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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IPL Vs BCCI Vs Cricket: Days After The Supreme Court Interim Order!



The world knows India as a cricket-craziest nation and its tremendous fan-following for the game; the world understands India’s potential as the ultimate market for cricket for all formats of the game; the world acknowledges the Indian cricket Board (BCCI) as the richest one with influence and hold running effortlessly through to the very top and the world sees the IPL as India’s answer to the football league and as one of the largest sports tournaments benefiting everyone’s coffers from cricket owners, officials and players. Besides, for the IPL there are huge players’ interests, particularly budding cricketers, and numerous stakeholders cutting across India. All these factors concerning the ‘spirit of the game of cricket’ finally seemed to have shaped the Supreme Court of India order as a somewhat ‘favorable’ one for the BCCI considering the circumstances preceding it.

On the historic day of 25th March, 2014 the Supreme Court asked BCCI Chief N Srinivasan to resign giving him 48 hours to do so. The power-obsessed Chief did not do so and as on earlier occasions offered to step aside till the inquiry is over. Sticking to the ‘very serious allegations in the sealed envelope of the Mudgal report’ observation the Supreme Court came down heavily on the BCCI on Thursday, the 27th of March, in a proposal putting the future of the seventh version of the IPL in great peril. It proposed cricket’s living legend Sunil Gavaskar take over as the interim Chief of BCCI; the bench also proposed to pass an order barring India Cements (company owned by N Srinivasan) officials from getting involved with the functioning of BCCI after senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar, pointed out that many such officials including India Captain MS Dhoni, Vice President of India Cements, are at present part of the BCCI team and it proposed the suspension of Srinivasan or India Cements owned Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL-7 till the settlement of the case of betting and spot fixing  scandal before it. The court gave the  Board 24 hours to respond.

And the debate over the ‘spirit of the game of cricket’ took over throughout the country including prominent media houses. Emboldened, the BCCI appealed for allowing IPL-7 to go on as scheduled and proposed that President N Sriinvasan would step aside till the case is settled. On its interim order on Friday, the 28th of March, the Supreme Court withdrew its proposal to suspend two IPL teams asking the Board to follow on the other proposals, now made officially binding in its order. The Supreme Court asked Gavaskar to look particularly after the IPL-7 and asked Shivlal Yadav, the second-in-command of the BCCI,  to look after the admin matters. The BCCI, rather promptly, offered full compliance realizing the importance of IPL-7 being allowed to continue and that N Srinivasan would in effect continue to wield power unofficially leading to one more ‘cold war’ or ‘power struggle’ within the Board. But then, the fact remains that the BCCI has finally been forced to come down on its knees. Genuine cricket lovers would hope the IPL Spot Fixing Case is brought to logical conclusions and results by the Supreme Court in near future.

In another happy ‘coincidence’ as far as the ‘sprit of the game’ is concerned Team India have performing quite well in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh reaching the semi finals still remaining as the only unbeaten team of the tournament. India have topped Group 2 and would meet South Africa in the second semi final on Friday, the 4th of April while the first semi final would be played between defending Champions West Indies and Sri Lanka on 3rd April. Major setbacks of the tournament include elimination of Pakistan and England, and total annihilation of Australia and hosts Bangladesh. England seem to be the most unlucky side losing a promising match to New Zealand on D/L method and then losing a thrilling encounter against South Africa. In the last few days the pitches in Bangladesh look to be broken up leading to low-scoring matches and the chasing teams unable to reach even the lowly targets.

In the meantime Gavaskar started functioning as the new interim BCCI President and the process of throwing India Cements Ltd officials out of the BCCI is in full swing. MS Dhoni was believed to have expressed his anger at being associated with the scam and had reportedly vowed to walk out from his post in the Srinivasan company. As far as the world of cricket is concerned it has been made apparently clear that Srinivasan could no longer represent the BCCI in international meetings or conferences. However, his bid to become chairman of the ICC in July-August this year seems to remain unscathed at the moment.
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