ICC July 27, 2008

The most powerful man in cricket?

A new post was created in the ICC for IS Bindra © AFP

Scyld Berry charts the rise of IS Bindra, the newly appointed principal advisor to the chief executive of the ICC, in the Sunday Telegraph. Among other things, Bindra's achievements include bringing the world table tennis championships to India, being the brains behind the staging of the 1987 World Cup, and building the cricket stadium in Mohali.

Bindra was staying in his London flat, next to Regent's Park, until last Wednesday. He wears western-style suits – after giving up the last vestige of Sikhism, his turban, in the early Nineties – and with his urbanity and fluent English he has always given English administrators the feeling that he is One of Us; unlike Jagmohan Dalmiya of Calcutta, the first Indian to become ICC president, who was always One of Them. But there is an Indian nationalist beneath the surface. When the Australians tried to find off-spinner Harbhajan Singh guilty of racism last winter, Bindra threatened to call off India's tour.

Meanwhile, Vic Marks, writing in the Guardian, blames the ICC for the surfeit of confusion and the surfeit of cricket. Doubts still linger over the participation of leading players in the Champions Trophy, the Champions League may not take place, discussions are still on over Sri Lanka's tour of England next year.

They say that sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder are often cricket lovers. In which case there must be a lot of distress out there this weekend.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo