India news August 28, 2013

BCCI's 'operation clean-up' yet to take off


Three months after announcing a plethora of measures to clean up the game, the BCCI's ambitious plan is yet to take off and is unlikely to make any progress till the board's AGM at the end of September. While the BCCI has not offered any explanation for the delay in implementation of the plan announced in the wake of the IPL corruption scandal, it is understood to be a victim of the current leadership crisis in the board.

The decisions were announced in two phases. On May 19, four days after three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested on charges of spot-fixing in the IPL, BCCI president N Srinivasan announced the board's decision to get players' agents accredited. That was followed, on June 10, by Jagmohan Dalmiya, the board's acting president, unveiling what he called 'operation clean-up', which aimed to curb corruption and remove "sleaze" in the IPL by enforcing a "strict code of conduct". It included a requirement for players to reveal sources of their earnings, and for IPL team owners to furnish details of payments and their contractual obligations with players and support staff.

So far, though, those decisions and proposals have remained on paper. The BCCI, which trumpeted those announcements under the spotlight, has been quiet about them ever since and is still short on specifics. "We are still in the process to act upon the decisions. Hopefully, it will be done soon," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told ESPNcricinfo earlier this week.

Dalmiya said the issues were being discussed. "All the procedures about implementation of operation clean-up and player agents accreditation are being discussed. We will let you know once there is an update," he said.

Neither gave reasons for the delay, and it is understood that nothing will be done before the September AGM. This is mainly because there is no clear leadership in the board. Though Dalmiya is handling the board's day-to-day affairs, many senior officials feel the board lacks a leader who has the clout to actually implement such a high-profile operation. There is also a feeling within the board that there is no urgency required since most of these proposed changes are related to the IPL.

Meanwhile, those affected by the proposals are yet to hear from the board, directly or indirectly. They feel the sooner it is done the better it will be in terms of bringing in transparency into their business.

The board never spelt out its modus operandi but it believed that the centrally contracted players will be asked to give details of their representatives, who will then be asked to submit their relevant documents. The move, when first announced, had evoked a mixed response from player agents, a group that, barring an exception or two, has few friends among cricket administrators. One of the leading player agents hoped that the BCCI's announcement on May 19 "wasn't a farce" and they would formalise the procedure "before the cricket season begins at home".

The need for bringing player agents on board was underlined during the spot-fixing scandal that saw many of players' agent-cum-friends hanging around in the team hotel. Jiju Janardhanan, an alleged bookie who was a friend of Sreesanth, may have posed as the fast bowler's agent.

The decision to ask players to reveal their financial interests had been announced following revelations of India and Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni's involvement with Rhiti Sports Management, a company that also manages some of the other prominent Indian cricketers.

Since the BCCI does not recognise any player agent as of now, all the demands will be made directly to the players. A BCCI contracted player confirmed that he had not received any notification seeking either his manager's details or those about his financial transactions. The player added the delay will "unnecessarily keep a sword hanging over players' financial status and genuine player agents".

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on August 29, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    And why is the rest of the cricket world not surprised by this? Way to go, guys.

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    it will happen when we deserve it.. at the moment we don't deserve it as a society and ours leaders reflect what we are as a society.

  • Nirmal on August 29, 2013, 5:59 GMT The story ends here.

  • David on August 29, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    The most efficient way to disable "Operation Cleanup" is to place it in the hands of 'professional management.' The primary objective of 'professional management' is to maintain their existence, i.e. to keep their jobs. It is the evolutionary imperative. What function they perform as managers is immaterial to their form, their jobs as 'managers.'

    The implementation of a true clean up requires an evangelistic strike-force mentality. An independently appointed entity that will no longer exist after implementation, that gains nothing from indefinite planning, and has no vested interest in the outcome, has a vague chance of success.

    A bunch of professional managers will simply reinvent the wheel they know. Corrupt oligarchs will always insist their most trusted allies - professional management, administer any such implementation. After all, who created the entity that requires a cleanup on the scale of a massive oil spill? Oligarchs, and managers.

  • farah on August 29, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster, I have been the country head of a swiss multinational for 8 years and would completely disagree with you. If you were working in a professional organization you would have been fired by now for taking so long only in planning. Such delaying tactics are used when nothing is to be done and such statements about operation clean up are made to cool off the sentiments of general public. Supporting such actions and giving excuses on behalf of BCCI is not serving cricket.

  • Jay on August 28, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    These things need planning. Indian people can be very impatient at times. Being a management professional in real life, I can attest that it takes a while to get a mandate moving forward following various approvals from all sections. The BCCI is like a corporation accountable to the public; I am sure they are trying to ensure there is a degree of efficiency in whatever they are trying to do. You cannot rush through this matter. This could have severe implications on not just Indian cricket, but world cricket for years to come.

  • kannan on August 28, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    Clean up? yes, but everything will be swept under the carpet.. We are like this only.

  • John on August 28, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    It seems like a rather important initiative to get under way but it's always hard to get new projects started during a change in personnel. Hopefully it gets priority when things settle.

  • Amit on August 28, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    'Operation Clean up is a non=starter'…sums all up….