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With the IPL facings its toughest credibility test, the Indian Express' editor-in-chief, Shekhar Gupta, highlights the flaws in the governance of the tournament, including the conflicts of interest that border on corporate fraud and "cricketing permissiveness". The controversy, he says, has presented the BCCI with a critical choice where they can either make the IPL a serious cricket league or reduce it to a mere spectacle.
Some controversy hits the IPL every year. But this controversy is by far the most crippling. Because this has put the credibility of the very league in doubt. It has brought criticism and apprehension to the minds of all kinds of stakeholders, from politicians, who want to nationalise the BCCI or ban the IPL, to Pepsi, which may want out as its lead sponsor. This time, the BCCI cannot blame a mere individual and hang him. Nor can it rely on the old cynical and lazy notion that cash will solve all problems. It has to clean up not just the IPL, but itself, make a promise of transparency and offer itself voluntarily to some kind of an impartial, outside oversight, if not RTI
Since its inception, the Indian Premier League has gained recognition not just for the talent on display but for the role it has played in sustaining the sport around the world. Given this stature, the recent controversy surrounding the participation of Sri Lankan players and the IPL's response to the issue may have done the game a disservice, writes Mini Kapoor in the Indian Express.
The roll call of names is important because this expedient measure is, in the end, about them. It is not based on some abstract principle of not playing cricket with another country, which, highly debatable though it may have been, would have moved the discussion away from the field of play. As the state of play currently stands, Sri Lankan players are very much part of the IPL, they will play at other venues, and it is only on account of presumed security concerns in Tamil Nadu that they will not be allowed to alight on the Chennai ground. This move is, then, clearly not about using sport as an element of coercive diplomacy to pressure the Sri Lankan government to deliver on devolution, reconciliation and rehabilitation. It is only targeted at a bunch of individuals to make some point -- which is what exactly?
The volunteers at London 2012 were lauded as the special factor that made the Olympics as memorable as they were. Thousands of Britons gladly worked in very meaningless roles just to be part of history.
The ICC obviously caught wind of this phenomenon as they are trying to "recreate the fantastic atmosphere and customer service" at the Champions Trophy this June. 600 recruits are being sought to cover the games at The Oval, Edgbaston and Cardiff.
Volunteers will again be clad in team uniform and will be helping deliver entertainment at the grounds, produce and distribute accreditation passes and help dish out tickets, along with the obligatory standing with a where-to-go foam hand. You may even get the chance to play music from your iphone through a loudspeaker to entertain the queuing masses.
Whether the lure of the ICC's No. 3 tournament is enough to rally the kind, generous folk of Great Britain once more remains to be seen but if you're over 18, available for at least four shifts in June and are comfortable with a background security check, click here to help make the Champions Trophy run as seamlessly as London 2012.
Michael Clarke has bought a multi-million dollar property in New South Wales with the intention of turning it into a cricket academy. The property, which already features its own private cricket oval, is located near Berrima in the Southern Highlands of the state, close to Don Bradman's boyhood home town of Bowral, where the International Cricket Hall of Fame is located.
"I have dreamed about doing something like this all my life but because of my playing schedule I never had the time to act on it," Clarke told the Sunday Telegraph. "[My wife] Kyly has played a big part in turning this dream into a reality. Her experience in design and property management will help make this academy happen and I couldn't be happier about it.
"I'm at a stage of my career where I'm getting older and one day I'll retire or be dropped. This gives me a great opportunity for a job after my playing career is over, doing something I can be proud of.
"I remember going down to Bowral when I was a kid and walking in Don Bradman's footsteps. It's a big part of the reason why we chose this area."
Although the cost of the property was not disclosed, it had recently been on the market for A$3.65 million.
A sportsman has to grapple with the challenges of life after retirement, sometimes having to compromise his self esteem, as in a career in administration, writes former India allrounder Sanjay Bangar in cricketnext.com.
As soon as he retires from that sport, the general popularity slowly starts to decrease due to short public memory. From the limelight, he suddenly finds himself one among many normal people. It is also a very difficult period for him to make a career choice again in his life as he is still is in his mid-thirties. He has to reset his goals and take a decision as to whether he should be associated with the sport. Most players take up coaching if they are qualified enough to acquire the mandatory basic courses. If they are popular with the administrators they could get lucrative posts of selectors, referees etc.
However at this point, he is not generally aware of the kind of profile an administrator has to have to turn out to be good at it. Since the posts of president and secretary are generally the most desired ones, and are appointed through elections, a former player has to go begging for votes. Thus at the very first step, he starts compromising on his self esteem. One also has to be very particular of the protocol to soothe big egos.
Writing in Mint about the proposed law to regulate sports bodies in India, Ayaz Memon points out that the Indian government has a dismal track record in sports administration. He believes though that the BCCI must be more transparent and open to public scrutiny.
The BCCI functions like some freemasonry, shrouded in secrecy and with a veneer of arrogance, which is not just unnecessary but also unacceptable in current climes. That said, I am vehemently opposed to the government taking over the BCCI; indeed, all sports bodies should be disencumbered from the government if Indian sport is to make real headway.
The Australian system, according to me, has strong merits. There is no sports ministry in that country. The government provides broad guidelines—sports for all, zero-tolerance for drugs and promoting health and healthy competition—on which the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) acts in collaboration with various federations and associations.
An editorial in the Indian Express says the proposed bill should "unquestionably be seen as a naked power-grab". In the same paper, Desh Gaurav Chopra Sekhri, while praising the bill's intents, questions its scope and methodology.
Bringing the BCCI under the RTI might be plausible when it comes to profit-making, or conflicts of interest-related queries. However, given an unlimited licence to question each aspect of the NSF’s activities and authority, it’s more than likely that the RTI will become a national referendum on team-selection processes involving the public. The risk of frivolity is extreme, and could actually inhibit any professional progress made by those federations who actually intend to promote and develop their respective sports.