April 24, 2014

India cricket

BCCI afraid to face the music

In an editorial in the Hindu, the BCCI's original selection of its three-member probe panel comprising RK Raghavan, Ravi Shastri and Justice JN Patel, with obvious conflicts of interest, suggests that it did not want a fair inquiry even if in the process its credibility takes a beating.

It reveals an unwillingness to shed its image as an opaque clique. What cricket fans and the public need now is reassurance that the glamorous flagship tournament of the BCCI is not yielding illegal spin-off benefits to punters, bookies, fixers and assorted operators seeking to capitalise on the popularity of the sport. Apart from a thorough clean-up of the game, the Indian cricket board needs to win back the trust of the game's fans, and the public at large.

In Mint, Ayaz Memon writes that the BCCI's biggest problem is that the public's faith in it has collapsed, as till very recently, it has pursued a wink-and-nudge approach of inquiry/redressal believing that it enjoyed immunity from public gaze being a private body. However,it was also odd that the Supreme Court had asked the BCCI to constitute the probe panel.

And it was completely imprudent of the BCCI to have even agreed to the Supreme Court's request. Surely the mandarins in the board are not oblivious of the raging discontent about its affairs, and utter mistrust in its office bearers. How much better if they had asked the Supreme Court to appoint a panel and conduct the investigation?

Clayton Murzello, in Mid Day, sympathises with Ravi Shastri for the position he's been placed in by his employers.

Remember, it was Shastri who in a way, spoke out for the media at the press conference in which ICC match referee Mike Denness was not inclined to answer questions after punishing six players during the 2001 Port Elizabeth Test against South Africa. These lines from Shastri went down in cricket history: "If Mike Denness cannot answer questions, why is he here? We know what he looks like."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.