An employee in a responsible position accuses a senior BCCI office-bearer of issuing death threats. The incident is reported to the Supreme Court. It may appear unrelated to the matter of implementing the Lodha commission’s recommendations, but this unusual episode brings back to light the cricket establishment’s reluctance to embrace a structure based on distribution of responsibility and accountability.
Irrespective of the allegation against the BCCI treasurer that he cornered the CFO and spoke of dire consequences, which may or may not be true, it is evident by now that the old guard is refusing to accept that its activities are going to be handled by paid professionals. Before the CFO, who with another senior employee has been given powers to sign cheques in addition to the BCCI secretary and treasurer, the CEO had become the bad boy in the eyes of the officials. Following court orders, the CEO is managing affairs under the supervision of the committee of administrators, attending ICC meetings of chief executives and is in charge of conducting administrative work. In the old BCCI set-up, power came from control of these positions. The incumbents can’t digest the fact that this equation is changing along with their diminishing authority. Targeting hired professionals handling important portfolios is a reflection of this mental makeup that refuses to accept a new work culture.
There are matters in the BCCI pending inquiry—from swindling charges against top state unit officials, associations declaring themselves bankrupt despite receiving over `200 crore from TV rights in the last 10 years to misuse of funds to construct stadiums. Pointing fingers at others can also be a method of diverting attention. Malpractices and the tendency to overlook them were the core of the problem that led to the Lodha commission. Venting ire at persons recruited to do what they did not, instead of addressing real issues is a sign of frustration stemming from the realisation that the empire is crumbling.