In this context, the comments by senior India players pushing the case for extending coach, Gary Kirsten's, contract is bizarre. Based on performance and success, Kirsten is an outstanding coach but why should players get publicly involved in a management decision?

With the lines between players/management and their roles getting blurred, is this an indication within Indian cricket of a new era of openness and free speech? Cricket bodies in other countries have divergent positions on players making public comments. The ECB is unhappy about Kevin Pietersen and others tweeting on social platforms and placing confidential information in public domain. Australia have urged players to be cautious and observe self regulation.