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Muscle and Mining

With the BCCI exerting its financial clout to ensure that umpire Steve Bucknor returns home, it is clear who calls the shots on the commercial front, writes Ashok Kumar.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2008 20:45 IST

The Economy, Stupid — was the tag-line of Bill Clinton's successful electoral campaign in the first US Presidential race of the 1990's. While his wife, Hillary Clinton holds out the promise of emulating his achievement of becoming a US President, at this point in time the tag-line rings truer for the Australian cricketers.

With the BCCI exerting its financial clout to ensure that umpire Steve Bucknor who played a 'pivotal' role in the Aussie victory in the Sydney Test returns home, with enough time on hand to comprehensively test his vision and hearing facilities, it is clear who calls the shots on the commercial front.

Notwithstanding the betrayal of an IQ level, which might have the predecessors of mankind ranting for being spoken in comparative terms, Ricky Ponting and his rag-tag bunch will now feel the heat from Indian corporates who are considering cancelling their endorsement contracts.

The first head on the chopping block might be that of Michael Clarke, who may thereafter never feel comfortable claiming even legitimate catches offered by Indian batsmen.

While the focus is on Australia which was the old convict outback of the British, my mind turns to the zooming stock price of Deccan Gold Mines, the first private sector gold mining and exploration companies listed at the Indian bourses. It was for this very reason that my clients and I had bought into this stock a few years ago, notwithstanding its financials being heavily lopsided on the cost-side.

The origins of this company can be traced back to Australia, where gold mining and exploration companies have historically fared well at the bourses. Deccan Gold has entered into agreements with its associated companies, Geomysore Services (India) and Indophil Resources Exploration Services for the transfer of Prospecting Licences to Deccan Gold in the Dharwar Shimoga, North and South Hutti, Ramagiri and Mangalur prospecting blocks.

Charles EE Devenish, the chairman of Deccan Gold Mines, and a veteran of the Australian mining boom of the 1960s is on record as having opined that India is at a similar stage today. Little wonder then that mining stocks, including his company are on an upswing, not just at the Indian bourses, but worldwide.

Finally, an aside — the Australian benchmark index, the All Ordinaries rose by 14 per cent during 2007, while its Indian counterpart, the BSE Sensex rose by 47 per cent. Read between the lines, and even those unintelligent enough to be unable to, will find out the hard way when the punch lands where it hurts — on the wallet.

The author heads Lotus Knowlwealth and can be contacted at