The perils of spring cleaning

The BCCI is rushing around sweating the small stuff, but what of its large cockroach problem?

Andrew Hughes

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A cheerleader adds colour to the proceedings, Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Mohali, April 18, 2012
The BCCI is set to reconsider its cheerleader ban, provided the girls can flaunt feather dusters instead of pom poms, to go with the new clean-up theme © AFP
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There's a large shrub or small tree of indeterminate species outside my house, the flourishing branches of which impede the progress of postwomen, milkmen, door-to-door religious fanatics, and freelance assassins, forcing them to crouch and lean to the left in order to reach my front door.

That's not all. The pollen from the strange spores that dangle from the shrub or tree causes passers-by returning from the supermarket to scatter their groceries across the pavement as they erupt into fits of frantic sneezing, while fallen foliage covers the vicinity of my property with a decaying brown slug-inhabited carpet that sticks to your shoes when it rains.

Now I should do something about this arboreal blight, but there are two problems. The first is that I am colossally lazy. Of all the seasonal advertisements in bloom at the moment, the perky outdoorsy ones involving hedge-trimming, gazebo-erecting and lawn tarting-up are the most depressing. I haven't spent the last few years amassing an impressive collection of calories only to burn them up on a reckless gardening spree.

The second problem is that the shrub, bush, or tree is propping up my rotten wooden picket fence, to the extent that removing it would cause said fence to collapse. This would in turn expose a weed-infested border to the general horror of the neighbourhood, obliging me to weed it, dig it, buy new plants, plant the new plants, water the new plants, weed the new plants, prune the new plants and so on, in a never-ending cycle of chores.

So I can fully sympathise with organisations like the BCCI, who find themselves confronted by a massive cleaning job. Five years of not emptying the bin, ignoring the dirty dishes and sweeping bookies receipts under the fridge means that the task now ahead of them is both enormous and unsanitary. Yet sooner or later, you have to haul yourself off the sofa, dig out the high-powered cleaning fluid with the multi-directional nozzle and get stuck in.

In my experience, what then happens to the amateur, part-time cleaner, is that you can go a little crazy. Once you pull on that first pair of marigolds, and get the whiff of bleach in your nostrils, it can unleash your inner clean freak. As we speak, Mr Dalmiya and chums are tearing through the IPL, lifting rocks that haven't been lifted for several years, waking up sleeping dogs, fumigating consciences and spraying initiatives in all directions.

The problem with this frenzy of spring cleaning is that whilst it is undoubtedly cathartic, it tends to involve the easy jobs.

For example, this week we learned that cheerleaders and after-match parties are to be banned. I've never understood the point of paying people to dance in the vicinity of a sporting event. When you visit the ballet, there isn't a game of T20 going on in the wings, and cinemas don't employ stand-up comedians to distract you from the film. So I won't miss the slightly bemused dancing women. But were they really a problem?

Likewise, with the after-match parties. They may give rise to some of the most tedious photographs ever to be launched on the internet ("Hey, here's me standing fairly near Suresh Raina!") but that's no reason to ban them.

It's always easier to deal with the small stuff, but there's not much point polishing spoons and rearranging sock drawers when there's rising damp in the walls and an infestation in the bathroom. And if you use up all your energy dashing around in the grip of initiative-itis, sooner or later you're going to run out of steam and slump back onto the sofa, promising yourself that you'll definitely deal with that cockroach problem tomorrow.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. He tweets here

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Comments: 5 
Posted by heavybison on (June 13, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

Perfect analogy. Except for the fact that the houseowner is himself responsible for planting all the muck in the first place. As an Indian, I now realize that this is a mess that is here to stay. No one in the current BCCI setup has the willingness or authority to take a stand. The only partial solution is to ban the IPL and to start a global T20 league under the supervision of ICC (not that these guys are above board either) but at least, this would lead to global accountability and will likely throw up some better minded individuals with stronger morals (than say a Dalmiya or Srinivasan or Bindra or Dungarpur or Lele or Shukla).

And finally 2 requests: 1. Enforce cell phone jammers on the ground 2. Get the Gavaskar's and Shastri's and Bhogle's and the likes out of the commentary box. We need some fresh voices and unbaised point of Views please.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

One of the big reasons cricket deserves to be more popular as a sport is that it has a writer of you talent linked to it. Kudos Mr Hughes. Kudos.

Posted by PONCBE2005 on (June 12, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

As usual Andrew, you are the star of Cricinfo blogs. I only wish your humour doesn't conceal the profound truth in your statements from the people who matter.

Posted by gaga001 on (June 12, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Dear Hughes, BCCI is already have got shocked about fixing problem because indian players have come into spotlight of spot fixing after 14 years and IPL is not an international event, so players will not face that dilemna as it would have been in the case of international tournament, as far as the cleaning issue is concerned,India always have given strong punishments in match fixing issues, that is why India is No 1 ranked team in the world and BCCI is richest cricketing board in the world, not like PCB or any other Board, so I respect BCCI and Indian cricket team very well.I am sure you will not hear any spotfixing connections with indian players in future so please respect indian players.

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Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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Andrew Hughes Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73
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