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BAI react with excess force

Except,this time,she’s copping a fall for her franchise,arising out of the organisers’ inability to clearly follow rules — which were not spelled out.

Written by Shivani Naik |
October 7, 2013 2:31:37 am

You’d think that when India’s badminton brains went chasing Chinese inspirations for improving their standards,they wouldn’t go so far back into history. But the BAI,in demanding an unconditional apology,suitably reverential,from Jwala Gutta in exchange for not imposing a life ban,has brought back from the dead the archaic Chinese custom of ‘kowtow’,which vanished with the Opium Wars.

For a league with haphazard rules (some made up as the circus went along),relying on ‘verbal understandings’ and little in writing submitted to the franchisees,Jwala Gutta and her defiance comes as easy fodder. She carries the reputation of a loose cannon.

Except,this time,she’s copping a fall for her franchise,arising out of the organisers’ inability to clearly follow rules — which were not spelled out. A life ban for questioning a replacement player in IBL sounds ridiculous,notwithstanding the committee’s bizarre rationale behind imposing it.

S Muralidharan’s report is littered with perceived affront and outrage. “The Disciplinary Committee expected her to be apologetic in the minimum. But unfortunately instead of being sorry for the unwarranted behavior,she has grown more aggressive and strident in her attitude,as the explanation submitted by her is sufficient proof of that.”

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The said explanation is a rebuttal of the charges pressed against her. It disagrees,but unless invisible emoticons jumped out of those pages on the BAI committee,spewing venom and spitting fire,an “arrogant tone” is tough to glean from Gutta’s answers.

However,the most glaring absurdity is the arbitrary suggestion of a life ban,which will magically disappear should she voice the word ‘sorry’ while coming across as contrite. This will be done “in view of humanitarian considerations” with the level of sincerity deemed fit — or not — by the BAI president.

Why the BAI has imposed a silly rider,and can’t slap a ban with conviction for what they deem could have caused “irreparable damage to the prestige of the IBL” is unclear,unless they feared legal backlash. Other seeming affronts to the pristine shrine of the one-season,controversy-filled IBL are: “Country would have been made laughing stock in front of the world” and “the most fancied event in the whole world would have been disgustedly brought to ridicule.” You don’t say,Mr. Muralidharan?

(Shivani is an assistant editor based in Mumbai)

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