Srikkanth’s dual role a clash of interest | india | Hindustan Times
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Srikkanth’s dual role a clash of interest

Dilip Vengsarkar, who it was felt was compromising his position as India’s chief selector by writing a newspaper column, must be feeling cheated that no action is being taken against K Srikkanth for being part of the Chennai Super Kings PR team, writes Pradeep Magazine.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2009 14:13 IST

The Indian Premier League is over and even before you could gather your thoughts and sift the good from the bad and the ugly, we are talking about the T20 World Cup. The event is barely a week away from once again making us a captive audience in front of the idiot box.

For more than 30 days, the IPL dazzled those who find this mix of cricket spiced up with Bollywood masala an enthralling experience. But they too would need to recharge their batteries before they get glued to their TV sets again. Not an easy task, especially now that we would watch only cricket minus the razzmatazz associated with the IPL.

There are many things about the IPL that are good: the cricket is of high quality, the best players in the world play with and against each other and the entertainment quotient is high. But there are too many things which should leave a genuine cricket fan with an uneasy feeling.

Is it good for the sport that the line between players, administrators (in this case just one administrator), sponsors, owners, broadcasters, commentators and even selectors is getting blurred?

When owners sit in the dug-outs, players in the corporate boxes and most of the commentators are paid employees of the organizers and even India's chief selector becomes a PR man for a franchise team, isn't there a danger of the playing field becoming vulnerable to outside pressures and vested interests?

Hasn't the time come for the Indian board to not just gloat over launching a "great" product but also to take control of the event before it may get too late?

One understands that the money being invested in the tournament is mind-boggling. A rough estimate would suggest that this year alone around Rs 2000 crore may have been spent. Whether anyone else, apart from the Indian Board and the players, made any money can only be assessed once a proper and honest balance sheet of the tournament is prepared, but that is not the issue which concerns me at the moment.

Dilip Vengsarkar, who it was felt was compromising his position as India's chief selector by writing a newspaper column, must be feeling cheated that no action is being taken against K Srikkanth for being part of the Chennai Super Kings PR team.

What is disturbing is that no voice, apart from one odd newspaper report, has been raised to question Srikkanth's dual role which is nothing but a clash of interest. Is it because the Board's secretary owns the Chennai team and if the judge himself gets compromised, who will take action then?

Vengsarkar has also raised a couple of very pertinent points regarding the IPL. One is about the inordinate length of the tournament and the other is about its scheduling. It will be a tribute to the fitness and mental strength of the India team if they perform to expectations in the World Cup and overcome mental fatigue and physical breakdowns to successfully defend the title. If they fail, please don't blame them alone.