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May 25, 2013

Cricket News Hurl

The honorary son-in-law

Jarrod Kimber
Everything good in cricket emerges from Jesse Ryder  © Associated Press
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Jesse Ryder has knocked back money from women's magazines to tell his story of the attack on him.

That's nice, isn't it?

I like to start with something nice, something upbeat and cheery.

Now that I've done that, let's look at the IPL.

If royalty and small businesses have taught us anything, it's that giving your family important jobs can be embarrassing.

Kim Il-sung ran the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from 1948 until 1994. He was replaced by his son, Kim Jong-il, who lied about his golf game. He was then replaced by the grandson, Kim Jong-un, who is a fan of Keanu Reeves. Sometimes picking people because they are related to you by birth or marriage is not the best thing.

The other problem with having people who are related to you is that you can't really deny being involved with them. Sure, you can suggest that a person is just an honorary part of management and not really involved with your team. You can change their Twitter profile so that they no longer have the title of "Team Principal" or are linked to your website. You can edit your website so that his name doesn't appear anywhere. But you can't edit out the link between a son and a father-in-law. It's there, written on a marriage certificate.

You can't even call him an honorary son-in-law.

When I clicked on the NDTV video, they had a pre-roll ad for the KFC family feast. Even the pre-rolls were mocking N Srinivasan.

According to Srinivasan, this is orchestrated pressure, and he has done nothing wrong. "I have done nothing wrong. If I have done something wrong that's a different matter." He will not be bulldozed, railroaded or cold-cocked into submission.

His son-in-law is a fully functioning human being, capable of doing his own thing, like holding the paddle up at IPL auctions. Srinivasan should not be blamed for any alleged crime his son-in-law may have committed.

But there will be a probe into this mess. And the probe will be run by the BCCI. Which Srinivasan runs. Into the Chennai Super Kings, which Srinivasan owns. Because of the former team principal, whom Srinivasan's daughter is married to.

"I'm too straight, I follow the rules." Srinivasan is being honest when he says this. Of course, he's happy to change those rules to better suit himself. Until 2008 the BCCI had a constitution that said players, administrators, managers and team officials could not have direct or indirect commercial interests in any BCCI event or product.

If that rule was still enforced, Srinivasan wouldn't be getting bulldozed right now, as he wouldn't own an IPL team or have a son-in-law who was some part of its management.

And whether it was official (a Twitter bio is not official, I assume) or just a vague understanding, Gurunath believed he was part of CSK's management. On Twitter he would tweet: "CSK team n management wishes Mike Hussey(mr Cricket) a very happy B day", or talk about updates to the website: "We are updating the web site with latest pictures everyday. Hope all the CSK fans are liking it. Any special request can be sent to us." Do honorary members of management really get involved with putting pictures on websites?

Gurunath also tweeted, "CSK wishes Mr and Mrs MS Dhoni a very happy anniversary. Have a great day and all the very best." That is the same wife of MS Dhoni who was sitting in the CSK box next to the arrested Vindoo Dara Singh.

There are no photos of Srinivasan sharing his own box with Vindoo Dara Singh. As he says, "Everyone knows I do not, in fact, go to the CSK games."

This all matters greatly because N Srinivasan is the most powerful man in cricket. This is not a bit of random boring cricket news. If Srinivasan falls (it's a shame that 100-foot-high gold statue of him was never made), it will change the face of modern cricket.

Cricket politics can hit any level of cricket. Just this morning the Thorner Mexborough club of West Yorkshire was in a political crisis based on selection. NDTV has not yet interviewed former first-team captain David Hopps, but everyone knows he does not go to games.

Asad Rauf is also not going to games at the moment, after the ICC saw reports that the Mumbai police were conducting an investigation into Rauf's activities. Rauf's last claim to fame was having an attractive woman's leg draped around him in an oft-googled image. Rauf has picked a good week to be mentioned in this scandal as he is not Srinivasan's son-in-law.

Ireland picked a terrible week to snatch a last-ball tie with Pakistan. Kevin O'Brien smashed 84 off 47 and flicked the last ball of the game to the fence to tie the match. It was a tie, and not a draw, no matter what the Cricket Ireland social-media streams have told you. O'Brien seems to arrive out of nowhere every couple of years, smash a big nation everywhere, and then disappear again.

Despite innings like this, O'Brien has never got a call-up for an IPL franchise. And now it seems there is one less for him to play for, as Pune have said "BCCI as a sports body should have sportsmanship spirit" and "considering all the disgusted fact mentioned above now we would not keep the IPL franchisee even if the entire franchisee fee is waved off. It is firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL." Essentially it is about the franchise fee, and the egos of certain men, but what it means is that no matter how much the IPL wants to grow, its own infighting and nonsense don't allow it to.

The women's game is growing, however, and now Cricket Australia has taken the step to turn star players like Victoria's Jess Cameron and other non-Victorian players into paid professional cricketers. It is a massive step forward in the game, and was probably inspired by how awesome Cameron was in the World Cup final.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. This article has less words in it than an average Lalit Modi tweet.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Keywords: BCCI, Corruption

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