August 6, 2009

BCCI v the world

The Indian board's foot-dragging and muscle-flexing over the drug-testing issue is typical
74

Every once in a while the Indian cricket board takes a break from its primary activity, turning the game and itself into even bigger brands, and indulges in its favourite secondary, physical, activities - jerking its knee and flexing its muscle. This atavistic trait doesn't show up only when there is a grand threat - perceived or otherwise - to its powers and position. It can happen when the BCCI is merely irritated. As in the latest case concerning the dope-testing protocol.

The issue is simple: With drug abuse becoming an increasing threat to sport, cricket - to be clean, and to be seen as clean - needs a dope-testing protocol. There is one currently used across the world, by almost every sporting body, devised and administered by the acknowledged nodal organisation. It is not flawless and it has its critics - as perhaps any protocol cutting such a wide swathe will - but it is the law. And the world's leading sportsmen follow it, even as some of them complain bitterly about it.

But not India's cricketers. And not India's cricket board.

The players reportedly raised concerns when informed about the requirements, during the tour of New Zealand earlier this year, and when the time came to sign the protocol refused to do so (for these players are nothing if not proud products of the board they represent). And so as the deadline came and went, and India's cricketers remained the only ones in the world not to have signed, the board went on the defensive. Which meant the offensive. And so the knee jerk and the muscle flex.

As an immediate reaction it offered a two-pronged argument against the players signing up. On the one hand, it wondered whether there really was any need for cricket to join a broad-spectrum testing protocol; instead, cricket should, the board said, fashion a customised set of rules taking into account the peculiarities of the game and focusing on testing during camps and series or tournaments instead of 24/7/365. On the other, it trotted out a set of specific reasons why their 11 players should not sign the current protocol, and even invoked the Constitution of India and its guarantee of privacy.

By mooting a doping code outside of WADA, the BCCI is effectively asking the ICC to take cricket out of the global sporting family and exist as a sort of renegade unit. It's not really a request, given that 70% of the money in world cricket comes from India

One would be tempted to dismiss this as nonsense but for the gravity of the situation. By mooting a doping code outside of WADA, the BCCI is effectively asking the ICC to take cricket out of the global sporting family and exist as a sort of renegade unit. It's not really a request, given that 70% of the money in world cricket comes from India. So it is not nonsensical but hugely irresponsible.

One can see where the board is coming from - cricket in India is not really a sport; it exists outside the framework that covers every other sport in the country. It does not need government funding; on the contrary, it is itself a donor to other sports - Wednesday's newspapers reported how India's football federation has sought a grant from the BCCI for an ambitious development project. The BCCI is larger than sport itself in this country and so believes that it can exist in precisely the same way in the global community. And so it might, too: the sport has a unique, captive fan base, while the IPL has opened up new avenues for bringing in finances - streets paved with gold.

Yet there is the obligation for the BCCI to act as the leader, to sometimes bend for the greater good, to acquire an identity higher than that of a purely commercial enterprise. Time and again, when it perceives a threat to its superiority, it has raised the stakes to an impossible level; the latest example was in Sydney in 2008 when it had an umpire replaced, and prepared to risk an entire series over one bad Test. It seems to be heading down the same road now, in the face of advice, suggestions, entreaties and the odd bit of ridicule from across the sporting spectrum.

The irony is that it has fairly simple solutions at hand. The problem is a simple one, of managing players' schedules. The BCCI can, without the slightest dent to its coffers, appoint a minion to coordinate the whereabouts of nine cricketers (one imagines the two women are really not a problem here) and send the necessary emails and text messages to the WADA officials concerned. It is a decision that takes a minute to approve and is a trifle to implement. Perhaps it is too easy.

If the board's actions sound irresponsible, the stand taken by the players is ludicrous. They, too, are leaders in their field, respected by their peers, and most importantly, are role models for millions of youth. They are not unlike other global stars like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, just two of sport's big names to sign on the dotted line. It is also disingenuous of Yuvraj Singh to claim that cricketers are a unique breed with a more itinerant lifestyle than other sportsmen. Actually, it is plain rubbish, as any tennis player or golfer, whose schedule depends on how far he progresses in each tournament, will tell you.

If cricket wants to be taken as a global sport and move beyond its identity as an extension of the Commonwealth, it needs to exist in the global family. It needs the validation and the vehicle of the Olympic movement and its offshoots to permeate uncharted territories. Twenty20 is a prime candidate for an Olympic sport, yet it will not make the breakthrough unless the ICC and IOC - and the BCCI - play ball.

Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of Cricinfo in India

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Six_Wickets on August 8, 2009, 23:05 GMT

    I agree with the author that this is an opportunity to hog limelight by having a go @ BCCI. But for the mundane, it seems like a valid question to ask by the players from what appears in media about the merits surrounding the controversy. Even CA has come out partially agreeing to the view. I don't quite understand what's more sinister while being controversial - Being in vogue and subversively compliant or being expressive that seems rebellious.

  • TendlyaIsGod on August 8, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    The article is biased, illogical and sexist. The author recommends appointing a person to keep track of schedules of the 9 male cricketers but not the 2 female cricketers ("one imagines the two women are really not a problem here"). This is an utterly male chauvinistic remark. It is disappointing to see such statements coming from an executive editor. Anyway, the idea proposed by the author is ridiculous. It is very dangerous to have one person possess the information about scheduls of all Indian players. The solution proposed by the BCCI seems more reasonable but the author conveniently forgets to mention BCCI's solution.

  • MuchMore on August 8, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Mr. Gupta, its a shame that a person of your stature has so easily written this sort of biased article. It really doesn't even once get to the real point of the issue at hand. Just because others have not denied doesn't mean WADA is "the" way to go. There are critics of WADA all around the word because it does have some tweaks required. So instead of having a complete senseless go at BCCI and Indian players, please for once think from their point of view and act sensible.

  • BillyBlue on August 8, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    What utter rubbish. Looks like BCCI snubbed the author at some point & he's taking his grudge out here. This is a blatantly biased article. Mr. Gupta never once, seriously addresses the players concerns for security & privacy. Acknowleding that cricket especially in India is an all too different sport, he fails to extend its privileges to it's governing body or to the players who are integral to it. Tennis stars are not assigned extensive security detail in every country they tour. The Indian players CANNOT travel without these details even in so called 'Civilized' countries like GB & AU. He makes it sound like BCCI is the only governing body that is high handed. Cricketing history is a subject that the author seriously needs revisiting. Blamming BCCI for all cricketing problems is in fashion, but for once I believe BCCI truely understands the uniqueness of the situation and is truely concerened for player safety. Mr. Gupta pls get some Journalism lessons in ethical & balanced writing

  • kalyanbk on August 7, 2009, 21:16 GMT

    Would I like my movements monitored and have an obligation to "check-in" even if I am on my personal time? that too for the rest of my career? like a paroled criminal? Definitely not. So I can't complain about the players refusing and the BCCI standing up for them. Many of us sign away all our freedoms and rights when we sign a contract defined by lawyers not because we want to or because we understand what we are getting into but because often we don't have a choice or we don't have the power to say no or because everyone else is doing it. So more power to the players for having the courage to say no. Let WADA come out with an out of the box solution.

  • lucyferr on August 7, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    ...the BCCI is effectively asking the ICC to take cricket out of the global sporting family and exist as a sort of renegade unit...cricket in India is not really a sport; it exists outside the framework that covers every other sport in the country...

    This is absolutely true, and not just because it raised the hackles of so many Indian fans (though that's always a good sign). Having said that, you do seem rather idealistic in your expectation that "If cricket wants to be taken as a global sport and move beyond its identity as an extension of the Commonwealth, it needs to exist in the global family." Face it, cricket is ruled by a "purely commercial enterprise" called the BCCI, who couldn't care less about making it a global sport. Expecting it to act responsibly is naive.

    That said, a comparison of the BCCI to the NBA would not have gone amiss. Unlike cricket, basketball is a global sport. The NBA, like the BCCI, has a self-sustaining fan base and isn't a fan of WADA regulations.

  • vverma on August 7, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    @zapper22 - Unless you get your news from Nostradamus, I would have to disagree with you on FIFA's WADA compliance. Your general perception of Indians may have blinded your reading when it came to Indian cricket related stuff. But that's nothing when compared to the blind sightedness on the part of the author of this article, whose primary job is reading and writing articles about cricket. IOC is trying to monopolize all sports and ceding one's power to such a monster is the biggest mistake ICC can make.

  • Mark.O on August 7, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Mr Gupta doesn't understand the issue and yet he was able to put couple of pages of words together, great! The goal here is to make the sport clean from drug abuse, not to sign a contract which somebody had put down for some sport. The clause in question is highly one sided and against personal freedom of any individual signing it. Only people who don't understand freedom and its value or people got threatened will sign such clause. Mr Gupta should eat ham burger and french fries for all his meal, because that may get him under a global umbrella of food eaters. Some times it is good to think creatively and work to improve existing processes instead blindly following like a fool, that is bad interpretation of globalization. There is no reason Indian cricketers under the current extremist climate should sign this. A change here would be welcomed by all other sport men and women around the world who are under the so called 'global family'.

  • Almoe on August 7, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    The BCCI are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    We must resist the global war on drugs, because if we let them regulate our sport we will one day lose a great player for a technical breach of testing rules. Remember, WADA would have banned Warne for life.

    Cricket should make its own rules to deal with its own problems in its own ways. If players use drugs (permitted by WADA or not) to recover more quickly from injury, it should be for the cricketing community to decide if it is acceptable.

    And in my opinion, cricket can allow its players to use drugs that are banned in athletics because doping in cricket confers no competitive advantage beyond enabling a player to take the field in the first place. Fitness is not sufficient to make a good player, and unfitness doesn't seem an insurmountable obstacle to greatness (Inzy, Warne, Kallis). Cricket is about skill and nerve, not strength and speed.

    Cricket is different. WADA's moralising busybodies will damage our game.

  • NumberXI on August 7, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    To add to my earlier posts:"The whereabouts requirements in Wada's code, whereby athletes must provide a 24/7 log so drug testers can track them down, were declared illegal last month by European Union data-protection experts." Wow! You mean to tell Mr Gupta could not check this simple fact?

  • Six_Wickets on August 8, 2009, 23:05 GMT

    I agree with the author that this is an opportunity to hog limelight by having a go @ BCCI. But for the mundane, it seems like a valid question to ask by the players from what appears in media about the merits surrounding the controversy. Even CA has come out partially agreeing to the view. I don't quite understand what's more sinister while being controversial - Being in vogue and subversively compliant or being expressive that seems rebellious.

  • TendlyaIsGod on August 8, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    The article is biased, illogical and sexist. The author recommends appointing a person to keep track of schedules of the 9 male cricketers but not the 2 female cricketers ("one imagines the two women are really not a problem here"). This is an utterly male chauvinistic remark. It is disappointing to see such statements coming from an executive editor. Anyway, the idea proposed by the author is ridiculous. It is very dangerous to have one person possess the information about scheduls of all Indian players. The solution proposed by the BCCI seems more reasonable but the author conveniently forgets to mention BCCI's solution.

  • MuchMore on August 8, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    Mr. Gupta, its a shame that a person of your stature has so easily written this sort of biased article. It really doesn't even once get to the real point of the issue at hand. Just because others have not denied doesn't mean WADA is "the" way to go. There are critics of WADA all around the word because it does have some tweaks required. So instead of having a complete senseless go at BCCI and Indian players, please for once think from their point of view and act sensible.

  • BillyBlue on August 8, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    What utter rubbish. Looks like BCCI snubbed the author at some point & he's taking his grudge out here. This is a blatantly biased article. Mr. Gupta never once, seriously addresses the players concerns for security & privacy. Acknowleding that cricket especially in India is an all too different sport, he fails to extend its privileges to it's governing body or to the players who are integral to it. Tennis stars are not assigned extensive security detail in every country they tour. The Indian players CANNOT travel without these details even in so called 'Civilized' countries like GB & AU. He makes it sound like BCCI is the only governing body that is high handed. Cricketing history is a subject that the author seriously needs revisiting. Blamming BCCI for all cricketing problems is in fashion, but for once I believe BCCI truely understands the uniqueness of the situation and is truely concerened for player safety. Mr. Gupta pls get some Journalism lessons in ethical & balanced writing

  • kalyanbk on August 7, 2009, 21:16 GMT

    Would I like my movements monitored and have an obligation to "check-in" even if I am on my personal time? that too for the rest of my career? like a paroled criminal? Definitely not. So I can't complain about the players refusing and the BCCI standing up for them. Many of us sign away all our freedoms and rights when we sign a contract defined by lawyers not because we want to or because we understand what we are getting into but because often we don't have a choice or we don't have the power to say no or because everyone else is doing it. So more power to the players for having the courage to say no. Let WADA come out with an out of the box solution.

  • lucyferr on August 7, 2009, 20:25 GMT

    ...the BCCI is effectively asking the ICC to take cricket out of the global sporting family and exist as a sort of renegade unit...cricket in India is not really a sport; it exists outside the framework that covers every other sport in the country...

    This is absolutely true, and not just because it raised the hackles of so many Indian fans (though that's always a good sign). Having said that, you do seem rather idealistic in your expectation that "If cricket wants to be taken as a global sport and move beyond its identity as an extension of the Commonwealth, it needs to exist in the global family." Face it, cricket is ruled by a "purely commercial enterprise" called the BCCI, who couldn't care less about making it a global sport. Expecting it to act responsibly is naive.

    That said, a comparison of the BCCI to the NBA would not have gone amiss. Unlike cricket, basketball is a global sport. The NBA, like the BCCI, has a self-sustaining fan base and isn't a fan of WADA regulations.

  • vverma on August 7, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    @zapper22 - Unless you get your news from Nostradamus, I would have to disagree with you on FIFA's WADA compliance. Your general perception of Indians may have blinded your reading when it came to Indian cricket related stuff. But that's nothing when compared to the blind sightedness on the part of the author of this article, whose primary job is reading and writing articles about cricket. IOC is trying to monopolize all sports and ceding one's power to such a monster is the biggest mistake ICC can make.

  • Mark.O on August 7, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Mr Gupta doesn't understand the issue and yet he was able to put couple of pages of words together, great! The goal here is to make the sport clean from drug abuse, not to sign a contract which somebody had put down for some sport. The clause in question is highly one sided and against personal freedom of any individual signing it. Only people who don't understand freedom and its value or people got threatened will sign such clause. Mr Gupta should eat ham burger and french fries for all his meal, because that may get him under a global umbrella of food eaters. Some times it is good to think creatively and work to improve existing processes instead blindly following like a fool, that is bad interpretation of globalization. There is no reason Indian cricketers under the current extremist climate should sign this. A change here would be welcomed by all other sport men and women around the world who are under the so called 'global family'.

  • Almoe on August 7, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    The BCCI are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    We must resist the global war on drugs, because if we let them regulate our sport we will one day lose a great player for a technical breach of testing rules. Remember, WADA would have banned Warne for life.

    Cricket should make its own rules to deal with its own problems in its own ways. If players use drugs (permitted by WADA or not) to recover more quickly from injury, it should be for the cricketing community to decide if it is acceptable.

    And in my opinion, cricket can allow its players to use drugs that are banned in athletics because doping in cricket confers no competitive advantage beyond enabling a player to take the field in the first place. Fitness is not sufficient to make a good player, and unfitness doesn't seem an insurmountable obstacle to greatness (Inzy, Warne, Kallis). Cricket is about skill and nerve, not strength and speed.

    Cricket is different. WADA's moralising busybodies will damage our game.

  • NumberXI on August 7, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    To add to my earlier posts:"The whereabouts requirements in Wada's code, whereby athletes must provide a 24/7 log so drug testers can track them down, were declared illegal last month by European Union data-protection experts." Wow! You mean to tell Mr Gupta could not check this simple fact?

  • NumberXI on August 7, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    To slipandslider: If indeed FIFA have signed or accepted the whereabouts clause, there is no indication of it anywhere on the web nor is it on FIFA's website either. FIFA and UEFA are on record as having jointly issued a statement formally rejecting the whereabouts clause (which, by the way, is the last update on FIFA's website on the matter), which is not the same as rejecting WADA, nor have I suggested that they have. FIFA's position is similar to what India's cricketers and the BCCI are saying - they are all for anti-doping measures, but they draw the line at the whereabouts clause. I would be happy to read something that says FIFA and UEFA have accepted this requirement, but in the absence of that I'm afraid the claim they "signed in May" is not quite true.

  • MahendraSinghisKinng on August 7, 2009, 16:26 GMT

    Mr. Gupta, you have written a very well articulated, one sided, biased, prejudiced article. I seriously think common sense is so uncommon, that too in a editor like you and cricinfo. When Indian players talk about privacy, there is not a single sentence which argues about privacy. It is very simple. Before you sign anything, you read the terms and conditions. comfortable sign it, uncomfortable then dont sign it. Be it a credit card or anything. simple because a million others have signed it, you cannot say you too sign it. The function of a law is to test and in a sensible way. If the law is nonsense, then BCCI has the guts to say it. Why should cricket be different? Indeed cricket is different because of the travelling and very little time with family. With All due respect to Abhinav Bindra, he sits at home most of the times, and he has his privacy. And talk about security threats. LeT targets are well known. I hate BCCI too, but not this time.

  • balajik1968 on August 7, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    The writer seems to be biased against the BCCI. Agreed BCCI is'nt the best run organization, but here they have been spot on. If the players have legitimate concerns, I think it should be examined. It is'nt as if others have not objected. It is just that the BCCI stood up to the WADA, like FIFA did.Problem is, they did it late. Beyond that, the way the whereabouts thing is framed, it looks pretty much as if they are acting like a parole board.They can't go about treating players like convicts.BCCI has offered an alternative.Why does'nt the WADA take it?

  • checks on August 7, 2009, 12:36 GMT

    I'm not a great lover of BCCI and its deeds but I'm neither of Mr. Gupta he doesn't understand a simple fact that BCCI and Indian players are not against dope-test - they are against a clause 'whereabout' and for any reason- if they wish not to disclose it to anybody, what's wrong with it? Mr. Gupta seems a bit biased in his piece of text - I wonder how come such a biased mind got on to the Executive Editor's desk and that too of CricInfo!!! I'm really amazed. BCCI and Indian players are just asking for a rule that is specially meant for Cricket - not which is applied to all the athletes of the World! And if ICC is willing to have fair dope-testing in Cricket, it has to have a specialized dope testing procedure designed for cricket and Indian players have shown them the way to move forward. Come on Mr. Gupta, don't speak the language of lame-duck fellows around the globe!

  • hellraizers on August 7, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    I have seen all the posts made by this guy. I wouldn't call him an author since he doesn't ever depict the reality in his articles. He's always trying to criticize the BCCI, Indian players etc. What BCCI has done in my opinion is definitely correct. All the other countries(atleast aussie & eng) have made it clear that they would do the same, but are accepting the 'whereabouts' only due to monetary benefits. I feel sorry for cricinfo for having such a guy and spoiling their reputation as a good cricketing site.

  • slipandslider on August 7, 2009, 11:40 GMT

    The unusually strident objection to the article by PPRK (the first one to comment) is factually incorrect. Fifa is indeed a signatory to the whereabouts clause...in fact they signed in May. The only exception they have got is that only 'high risk' players will be tested, otherwise they are totally Wada compliant. So the BCCI's assertion that FIFA is not a signatory is wrong. They had objections, sure, but they brought it to the table and got what they wanted. They never said they will totally reject WADA.

  • rahulsaxena on August 7, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    Misleading, biased opinions of this sort are bad. Just like our opinions are checked and filtered by the moderation committee, I hope articles like this one which does more of BCCI bashing than anything else too are filtered. Lets not forget that Cricinfo is known for its impartial views on a subject. This article, coming from the Executive editor of Cricinfo (India), unfortunately is NOT! And I don't think you guys will even publish this comment but getting the message to you guys is important

  • moronosaurus on August 7, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    The BCCI is right. Cricket isn't an international sport, so let's stop treating it as such. It's just entertainment for the Indian market. The Indian fans (as most comments here clearly show) have no idea how modern athletics training works and how drugs can be used very effectively during off-season training. They will be happy if there's a nice new rubber-stamp organization that can assure them with its perfunctory checks that the 'sport' of cricket is drugs-free. And that's all that matters. Not all that Olympics-compliant business. Cricket is like WWE wrestling - it's sports entertainment, not a sport. The Olympic sport of wrestling is Graeco-Roman - drug-free and boring. Let's pump these cricketers up and get them to play every day. And in the future, we'll fit them with cyborg enhancements too. Go BCCI! Let's applaud its brazen honesty.

  • NumberXI on August 7, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    Websites like Cricinfo have a responsibility for genuine, correct reporting. Unfortunately, this article chooses to ignore these very principles. Mr Gupta seems to miss the point that the BCCI is not refusing dope tests - that he chooses to portray it as such is irresponsible bordering on the scurrilous. Equally, professing to be neutral, one would expect that Cricinfo would do some more research before going off on a tangent. For instance, soccer, a sport watched by more people than any other, and its two premier bodies - FIFA and UEFA - have refused to comply with the whereabouts requirement, as has FIFPro, the worldwide footballers association. In fact the last named is even reportedly considering bringing action against WADA for privacy violations, while WADA is already the subject of a suit for human rights abuse (no less) for this clause. Mr Gupta, who is presenting a biased, partisan and totally selective view point is guilty of yellow journalism.

  • kingkarthik on August 7, 2009, 8:08 GMT

    A well written article, one must commend. The BCCI and the Indian cricket fans are like a frog in the well. The only thing is that, when other frogs want to leave the well and embrace the greater good, the Indian frog holds a shotgun and threatens the frogs. (The other frogs for your info anyway do not have a backbone). I am really not surprised by the number of posts which are trying blindly to support the brainless decisions the BCCI is trying to enforce. The moment someone complains, the Indian mentality is to switch into seige mode and state that all the people complaining have a bone to pick with the BCCI and India. All players have threats, case and point, SL team being attacked in Paki, now did the WADA leak the information to the terrorists? The terrorist observed the routes taken by the team bus and ambushed them. So, it is in the best interest of India if they lock up their players in a fortress and play cricket within it. No more touring.

  • dyogesh on August 7, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    If BCCI's muscle-flexing manages to change this draconian system imposed by WADA, there would be a lot of people who would congratulate BCCI. All the cricketer association chiefs have said that the only reason they agree to WADA is for funding. Basically they are powerless enough to refuse WADA. But BCCI has the power to refuse ? And hence it does. I wonder why nobody criticisizes WADA for not thinking of alternatives or so. It seems to be yet another issue for people let go their anger against BCCI. They might be wrong in 100 things but no this. And i think, the author needs to move on from simply criticizing BCCI for everything that goes wrong.

  • M1982 on August 7, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    this was a very biased article. If attracting readers was the motive, well guess what? You got it. but lets then talk about the actual topic.

    1. Regarding BCCI backing the players: Players getting threats and our country is not the safest cannot be ruled out. You are talking about global sports men like federrer and nadal. they are chased mostly by Stalkers and they term it as security threat. situation in our country is different. these are real threats. Ask one minister to give his yearly plan and see what you get. 2. Regarding other indian sports personality: I saw one live interview / discussion on news yesterday with one of the badminton star.She was completely clueless what topic was all about. she kept mentioning about rest and time with family.so let cricketers decide about their security and not ask others.

    To be continued in next post... (character limitation)

  • nikhil11 on August 7, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    i dont understand why their is so much ga ga about the WADA controversy. Also BCCI has never refrained from cricket to be a clean sport. Let us get this straight WADA is for Olympic sport, cricket is not a Olympic sport, so WADA does not apply here. And if BCCI is bringing up some cricket specific doping test then i think every other cricket board will accept it because other cricketing board has forcefully signed the WADA pact.

    Also their are other sporting board like FIFA who has not accepted WADA and nobody says anything about it, but when BCCI takes a stand to oppose something than everybody including Cricinfo starts criticizing it by saying it is the richest board and it can do whatever it wants. Guys take a break we have earned it.

  • sourit on August 7, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    ICC is a spineless organisation. They don't have any guts. If you have taken adecision the stand by it. Why so much negotiation and talks? BCCI has taken its own decision and they are standing by it, nothing wrong.

    Also there is nothing wrong in talking and discussing over a particular matter it does not mean rejecting the protocol. People who are shouting that all other sports bodies have signed WADA code let me tell you that FIFA first rejected the WADA whereabout clause, check: http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/developing/releases/newsid=1040455.html. Now FIFA also is in discussion with WADA, check: http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/developing/releases/newsid=1059594.html BCCI is right by not signing the protocols blindly and raising their concerns over certain clauses.

  • rsrikanth86 on August 7, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    @zapper22

    Well for ad shoots they do not publicize their schedule 3months prior. They are well within their rights to object to a clause which they feel is a threat to their security. You are not the one who is going to answer if something untoward happens.

  • Xen0phon on August 7, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    @degiant: US citizens are more likely to come under attack? What have you been smoking? You are just reading the wrong newspapers. FYI, the rest of the ICC does not like the whereabouts clause either.. but are complying only for *monetary* reasons. None of the players like it.

    The BCCI is in the unique position of not depending on the Indian government for its moolah. Consequently, they are showing some backbone against this draconian rubbish that lowers the dignity of the sport and the lives of the players involved. So, bravo BCCI! Please keep at it!

  • Xen0phon on August 7, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    FFS, just because other sportsmen have agreed does not make things right. The intrusion of privacy is wrong. The security implications are serious. The number of loopholes even with the whereabouts clause is severe. The fact that the BCCI is the only organisation showing some backbone is to be appreciated. This is primarily because it is unaffiliated with the Indian government and does not depend on the government for money. It very likely does not give a toss if cricket becomes an Olympic sport or not. None of these hold true for most other sports organisations and / or other ICC member countries. Another fact that needs to be taken into account is that there is very likely not a single player in any discipline who enjoys this whereabouts clause. It is very likely that they have all been implicitly coerced into doing so. There have also been reports that the NZ and Aus players association have only reluctantly signed this agreement and would welcome amendments to it.

  • Another_brick_in_the_wall on August 7, 2009, 4:58 GMT

    I cannot believe that we seem to see cricketers in a different light from the rest of the sportsperson in this country. Come on folks ! More over, I agree that there is a perceived threat to cricketers' life but is the WADA going to hand over their itinerary on a platter to Al-Qaeda or something ! In any case, there are athletes on this planet who face far more dangerous threats than the Indians. Oh, am I thinking of Munich ?? Seriously, this is nothing but just a farce !

  • thebrownie on August 7, 2009, 4:30 GMT

    On the comment on BCCI stand to force removal of Bucknor after the Sydney test: It was not the only test where Bucknor made howlers. He had been doing it consistently, with India being on the wrong side on most occasions. And when an umpire cannot detect an edge when the ball goes to the first slip(Symonds), it is time for him to go. And BCCI just forced that. It was not because of that one test!

  • rahulsaxena on August 7, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    Everyone is being very unreasonable in blaming the Indian cricketers and the BCCI. Unlike players from other nations whose ONLY security concern is a burglary attempt, our boys have terrorist threats. What we are saying is quite RELEVANT. Proof of that is the fact that none of the other boards have spoken against us. Infact, we are pushing for something everyone wants. We are being the 'fall guy' coz none of the boards want to or can take a stand. So you should be thanking the BCCI for its benevolence !

  • texan_karthik on August 7, 2009, 3:32 GMT

    Dear writer, what is it that you want to tell . with power comes responsibility and BCCI is right in dictating terms to ICC coz if they don't then some other board will. don't you see america dictating terms and flexing muscles in all other aspects coz they are powerful and they will do it.its a natural phenomenon and likewise BCCI. when we are giving so much to ICC cant we ask some little favors. cricket is a sport which can't be altered with the intake of drugs but then ethics should come into picture and it is ok for the cricketers to be randomly tested for drugs but the whereabouts clause is abs nonsense and meaningless. i totally support BCCI and Indian cricketers on this occassion

  • uglyhunK on August 7, 2009, 3:30 GMT

    High time WADA amend this crappy "whereabouts" clause. BCCI and players are correct in not signing....no one cares about your biased, subjective and always-judgemental-about-bcci opinions....

  • SriS on August 7, 2009, 2:51 GMT

    No other team or an Individual sports person in the world has got a billion fanfare and with it also the kind of vulnerability in security risks as the Indian cricket team is being through. Full Stop. You have the pen and a space to fill in and a reason to unreasonably criticise BCCI and Indian cricket team. What an unworthy piece of article to be published!!

  • JetsonJetson on August 7, 2009, 2:48 GMT

    I disagree thoroughly with the article. The instransigence of WADA continues to astound me. There are objections to this draconian "whereabouts" clause from TWO of the THREE biggest TEAM sports in the world. WADA is too thick-skinned and self-righteous to understand that they cannot browbeat these sports in the same way that they have browbeaten the World Tiddlywinks Association or the International Hopscotch Confederation and many, many others. Someone has to stand up to the appalling despotism of WADA. I back the BCCI utterly on their stance, and I back FIFA and UEFA with their objections. The ICC and FIFA existed for many years before WADA was created, and for the upstarts of WADA to arrive on the scene and start throwing their weight about is invidious. WADA offers no negotiation, no compromise, just the tyranical "their way or no way", like badly brought-up children. All objections to WADA are perfectly valid in my eyes.

  • mkesavan on August 7, 2009, 2:47 GMT

    This seems a bit overstated. The BCCI is an unattractive organization and it can be plausibly argued that Indian cricketers lead charmed lives, but they could still be making a reasonable point. Jayaditya mocks the BCCI for invoking the Indian constitution's guarantee of privacy; this isn't as ludicrous as he imagines it is. The BBC news site reports that:"(s)ixty-five Belgian sportspeople have launched a legal challenge claiming that the intrusive nature of the Wada code breaks European Union privacy laws." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympic_games/7874306.stm)

    FIFA and UEFA rejected the new Wada guidelines in March this year citing the special needs of team sports. Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, the British Athletic Commission's chief executive have argued against the new code. They may well be wrong, you wouldn't accuse them of arguing in bad faith. Perhaps we should give Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Co. the benefit of the doubt and hear them out.

  • zapper22 on August 7, 2009, 2:09 GMT

    @jopa---Heard of tennis, golf,athletics? The sportserson travel more than the indian cricketers. If indian cricketers include "home" series as travel, then you can include top flight football as well. And for people who have done their "research" on FIFA, they must be pretty poor at research as FIFA is fully compliant with WADA regulations including the "whereabouts" clause since May 2009.And for people who keep harping about terror threats, i wonder what happens to those terror threats, when cricketers do ads, fashion shows/reality shows during the off season? Do those "threats" disappear during these party times?And BCCI attitude is typical of the Indian mentality --- wont follow rules, will give excuses as to why the rule should not be followed, short sightedness, no focus on long time development through leadership.And if this issue is not sorted out then cricket will get the boot from the 2010 asiad and India will be the one to blame for the same.

  • Calavai on August 7, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    The BCCI might be flexing its muscles, but in my opinion, rightfully so in this case. When peoples lives are threatened and warrant Z-level security, asking them to disclose their whereabouts is jeapordizing their security. It does not matter if other sportsmen / women fell in line (not everyone does, BTW) - they might not face threats to their lives, even if they did Indian cricketers (or anyone else) should have rights to privacy and security. Everyone agrees that preventing drugs is important. Instead of sampling, why not sample every cricketer involved in every match? Clearly, certainty of testing is a better deterrent than a probability of being tested. If it is too expensive to conduct these tests for everyone in USA, let them sample. In Indian cricket, testing during matches might be the better tradeoff. What anyone does in off season is their business - ICC, WADA or whoever should not be given the right to invade anyone's privacy.

  • degiant on August 7, 2009, 2:03 GMT

    You are right with your comments, and the only people who seems to disagree are Indians. The Indian board need to respect the others members and not to Bully the rest of the ICC. Some say that it is a matter of terriorism, which I think is overused for alot of disagreement. US citizens are more likely to come under attack and yet their sportsmen and women are subject to the IOC policy of dope checking. Who the hell do these cricketers think they are WITHOUT the other test playing nations there will be no IPL and such others organizations. 20/20 is good but to become an Olmpic sport again cricket must come under the IOC. If the Indian players do not want to agree then leave them OUT.

  • vverma on August 7, 2009, 1:50 GMT

    The article is pretty one-sided and the author's understanding of cricket in the subcontinent seems to be very superficial. The basic fact is that cricketers in the subcontinent are terrorist targets. Abhinav Bindra and Sania Mirza are not.

    As for "the BCCI is effectively asking the ICC to take cricket out of the global sporting family and exist as a sort of renegade unit", FIFA does not adhere to WADA guidelines and soccer is around a zillion times more popular than all the olympics sports put together. The olympics is congregation of sports which cannot exist on their own. Cricket, Soccer, American football, baseball are sports that are inherently entertaining and do not need shiny objects (medals and stuff) to attract audience.

    IOC can feed its ego by bullying lesser sports bodies into signing this draconian law but sports that have a spine of their own should give it a pass.

  • jpa170478 on August 7, 2009, 1:49 GMT

    Great article. For those of us not from India, the strength of the BCCI is a worrying thing. Wanting and in the case of the Sydney Test series getting what they wanted. No another cricket board can get this special treatment. Can you imagine if Rudi Koetzern had been ruling the way he has in a test series involving India, he would be out the door in minutes. BCCI's strength is the biggest issue facing world cricket, the ICC have a big test awaiting them, and I hope they remember what the "I" stands for and more importantly what it doesn't stand for.

  • ABBAC on August 7, 2009, 1:08 GMT

    To report for three months about daily where abouts - its ridiculous. Even if someone is working in a company & is on leave, he only gives his contact address & not about day to day where abouts. If there is a securtity concern, players have a right to express their concerns & opinions. They should try to find out a solution from a problem & not a problem from solution. If you criticize about BCCI, Indian & subcontinent players, you become overnight a good journalist. These many years when England & Aussie authorities flexed their muscles where were people like Jaya & Sampit Bal.Shame on you.Judge everyone with two eyes.

  • ramanzdaredevils on August 6, 2009, 23:09 GMT

    Promal, To start with, there is enough research, obviously, before a terrorist attack is executed. For example, WTC was struck because it causes the maximum chaos in US of A. Similarly, most prominent persons are targeted because, god forbid, if they succeed, it causes havoc. Sachin, the Demi God, of Cricket religion in India, unfortunately, falls in such elite group. He has a level of threat that no athlete across the world can possibly ever have. Most sporting bodies across the world succumbed to the whims and fancies of WADA because they couldn't stand upto it (Obligations like Govt. grants, do, play a prominent role!!!) and that is the VERY reson why CA and other cricket bodies stood behind BCCI's decision to support Indian players.

  • syera123 on August 6, 2009, 22:41 GMT

    "The problem is a simple one, of managing players' schedules. The BCCI can, without the slightest dent to its coffers, appoint a minion to coordinate the whereabouts of nine cricketers (one imagines the two women are really not a problem here) and send the necessary emails and text messages to the WADA officials concerned."

    This sentence shows that you don't even understand the WADA clause on which you wrote an article. It is not about players' schedules. It is about their security.

  • corpusninja on August 6, 2009, 21:59 GMT

    4. The moral argument made me laugh. There's no money to be gained for the BCCI in this particular case. They are not looking for revenues, simply doing their day job - looking after their players' interests, which I note the other cricketing boards have distinctly failed (shock horror - yes, other players had concerns too!) in bending to the ICC.

  • corpusninja on August 6, 2009, 21:56 GMT

    I have so far steered clear of this debate, but this absolute shambles of an article nearly made me cry.

    1. WADA is only a law to those who sign up. There is no reason why cricket should NOT have a tailor made scheme, which could conceivably be far better implemented and just as strict as WADA's code. So Yuvraj's comment makes sense; cricket can deal with its own problems, which is amply clear given the way the Pakistani bowlers were sent packing as soon as they tested positive. 2. Sydney - the attempted cheap jibe at the BCCI's actions falls flat on its face when you consider that those actions were completely justified. 3. SECURITY - minor point you skipped. I don't care how secure WADA says its database of locations is, if I were an Indian player, a prime target for terrorists (don't try arguing they're not, after what happened to the Sri Lankans), an hourly itinerary of my movements is not something I'm going to hand over to ANY organisation.

  • Geraldine on August 6, 2009, 21:25 GMT

    Here's an idea: If you don't agree to the code, step down and allow someone who will take your place. I would abide to the whereabouts clause for the next 20 years if I got a chance to play just one cricket match for my country.

    And Sanu, Tendulkar and Dhoni are not the only sportsmen in the world against whom there have been threats on their life.

  • Edmontonion on August 6, 2009, 21:21 GMT

    I am sorry, I don't understand what is wrong with our cricketers refusing to agree to the "where about" clause. They are not against surprise dope tests - it is just having to disclose where they will be for an hour each day in advance. It is quite childish and immature to insist that what WADA has been following/ suggesting is the only way to do things. Many have agreed to their rather cumbersome demands just because they cannot or doesn't afford to do so and not because they agree in principle with this non sense. What is wrong in testing all or some of the sports persons randomly during competition when every one knows for a fact where they will be? Even during off seasons, if they want to test some/all one of the options is to contact the respective board or association who is responsible for the person and arrange for a test within a reasonable amount of time without losing the surprise element? End of the day such a situation would be better for both sports and WADA.

  • Venn on August 6, 2009, 20:18 GMT

    Indian cricketers think they are bigger than the game itself and the same applies to BCCI. They have the money power and think they can do anything they want. I bet if BCCI is not the richest board they would have signed this WADA clause with no big fuss. Unfortunately the BCCI fails to realise that with power comes the responsibility. I feel bad the that ICC and the other boards would let this dictatorial behavior to continue. It happens all the time. It's BCCI's way or highway. I'm ashamed as an Indian because of the people who run BCCI. What the cricketers are saying is absolutely different from what BCCI is saying. Yuvraj singh said that cricketers play 10 months in a year and they don't want to be intruded during their off season. I'm sorry dude but it happens to all the cricketers n other sportsmen, and like KP said u n the Indian team are no GOD. Where as BCCI out of no where is bringing in security concerns into the issue. It's so perplexing they have so contrasting excuses.

  • R.AkKi.S on August 6, 2009, 19:26 GMT

    ..with such notorious elements! As for the issue about "BCCI flexing its muscle",I would call it a -ive approach to a completely different issue.Just as Martin pointed out,BCCI has always stood up to what it thinks is logical,even when it did not have the "muscle" to flex.Even if they did,why not?When u literally run the game,then why do you have to take utter nonsense? And please,its not BCCI v the world.It is just that BCCI has the sense and the guts v the world. As for the case of Federer or Nadal,with due respect to them,no matter how much they progress,the championships do not run round the year as they run for Indian cricketers.These Tennis and Golf stars stay home,under their top level security for a major part of the year,and hence it is not such a huge issue for them.Dont 4get that these guys too had issues with the clause but did not prefer to speak out.I"m sure that if WADA gets logical n takes BCCI's advice,the sportsmen from around the world would prefer the new clause.

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on August 6, 2009, 18:50 GMT

    Apparently Tendulkar and Dhoni are in greater danger of being attacked than the numerous Israeli athletes who must be on WADA's list. People here don't even know how this works. You're not supposed to disclose your whereabouts for every passing hour. It's just a one-hour window everyday and you can make changes to it anytime. But I guess people like Tendulkar, Dhoni and Yuvraj wouldn't know how to use a computer or a mobile phone, eh?

  • StreetCricketer on August 6, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    I would like to remind the author that WADA whereabouts clause is not just hated by BCCI, but by vast majority of professional players in the world. This protocol is relatively new and one can hope that there is a better alternative. I personally applaud BCCI for giving it a shot.

  • pankajkumarsingh on August 6, 2009, 18:25 GMT

    I totally agree with most of the readers. Cricketers are absolutely right in defending their privacy. Drug is a problem anywhere, not only in sports. If someone asked me to give out my schedule for the next six months, I wont be too keen. And I dont even have any security issues. With the cricket season getting more intense every year, these guys need some break.

  • R.AkKi.S on August 6, 2009, 17:55 GMT

    Mr Gupta does not seem to use any kind of common sense when he makes such "irresponsible" remarks. He does not take into account all the valid points here. The most importanat being that the players have not rejected to being tested. The BCCI has promised the organisation that if they want to test a player, the BCCI will present them within 24 hours. Everybody knows that the drug effects easily last for much more than that time. Hence, the game will continue to be "CLEAN". Then, of course as you put yourself ".. Cricket in India, is not really a sport...", cricket is watched fanatically. India wins one series and cricketers are gifted with goodies, they lose another and their homes are burned down.! Such guys, if sportsmen or not, need the kind of security that they are requesting. Even if this does not seem sufficient to you and the world media, may be one should remind themselves about the incident with the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan not too long go(India, of couse has long had.....

  • Deon on August 6, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    So what better way to show their literary credentials as to criticize/write against BCCI to get the eyeballs from all cricketing nations (esp. aussies and the english). Everybody loves gunning for BCCI and matters related to indian cricket. Give them a break this time. I am not a fan of BCCi either. But in this case they have been well behaved. BCCI did not adapt any threatening stance. It merely acting as a liaison between indian players and ICC. What else do you want it do. Abandon the players. Players have a legitimate concern and all BCCI is doing is to relay their concerns to the ICC and hope for resolution for a stalemate. And this a perfect opportunity for you to poke at BCCI again. Well done.

  • sanu29 on August 6, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    Wow!! nowhere in the article I see the real reason why Sachin and Dhoni came out against the ware abouts clause. Under threat from terrorist organizations they are under high category govt security which prohibits them from disclosing to their location to third party organizations or people.

    I don't think no other major star be it Nadal or Federer where under direct threat from any terrorist groups so yes the situation is special. Secondly FIFA and UEFA still don't completely conform to the WADA code so its not just Indian Cricketers.

    Please make sure you get your facts straight before coming up with such biased articles,Sorry, but this just isn't cricket !

  • promal on August 6, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    Most people writing comments here seem to be as thick-skinned as the Indian players and the BCCI. What Jayaditya has written here or what MS Gill has said or what every other respecatble sportsperson in the world has done is completely correct and is the right thing to do. It has been made amply clear that testing in the off-season is as crucial as testing during the season because you can use drugs in the off-season to accelerate your recovery from injury, for example. Security is an absolute non-issue. People who think Indian cricketers are bigger targets than athletes from other disciplines are unconnected with reality. We like to use terrorism as an excuse for everything these days. And most sports nowadays have a 7-9 month season. Tennis season starts in Dec-Jan with tournaments leading up to the Australian Open (January) and goes right up to and after the US Open (September). And I don't think Roger or Rafa travel less than Yuvraj or Sachin. If anything, they travel more.

  • promal on August 6, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    Most people writing comments here seem to be as thick-skinned as the Indian players and the BCCI. What Jayaditya has written here or what MS Gill has said or what every other respecatble sportsperson in the world has done is completely correct and is the right thing to do. It has been made amply clear that testing in the off-season is as crucial as testing during the season because you can use drugs in the off-season to accelerate your recovery from injury, for example. Security is an absolute non-issue. People who think Indian cricketers are bigger targets than athletes from other disciplines are unconnected with reality. We like to use terrorism as an excuse for everything these days. And most sports nowadays have a 7-9 month season. Tennis season starts in Dec-Jan with tournaments leading up to the Australian Open (January) and goes right up to and after the US Open (September). And I don't think Roger or Rafa travel less than Yuvraj or Sachin. If anything, they travel more.

  • the-anti-mule on August 6, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    I agree with most the commentators above. So, If "most" other athletes accept a clause Indian cricketers should also accept it without question? I cannot believe I am supporting BCCI here but this time they are on the right side. If certain WADA's clauses suck then they should find a way to fix it. May be this is a good time for BCCI to talk with FIFA and work together to fix this.

  • rsrikanth86 on August 6, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    I do not understand why Cricinfo is always set against Indian cricketers and Indian Players. I remember when India refused to tour Sambit Bal (if I am not mistaken) wrote an article criticizing India's decision on the grounds that Sportsmen were never attacked. He was wrong Srilankan cricketers were attacked. Think what would have happened if it was the Indian team and God forbid someone was killed? It could well have caused a war. Same here. Tendulkar faces a level of threat no one else in the world of sport faces. Being an Indian you should be knowing that. If he is worried about his security, he has every right to be. I don't understand what 'experts' sitting on cosy couches can have against that. And please don't joke about other Indian athletes. A Sachin is different from others. Kindly think before you criticize people who could well have their lives on the line when playing.

  • harsha_chu on August 6, 2009, 16:18 GMT

    There you go... Another "BCCI-bashing" article. Rafael Nadal has agreed to the WADA clause but has bitterly complained about it. To quote "Nadal made the excellent point that not even his mother knows where he is necessarily for one hour every day; and coming from a close-knit family this is certainly saying something about WADA's pushiness into the lives of sportsmen and women. http://www.grandslamfantasytennis.com/blog/2009/05/nadal-stands-up-to-%E2%80%9Charassing%E2%80%9D-wada/ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/more/02/23/wada-athletes.ap/index.html http://foxsports.foxnews.com/olympics/story/9231776/WADA-willing-to-listen-on-drug-testing-complaints In Belgium, 65 athletes even filed a court challenge. Read the above links and now say, what do you think about this? It is very easy to jump on the bandwagon and bash BCCI for everything. And for the record, i myself am not a huge fan of BCCI- but this time, i think the indian cricketers are correct. This is invasion of privacy

  • mrmonty on August 6, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    "It is the law"; Mr. Gupta says. A law has to be ratified by the representatives of the constituents (i.e. BCCI standing in for the players). Then, the question comes, why cricket should follow WADA standards (instituted by International Olympic Committee)? Cricket is not come under that umbrella. Can't the wise men of ICC have time to roll out their own protocol, with the money that is floating around? And, Cricinfo; do some objective analysis, instead of toeing the official line?

  • tanmhay on August 6, 2009, 15:57 GMT

    Jaya, it is not sufficient to take a stand against the Goliath for you to feel vindicated. I understand WADA codes are essential but imagine what group of people came up with it - not sportspersons and most certainly not cricketers and definitely not anybody that understands the importance of individuals and the threat to important individuals in a society like India. Can you ask a member of any of the non-south asian cricketing countries without thinking much about their security to come and play in India? If they need two/three months to evaluate if a country is safe for them to visit (which they do before each trip), how can they understand what somebody like Sachin, MS etc have to go through each day. The threat to their lives is real - whatever you may think. It would have been understandable if your essay was more balanced and at least incorporate different view points as did the president of FICA, May. Like one of the commenter said, not everything the BCCI does is wrong.

  • SumitSahai on August 6, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    The BCCI is not always right, but it is not always wrong either. Any organisation with the power and the financial might of the BCCI will have its detractors, and BCCI has more than a fair share. They have provided a perfectly simple alternative to the WADA which the WADA has simply chosen to ignore on the basis of a no-exception policy. It does seem that in this case it the WADA which is showing itself as dictatorial. BTW, the WADA regulations are NOT the law. Sporting bodies are free to sign up to them. There have been other protests against this clause but so far, no athlete, tennis player or sporting body has stood up to WADA. That does not translate to a universal endorsement of the clause. If the BCCI has the guts to stand up for what it believes is right, then critics call it muscle flexing - but the same people will call the BCCI spineless if it fails to represent valid concerns of its players. Damned if you, damned if you don't.

  • Xen0phon on August 6, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    (cont.) So, why do these WADA chaps need anti-doping testing during the off-season? To quote: http://www.wada-ama.org/en/dynamic.ch2?pageCategory.id=875

    "Experience has shown that out-of-competition testing is crucial to the fight against doping, in particular because a number of prohibited substances and methods are detectable only for a limited period of time in an athlete's body while maintaining a performance-enhancing effect. The only way to perform such testing is by knowing where athletes are, and the only way to make it efficient is to be able to test athletes at times at which cheaters may be most likely to use prohibited substances and methods."

    Let's assume that player X is taking Steroid A to boost his performance and it, as the above snippet outlines, has long-lasting effects. While he is busy tanking up, all he needs to do is to stay away from his official address and get a couple of strikes against his name and take a chance that the treatment will be complete by then. If the second strike happens, he'll take a masking agent and risk a test.

    To be continued...

  • Xen0phon on August 6, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Shortsighted beyond measure. What is the primary issue at hand is that Tendulkar, Dhoni and possibly others regularly receive death threats and extortion letters. They are both important enough to warrant Z-level security which is the highest level of security in India, The other players probably come under a less secure umbrella. But I doubt if they're allowed to run amok without security.

    Right. So what is the ICC asking them to do? Disclose their whereabouts to the hour for every day in a three month period. This too, to an external authority - a foreign body. Oh yes, that's very secure. They obviously only hire the infamous neutrals of the world - the Swiss - to police all countries, right? Not quite. There are effectively many weak links in the process that, if I was the head of security, would balk at ...

    Similarly, your suggestion of using the BCCI as intermediaries is quite laughable.

    So, why do these WADA chaps need anti-doping testing during the off-season?

    TBC

  • Vasi-Koosi on August 6, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    Utter Rubbish!!! I guess the cricketers have a point. They are on the road almost 10 months a year. They roughly have a break of 2 months and this is not a continuous period. Now, you have just been on the road for 4 months and have a 10 day break you try to make sure you do whatever you want, and you definitely do not want WADA breathing down your neck, upsetting your plans.

    Also, Cricket is not the only one having problems; Pro Football is not fully WADA compliant too. They have also rejected the "Whereabouts" clause.

    The only sore point I see is why were BCCI & ICC waiting till the last minute when the players rejected this 8 months ago. Pretty lousy organizations.

    They could have done something really constructive so that this does not blow into the huge monster it is now.

    With the amount of cricket that is played, I do not think we need this off-season testing. Max they have 15-20 days break, and even in this period they are playing local matches.

  • avas on August 6, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    if indians right that makes all other cricketers unaware of their rights or not ready to stand up for them. which i think is not the case

  • Golandaaz on August 6, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Almost all top players across the globe across all sports have expressed reservations on the WADA process, before agreeing to sign up for it. It suggests to me that WADA, though crucial for a sport to be seen as clean, does not have a process acceptable to all. I see nothing wrong in BCCI and India's cricketers flexing their muscles on this issue. Where I would fault BCCI both here and with the Sydney in the manner in which they flex their muscle. BCCI is in a position to make lasting changes to how cricket is run due to its financial clout...its a great leverage to have.

  • Dhaval_Brahmbhatt on August 6, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    I am not sure why the world - including some in the media - are critizing the Indian cricketers concerns about the "whereabouts" clause in the anit-doping policy. I think it is a legitimate issue - I am not sure if any other player - from any other sport / country faces a threat on his/her life like Indian cricketers do. I think it only makes sense that if WADA or the ICC want to test an Indian cricketer, they make a request 24 hours in advance to the BCCI in order for them to facilitate the tests. I don't see anything illogical or heavy handed about it. Maybe I am missing the point here - but I don't think the BCCI is trying to fight against the world here - they are guilty of doing that in the past, and have a tendency to do that - but not in this case. I think they have a valid point, as many other players and some other sporting organizations have shown by voicing their concerns. I think, in this case, the WADA needs to change the ridiculous whereabouts clause.

  • Copernicus on August 6, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    The usual bully-boy tactics from the BCCI and the usual dithering response from the ICC. Someone, somewhere, please break the subcontinental cartel that is sucking every dollar (or rupee?) out of cricket without any sense of looking after the future of the game!

  • anant_gupta on August 6, 2009, 13:03 GMT

    This article is completely biased, with a pre-existing opininon without even considering the other side. It seems the author made up its mind that BCCI and Indian cricketers were wrong,spoiled brats and then wrote this article to prove his point. Tell me , why should any Indian player sign this contract at all when they had reservations about this from the very beginning? ALso the notion that this is happening only becuase Indian mone controls all the money is also wrong; this would have happened even without that. If BCCI wanted umpire replaced after sydney test match, they also wanted the Match refree to be replaced when Mike Denees fined 6 indian players for over appealing in SouthAfrica following which the 3rd test match became an unofficial one. BCCI didnt had money and power then. So dont take some half baked examples, twist them to suit your points, and then use them in such prejudiced article

  • Homer2007 on August 6, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    I am surprised this article passed muster. One must applaud Mr Gupta's efforts though - he marries "It is not flawless and it has its critics - as perhaps any protocol cutting such a wide swathe will - but it is the law." with BCCI bashing - flawlessly.

    If there are flaws in the protocol and objections are raised to such flaws, the logical way forward would be to address these flaws. But apparently not, in Mr Gupta's world.

    In his esteemed world view, The BCCI is irresponsible and the players are ludicrous.

    It would also behoove Mr Gupta to know that India was "prepared to risk an entire series" not because of one bad test but because one of its players had been convicted of racial abuse in a kangaroo court. But wait, that mode of justice is exactly what Mr Gupta espouses.

  • Brendanvio on August 6, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    You're right Jaya, the solution is simple. This just smacks of pride and stubborness and in the end will only tarnish the BCCI even further. The fact is every cricketing country in the wolrd is ready to comply and sports across the world already comply. What makes India's cricketers so special that they cannot undergo something all elite athletes do?

    Drugs is a taint on sport and must be quashed. Baseball has suffered greatly from the steroid taint and we have to make sure cricket is spared that. It's a uncomforting but necessary thing to prevent any cheats from slipping through the nets.

  • jopa on August 6, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    Nice article Jaya. But I do not think that cricketers should just follow the rest of the world, and just say okay to everything WADA says. WADA was not designed for cricketers, unlike any other sport, cricketers travel nine months a year. Tell me about any other game, where players tour nine months?

    Cricketers are not saying no to dope testing, they are only opposing the whereabouts clause. This clause, if violated will lead to suspension!

    Anybody, try making a schedule for the next three months, 6 am to 11 pm, by the hour! Agreed, Cricketers are not special, but in the same breath, they nedd their privacy too. They only said, they dont mind being tested in practice and training, and during and after matches.

    Now after touring nine months, plus add at least a month for practice and training, 10 months in a year is not sufficient for WADA dope testing? I think they have a valid point, and i appreciate BCCI for recognizing that. Forget MS Gill, For What?

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  • jopa on August 6, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    Nice article Jaya. But I do not think that cricketers should just follow the rest of the world, and just say okay to everything WADA says. WADA was not designed for cricketers, unlike any other sport, cricketers travel nine months a year. Tell me about any other game, where players tour nine months?

    Cricketers are not saying no to dope testing, they are only opposing the whereabouts clause. This clause, if violated will lead to suspension!

    Anybody, try making a schedule for the next three months, 6 am to 11 pm, by the hour! Agreed, Cricketers are not special, but in the same breath, they nedd their privacy too. They only said, they dont mind being tested in practice and training, and during and after matches.

    Now after touring nine months, plus add at least a month for practice and training, 10 months in a year is not sufficient for WADA dope testing? I think they have a valid point, and i appreciate BCCI for recognizing that. Forget MS Gill, For What?

  • Brendanvio on August 6, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    You're right Jaya, the solution is simple. This just smacks of pride and stubborness and in the end will only tarnish the BCCI even further. The fact is every cricketing country in the wolrd is ready to comply and sports across the world already comply. What makes India's cricketers so special that they cannot undergo something all elite athletes do?

    Drugs is a taint on sport and must be quashed. Baseball has suffered greatly from the steroid taint and we have to make sure cricket is spared that. It's a uncomforting but necessary thing to prevent any cheats from slipping through the nets.

  • Homer2007 on August 6, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    I am surprised this article passed muster. One must applaud Mr Gupta's efforts though - he marries "It is not flawless and it has its critics - as perhaps any protocol cutting such a wide swathe will - but it is the law." with BCCI bashing - flawlessly.

    If there are flaws in the protocol and objections are raised to such flaws, the logical way forward would be to address these flaws. But apparently not, in Mr Gupta's world.

    In his esteemed world view, The BCCI is irresponsible and the players are ludicrous.

    It would also behoove Mr Gupta to know that India was "prepared to risk an entire series" not because of one bad test but because one of its players had been convicted of racial abuse in a kangaroo court. But wait, that mode of justice is exactly what Mr Gupta espouses.

  • anant_gupta on August 6, 2009, 13:03 GMT

    This article is completely biased, with a pre-existing opininon without even considering the other side. It seems the author made up its mind that BCCI and Indian cricketers were wrong,spoiled brats and then wrote this article to prove his point. Tell me , why should any Indian player sign this contract at all when they had reservations about this from the very beginning? ALso the notion that this is happening only becuase Indian mone controls all the money is also wrong; this would have happened even without that. If BCCI wanted umpire replaced after sydney test match, they also wanted the Match refree to be replaced when Mike Denees fined 6 indian players for over appealing in SouthAfrica following which the 3rd test match became an unofficial one. BCCI didnt had money and power then. So dont take some half baked examples, twist them to suit your points, and then use them in such prejudiced article

  • Copernicus on August 6, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    The usual bully-boy tactics from the BCCI and the usual dithering response from the ICC. Someone, somewhere, please break the subcontinental cartel that is sucking every dollar (or rupee?) out of cricket without any sense of looking after the future of the game!

  • Dhaval_Brahmbhatt on August 6, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    I am not sure why the world - including some in the media - are critizing the Indian cricketers concerns about the "whereabouts" clause in the anit-doping policy. I think it is a legitimate issue - I am not sure if any other player - from any other sport / country faces a threat on his/her life like Indian cricketers do. I think it only makes sense that if WADA or the ICC want to test an Indian cricketer, they make a request 24 hours in advance to the BCCI in order for them to facilitate the tests. I don't see anything illogical or heavy handed about it. Maybe I am missing the point here - but I don't think the BCCI is trying to fight against the world here - they are guilty of doing that in the past, and have a tendency to do that - but not in this case. I think they have a valid point, as many other players and some other sporting organizations have shown by voicing their concerns. I think, in this case, the WADA needs to change the ridiculous whereabouts clause.

  • Golandaaz on August 6, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Almost all top players across the globe across all sports have expressed reservations on the WADA process, before agreeing to sign up for it. It suggests to me that WADA, though crucial for a sport to be seen as clean, does not have a process acceptable to all. I see nothing wrong in BCCI and India's cricketers flexing their muscles on this issue. Where I would fault BCCI both here and with the Sydney in the manner in which they flex their muscle. BCCI is in a position to make lasting changes to how cricket is run due to its financial clout...its a great leverage to have.

  • avas on August 6, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    if indians right that makes all other cricketers unaware of their rights or not ready to stand up for them. which i think is not the case

  • Vasi-Koosi on August 6, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    Utter Rubbish!!! I guess the cricketers have a point. They are on the road almost 10 months a year. They roughly have a break of 2 months and this is not a continuous period. Now, you have just been on the road for 4 months and have a 10 day break you try to make sure you do whatever you want, and you definitely do not want WADA breathing down your neck, upsetting your plans.

    Also, Cricket is not the only one having problems; Pro Football is not fully WADA compliant too. They have also rejected the "Whereabouts" clause.

    The only sore point I see is why were BCCI & ICC waiting till the last minute when the players rejected this 8 months ago. Pretty lousy organizations.

    They could have done something really constructive so that this does not blow into the huge monster it is now.

    With the amount of cricket that is played, I do not think we need this off-season testing. Max they have 15-20 days break, and even in this period they are playing local matches.

  • Xen0phon on August 6, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Shortsighted beyond measure. What is the primary issue at hand is that Tendulkar, Dhoni and possibly others regularly receive death threats and extortion letters. They are both important enough to warrant Z-level security which is the highest level of security in India, The other players probably come under a less secure umbrella. But I doubt if they're allowed to run amok without security.

    Right. So what is the ICC asking them to do? Disclose their whereabouts to the hour for every day in a three month period. This too, to an external authority - a foreign body. Oh yes, that's very secure. They obviously only hire the infamous neutrals of the world - the Swiss - to police all countries, right? Not quite. There are effectively many weak links in the process that, if I was the head of security, would balk at ...

    Similarly, your suggestion of using the BCCI as intermediaries is quite laughable.

    So, why do these WADA chaps need anti-doping testing during the off-season?

    TBC