Daily Archives: 22 June 2007

Indian Umpire in Elite Panel…

Suresh Shastri makes his debut as an umpire in ICC’s Elite Panel when he officiates in the first Test in Colombo between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Monday25 June. This will be the first Indian umpire officiating as an ICC Elite Panel umpire after a gap of 50 Test! The lase Indian Test umpire before Shastri was K. Hariharan.

The 51-year old Suresh Shastri was a left-arm spinner for Rajasthan before turning to umpiring.

The ICC Elite Panel is now:

Matches | Name (country)
174 R. E. Koertzen (RSA)
163 S. A. Bucknor (WI)
141 D. J. Harper (Aus)
131 D. B. Hair (Eng)
116 S. J. A. Taufel (Aus)
114 B. F. Bowden (NZ)
88 A. Dar (Pak)
68 B. R. Doctrove (WI)
48 M. R. Benson (Eng)
45 A. Rauf (Pak)
0 S. Shastri (Ind)

— Mohan



Pronunciation: &-"kaun-t&-'bi-l&-tE
Function: noun
: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions <public officials lacking accountability>

That is the definition from Merriam Webster’s Online dictionary. Unfortunately it is a word BCCI is unfamiliar with. When players perform poorly and/or do not show the right attitude, they are dropped from the team – and rightly so. But when members of the board (or the innumerable committees that it contains) do not perform, there is no accountability.

When the coach selection fiasco was played out, the members of the coach selection committee should have been held accountable. At least a couple of heads should have rolled (starting with Niranjan Shah, who prematurely went to the media saying that Ford was the new coach, even before confirming that he had accepted the offer). But no, there is no accountability.

When the selection committee says that there is no bench strength, it is not a reflection of  the lack of talent in the country, but a reflection of how BCCI has failed to tap into this pool of talent. So, who is to blame? No one – there is no accountability.

I could give several more examples on lack of accountability, but I think I’ve made my point.

Part of the reason, why there is no accountability is because Indian cricket is run by elected members and they run it like Indian politics. At least in politics, the public have a chance to voice their opinion and vote a government out. (Side note: Apparently, Lallu Prasad Yadav is likely to succeed Sharad Pawar. More fun and games!)

The only way to bring accountability into the mix is to run BCCI like a corporation. Appoint a CEO, and let him pick his support staff. Pay them handsomely and make them accountable. But sadly, late last year the working committee decided not to hire a CEO and to run the board through the elected body. I hope they reconsider this move and appoint a full time CEO who has the right professional qualifications and experience. And hopefully if they decide to hire one, the selection of the CEO is not done in the same farcical way as the selection of the coach.

(Makes me wonder, who runs the day to day activities of the board. Surely, the Agricultural minister has more pressing matters to attend to. So,  Niranjan Shah the secretary must be responsible for it. That sounds about right. Niranjan Shah – CEO of BCCI – although in this case it should stand for Chief Entertainment Officer – he really is a big joke!)