After hailing the Supreme Court’s move to appoint a four-member Committee of Administrators to run the affairs of the BCCI, veteran administrator IS Bindra shared his experiences so that Indian cricket’s “new saviours” can learn from the past.
“In some of my recent blogs on the state of Indian cricket, I have talked about the vultures, who have over the course of decades, specialised in bringing the governance of the game into serious disrepute,” the former BCCI chief wrote in his blog.
“I’m delighted my writing has touched such a nerve because I dedicated four decades of my life as a cricket administrator to constantly robbing these vultures of their next meal!,” he further wrote.
“So Indian cricket’s new saviors can learn from the past and do what millions of cricket fans want: convert Indian cricket into a force of good governance and high global standards,” said Bindra after whom the Mohali cricket stadium is name.
Bindra, who has also remained at the helm of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) for several years, shared two specific instances.
“When the vultures attacked my integrity, professionalism and commitment to the sport.
“In 2000, I was accused of ‘bringing the Board into disrepute,’ when shortly after former South African cricket captain Hanse Cronje’s confession, I exposed match fixing in Indian cricket. Subsequent events vindicated my courageous stand,” he wrote.
“The second time was when my rivals in the BCCI managed — through political influence — to open an investigation against me for obtaining land for the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali. Fortunately for me, the CBI vindicated my position and it was upheld all the way to the Supreme Court,” he added.
Bindra pointed out that Mohali is currently considered to be one of the world’s finest cricket stadiums.
“Instead of weakening me these unsavoury attacks only strengthened me as an administrator and individual. They were truly badges of honour in my career.
“Fast forward to 2013, when Indian cricket was yet again engulfed by the IPL match-fixing controversy. At that point, as I have written before, BCCI president Narayanswami Srinivasan (Srini) should have been persuaded to or forced to resign immediately. This would have allowed a fair investigation into the affairs of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, and also restored public faith in the game. But Srini treated the Board as his own ‘jagir’ (fiefdom) and opened the doors to court intervention in a gentleman’s game”.
He also mentioned that that the story doesn’t end here and has of late taken on some very “sinister hues”.
“Last year, Srini was elected president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. More recently, just last month, the man who is single handedly responsible for the BCCI’s overflowing cup of woes, called a meeting in Bengaluru to ‘provide leadership’ and to look at the ‘overall interests of the BCCI’ and it’s associations,” Bindra further wrote.
“Outgoing president Anurag Thakur, suddenly had a memory loss about his differences with Srini, and attended. As did former secretary, Ajay Shirke…but, it seems all sorts of unholy alliances are still possible in Indian cricket. Yet again, I call on cricket fans to be on guard against vultures gaining a back door entry into Indian cricket through their agents or proxies,” he wrote.