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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Cricket

Despite all noise, IPL remains a case of old wine in new bottle
Anand Sachar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 14, 2014
First Published: 01:24 IST(14/4/2014)
Last Updated: 18:26 IST(14/4/2014)

A recommendation made to the BCCI by the IPL probe committee, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, stated, “We would recommend that apart from instructions in the local language understood by local players, the BCCI need not spend enormous sums of money on ICC deputed anti-corruption instructors, and reputed retired armed forces and police officers from India should be asked to do it after due training and sensitisation in Indian languages.”

The list of recommendations, including the aforementioned point, was received by the BCCI on February 10. In its response, the board ‘wholeheartedly’ accepted the recommendation and assured efforts in involving retired army and police personnel to supplement ICC’s anti-corruption instructors.

No action yet
However, with two days to go for the seventh edition, in the UAE, action is yet to be taken on the assurance. What ails the BCCI? The recommendation was on the back of the spot-fixing scandal that rocked the 2013 season. With the latest edition upon us, how much can the BCCI do in keeping it corruption free?

As per the Supreme Court’s order, N Srinivasan was removed as BCCI chief and Sunil Gavaskar was asked to deal with IPL matters as interim president of the board. All India Cements employees were removed from the BCCI as per the SC order.

Gavaskar roped in HDFC chairman, Deepak Parekh, as his special advisor, but with IPL CEO, Sundar Raman, still in office, how much of an influence can Gavaskar and Parekh be?

The SC asked Gavaskar to take a call on Raman’s position after the Mudgal report spoke of his closeness to Gurunath Meiyappan, another point is that Raman is considered the brain behind Srinivasan’s strategies. There is also Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, and that could perhaps dilute the powers of the new regime.

That Gavaskar’s appointment came just 20 days before the IPL did not help either. “Sunil is a big name, he is a legend. He has all the powers to make changes if he wants. But where is the time?” BCCI vice-president, Ravi Savant, told HT.

There is yet to be an announcement on the clamping down of after-match parties, which were on in full force last year, albeit unofficially. The cheerleaders, who could act as honeytraps, are likely to continue.

“Nothing will really change at the IPL this year. The BCCI will have to go according to the rules that are in place,” explained Savant.

“Sunil, for now, can only oversee everything and make sure everything goes off well. Had he had the chance to make major changes, it would have been different.”  

Let alone keeping the game free of corruption, the interim BCCI-IPL president could provide the television viewers with non-biased commentary. After all, Gavaskar, who will be compensated for forgoing his media commitments, would know best how the commentary during IPL is at best an advertisement of the board.   As things stand, despite the change in the BCCI, it may not be an overtly refreshed version of IPL.


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