September 4, 2011

Indian cricket

Boards should be accountable as players are

Dustin Silgardo

While sports bodies must be autonomous and free, they also have a responsibility to be accountable and transparent, Venkatesh Nayak writes in DNA. He says for an accountability mechanism for work it must be structured in a decentralised manner and be managed by individuals.

The BCCI makes its millions every season when cricket fever hits the country. Yet, it has zealously guarded its account books as well as its decision-making processes. As a society registered in Tamil Nadu even its annual report is not up on its website despite the law treating it is a document that should be accessible to anybody from the Registrar of Societies on payment of a nominal fee.

Archna Shukla, writing in the Indian Express, traces the rise of the BCCI from a nondescript organisation barely making ends meet to the world’s richest cricket board, as well as its strong points and its drawbacks.

If on the one hand, it was Dalmiya’s foresightedness to unlock cricket’s commercial potential, on the other, it was an evolving media and advertising environment—and the absence of a rival sport—that helped cricket, and hence BCCI establish its dominance in the market. Even today, media and sponsorship rights alone contribute more than 75 per cent to BCCI’s revenues.

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Dustin Silgardo is a former sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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