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Suresh Menon, writing for Wisden India, believes that gone are the days when cricket bodies needed political heavyweights at the helm to run their daily affairs. Menon opines that owing to India's powerful status in world cricket, it's the politicians who need the game, more than the game needs them.
For long, there was a practical reason to have successful politicians at the helm of affairs. It meant that government clearances, administrative irritants and foreign exchange problems (a major bugbear in the past) could be smoothened out easily. But in the recent past, especially after economic liberalisation and India's pre-eminent role in world cricket, politicians have needed cricket more than the game has needed them. How else do you explain Sharad Pawar, a former president of the ICC, contesting and winning the election as the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association?
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