22 October 2020 last updated at 16:35 GMT
 
LKM Blogs
Indian Cricket's Moment of Truth
Lalit K Modi

Indian Cricket's Moment of Truth

Honourable Supreme Court of India has given the perfect New Years’ gift to all cricket fans in India. In my view they have set a new benchmark in the way cricket and indeed sport will be governed for ages to come.

There comes a time in every era when a landmark change happens which leaves a long lasting impact in every sector.  In terms of India as a country, we saw that change being created first in 1991 when the economy was opened up and then in 2016 when the demonetisation of currency was implemented.

When it comes to sport, this landmark judgement by the Supreme Court on 2 January 2016 will be one that will be spoken for a long time to come. Till now change was only in the air and there was no sense of fear of it actually happening.

Now with the BCCI president and secretary being knocked out in one stroke, there is a sense of fear which is good in a way. There is a sense that the changes will actually happen because an exemplary punishment has been meted out. For a very long time there was a tendency to take things for granted, in true Indian style. With visible obstacles being removed, the Supreme Court has made it known that the changes have to be implemented.

Usually changes which create a new era always come at a slow pace. In this case, it has taken us close to three years to arrive at this scenario. What started as a fight against corruption, went a long way in making corrective changes to the opaque set-up. This is all the mishandling of a perfect scenario that had been created under the leadership of Shri Sharad Pawar.

Just about 10 years ago an able team under Shri Pawar set about changing the face of Indian cricket. We had experts in every field handling departments and then were held accountable for our actions. I was entrusted with setting up the IPL, which I did thanks to the free hand given by Shri Pawar. Our endeavour was always to bring in professionals to supplement the work done by committed set of office-bearers. What that resulted in was a long-term impact on how the world saw the product of cricket. This would not have been possible without division of labour, great tactical and commercial acumen coupled with the work put in by able professionals.

But over the last five years there has been a consistent attempt to completely derail the process that we had created. It is the greed, the lust of power and nepotism which has brought us to this stage in Indian cricket. The stupendous work done by the past presidents like Pawarjee, Mr IS Bindra, Mr Shashank Manohar, Mr Raj Singh Dungarpur and Mr AC Muttiah has all gone in vain. Today the founding fathers of our great organisation will be left wounded in every way possible. This was a completely self-inflicted wound especially by Mr Thakur and Mr Shirke. Mr Thakur chose to become the fall guy, maybe hoping to get praises from his mentor. I cannot believe how he let the situation come to this pass. It showed a complete lack of respect for judicial process and for all attempts to achieve transparency.

I still cannot fathom how anyone can still oppose reforms that can yield more benefits for the game that we all love. What everyone forgets is that the game is bigger than any individual. Legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar have all come and gone. But that has not stopped the game from growing further. The sport has grown and added more players to the roster not because of some self-serving officials. They have all come about because of a number of committed coaches, players and various volunteers who have given their sweat and blood to this sport. I cannot believe that this was forgotten in the melee of wanting to retain control.

That itself should be a cue to the next set of office-bearers, the word Control needs to be weeded out from the nomenclature. The administration needs to be further professionalised, with the CEO’s team being strengthened with field experts being appointed. Similarly there can be an attempt to make IPL a truly professional blue-chip company to make it more accountable.

I am glad that there is at least a clear roadmap for us going forward. Now it is upto all of us stakeholders to pick up the thread and get the changes implemented.

 

 

Follow my thoughts on the BCCI crisis through my Twitter account @lalitkmodi

Rohan Jaitley elected unopposed president of DDCA
He won the election unopposed and will stay at the helm till June 30, 2021
India's domestic season will start from Jan 1: Ganguly
The BCCI's Apex Council met on Saturday to discuss the domestic calendar, which had been thrown in disarray by the surging Covid-19 cases in India