Cricket is the biggest sport of India, even though it is not our national sport, So BCCI obviously is the richest cricket board in the world. Last year BCCI’s net worth was a massive Rs 5,437 crores! Money attracts corruption. And in India this has led to ministers playing on the political pitch of the BCCI !
As time progressed, we saw many politicians in the country getting drawn into cricket. Was it because they loved the game and wanted to contribute in its growth in the country? No! Politicians, instead of extending support to the cricket administrators, chose to become administrators themselves. It mattered little to them that a big sport like cricket needed full-time administrators to do justice to the position and they, as ministers or even as MPs, had already had their hands full.
But these politicians were present to gain a major chunk of the glamour and wealth which the cricketing body possesses. What helped them was the fact that the BCCI was obviously an opaque body. The auditors, appointed and paid for by the BCCI itself, usually did the job of endorsing incomes and expenses worth hundreds of crores of rupees. So the politician-administrators had a good opportunity to ladle out support to their cronies!. They chose to wear two hats – one of a minister/MP and another of a cricket administrator. They appointed their slaves, at fat salaries, to do the dirty work!
Look at the big politicians, in the history of cricket administration. Consider the current party in power, the BJP. Its ‘big three’ had been associated with cricket administration at one point of time or another. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief of Gujarat Cricket Association for several years till he resigned after becoming the prime minister; BJP president Amit Shah became the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association after Modi’s elevation as PM and Arun Jaitley’s name has been synonymous with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) over many years.
UPA government also had its share of politician-cricket administrator. Sharad Pawar, a former minister in the UPA cabinet, was the former BCCI president, and Congress MP Rajeev Shukla became the IPL chairman. Lalu Prasad Yadav and Farooq Abdullah, who were part of the UPA government, were also the president of their respective state cricket bodies – the Bihar Cricket Association and Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. Jyotiraditya Scindia, another UPA minister, is the head of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.In 2011, former Sports Minister Ajay Makan brought the Sports bill. The Bill had sought to bring all the sport bodies including the BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. But the other ministers with close ties with the BCCI did not allow the Bill to fructify.
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The UPA did not succeed in bringing transparency in BCCI, And to me, it’s the same with NDA. They will not take the radical step. After all, the top leaders of the NDA have a symbiotic relationship with the BCCI and they would go out of the way to protect and defend their interests in the apex cricket body.
So, we see the political championship of BCCI in which politicians play the game of corruption, and on the other hand WE as an AUDIENCE as a common civilians, can’t ask for a Umpire’s Review!