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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The IPL Aftermath: The Conglomerate Of Vested Interests!

Money continues to talk. Such is the extent of the dirty dough, the immense stakes and the clout of the stakeholders inherent in the scam-stricken Indian Premier League (IPL) that even a verdict from the apex court of the country does not prove to be enough to force the richest cricket Board of the world straight away into action. It has been therefore a natural follow-up that the Supreme Court of India had to intervene to make the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to see reason, to force its president to at least step away, to appoint committees to probe into the scam and finally give a verdict that should be binding where no other authority in the country commands such ‘authority’. The two franchises under suspension are the two super brands of IPL—CSK and RR—and it is quite clear how much money-powered clout these teams and the superstar cricketers playing for them command.

Of course, since it is the Supreme Court empowered Lodha Committee there was some pressure indeed for the BCCI and the IPL to fall in line. So the BCCI-IPL Governing Council held an emergency meeting in Mumbai on Sunday, the 19th of July, 2015 to examine the ‘implications’ of the IPL Verdict. What really about the implications? Do the cricket mandarins fail to understand the implications of a somewhat plainly obvious verdict? The cricket board had to say that “BCCI respects the verdict of the Lodha Commission and will abide by their decisions, in toto” and yet they went on to say “The members recognised that there is an urgent need to understand the impact of this decision and the wider ramifications for BCCI in detail, so as to uphold the paramountcy of the game in our country.” The so-called members are so erudite and elevated that they on their own must study the points to take action as they desire! And the BCCI-IPL themselves had drafted a clause 11.3 (c) of the franchise agreement that says the agreement can be terminated if “the Franchise, any Franchise Group Company and/or any owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchise, the team (or any other team in the League) and/or the game of cricket.” They have the rule and they have the binding verdict. Why cannot they act straight away? It is the delay or the need for buying more time which is of utmost urgency for this conglomerate of vested interests. And delay it was they managed in that meeting—at least by six weeks.


The BCCI so decided to constitute a working group to study the order and the recommendations of the Lodha committee within a period of six weeks. Then the report will be submitted to the BCCI’s all-powerful Working Committee and it is supposed to take the final decision on the decision of none other than the Supreme Court. And pray who are the members of the working group? It will be chaired by IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla and will have BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur and Treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary as members. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is the fourth member. BCCI's legal adviser U N Banerjee will assist the panel. It is so obviously self-contained and vested. What will they represent except the clout in the corrupt-confused Board? Ganguly does represent the players of course, but he has been getting ‘retirement’ benefits from both the BCCI and IPL. So it is extremely scary at the moment as to what ‘decision’ they will finally arrive at which may even cause disregard to the apex court verdict! It is the national cricket craze that generates all the money and this money in no time turns dirty big creating the Frankenstein of a clout. Therefore, anything is possible in this dirty business called IPL! Despite everything! 
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