CHENNAI: Cricketers are rarely on the forefront in the court drama featuring BCCI. Amid belief that prominent faces are paid to promote the establishment, many are quiet because of coaching or other contracts. Some rely on monthly pensions.
Of the few speaking out, Bishan Singh Bedi has gone a step ahead and filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking implementation of the Justice Lodha panel recommendations. After the bench heard his plea on Thursday, the former India captain tells Express why he thinks this became necessary.
The spinner rated special by the best feels problems in the BCCI transcend day to day activities. “A good player is a good student of the game. Likewise, a good administrator is a good servant of the game. In India, there are no servants. All are bosses. They forget the game is the real boss. There is lack of integrity, uprightness and honesty.”
Beneficiary of the pension scheme in the Rs.50,000 per month bracket, the biggest name demanding reforms in BCCI feels it’s a case of wrongs outweighing rights. “Pension and medical insurance for first-class and Test cricketers are gestures former players are grateful for. But should that make them subservient? There’s too much nepotism. Some of the associations function like fiefdoms of officials occupying positions for 35-40 years. Why does one have to be in power for that long? That the Supreme Court felt such a probe was necessary suggests there are irregularities in the system.”
Bedi welcomes the Lodha panel recommendations because they advocate sweeping changes. “It’s a comprehensive report explaining problems and points towards solutions. I’ve gone through it and would like to see the recommendations implemented in toto if possible. When you clean house, do you leave out a corner or look at the whole house! This administration needs a shake-up.”
While former India all-rounder Kirti Azad has also approached the court in favour of the recommendations, Bedi’s India teammate Ajit Wadekar and former stalwart Chandu Borde have written to the court explaining why these should not be implemented. “It’s their point of view and I’m not going to challenge that. The BCCI can also argue its case. If their arguments are proper, the Supreme Court will decide what should be done.”
The legend who turns 70 in September sees IPL as a source of problems and agrees with the suggestion that the cash-spraying league has had a Frankenstein effect on its creator, the BCCI. “Cricket looked comparatively better run than other sports in India because of the money and attention it enjoyed. That couldn’t ultimately hide the dark underbelly. Two IPL franchises were suspended for indulging in activities punishable by the law of the land. Now that the Supreme Court has intervened and is looking into the matter, it will remain an example for all sports bodies in India.”
A good player is a good student of the game. Likewise, a good administrator is a good servant of the game. In India, there are no servants. All are bosses. They forget the game is the real boss. — Bishan Singh Bedi