I’m glad someone has the courage to criticize the increasingly worrying link between the IPL and the BCCI, and I’m even more cheered to see that someone is M.S. Gill, one of India’s greatest bureaucrats:
“Those who control the game, that is BCCI, they have a direct interest as owners of teams, as people who have a direct benefit from it and this is something very dangerous,” Mr. Gill was quoted as saying. “Major office bearers are on both sides. Those who are to make rules for everyone, for all aspects of the game and keeping in view the interest of the game and the country and the long term, have to be totally apart from being involved in IPL in any way.”
Actually, the problem isn’t just that the BCCI runs the IPL (or vice versa). It’s that Indian politicians frequently find themselves in charge of the BCCI (as well as local cricket associations; think Arun Jaitley, former Indian law minister, who heads the Delhi Cricket Association — the same body that both Virender Sehwag and Gautham Gambhir have exposed as a patronage pit of incompetence and corruption).
Sharad Pawar, a Maharasthra bigwig (and central agriculture minister) also heads the BCCI (and for a time, the ICC itself), posing huge conflicts of interest since the IPL has plans to become the biggest money-making venture in global sports.So much money around so many politicians should make all of us nervous (especially since the taxpayers have to fork up so much to host these IPL franchises).