Daily Archives: 29 August 2008

Lessons for BCCI from Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra has stuck his neck on the line. India’s first ever individual Gold medallist in the Olympics — yes, he has a blog too and blogs at http://abhinavbindra.blogspot.com/ — has come down heavily on Indian Sports Officialdom on his first assignment as Guest Editor for Times of India!

In his view, the current system is rotten and would not create the transformation that is needed. He said, “Indian athletes have no respect for most officials,” he said. “They have to be on good terms because one needs to survive. But most officials, and many of the so-called coaches who travel with the shooting team, know nothing about the sport. The athletes don’t talk about this because their careers are at stake. And the officials unfortunately don’t care.”

A lot of what he says is actually quite applicable to cricket administration too. For example, he says “the current official set-up should be replaced with a professional body for each sport, headed by a CEO, who would be given targets. In other words, accountability could ensure brighter results.

This is not rocket science. We have known for some time now that there is a champagne bottle waiting to burst in India. However, the cork is quite strong and is steadfast in its bureaucratic might as well as its cancer-like refusal to go.

And today, as opposed to the call in Mahesh’s post and Soundar’s comments, seeking a further liberalisation of the control-strings, the BCCI has, quite predictably, run in the other direction! They appear to have tightened their control.

From now on, the BCCI President will have the power to have a final say in the appointment of selectors.

The BCCI communiqué reads: “The age old system of the zonal representatives holding meetings on the eve of the Board’s AGM to decide the name of selector from their respective zones has been done away with. From the coming AGM, the final decision on the appointment of national selectors will wrest [sic!] with the BCCI president,”.

Wrest? or rest? 🙂

Hmmm! It does seem to me to be a bit of a wrestling match, this one!

On the surface, this may not be such a bad move, for all the zonal representatives can do from now on in, is suggest names with the ultimate decision resting (or wresting, if one was the BCCI!) with the President of the BCCI. However, with votes at stake, I can’t quite imagine the BCCI President doing much more than sucking up to the zones!

Time to reiterate that the fact that the cricket team is doing so well, despite the administration’s attempts, is something that needs to be recognised and commended. Not every sport in India is that lucky!

— Mohan

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I am back

I never actually left, but I haven’t blogged in i3j3 for a long time and thought I’d break the silence with a post today. So, what’s been happening in Indian cricket lately?

India won the ODI series in SL

After a horrid start to the series, India made a good comeback to beat SL in SL – a big achievement, really. They’ve never done this in the past and the credit should go solely to MS Dhoni. After the pathetic performance in the tests and the 1st ODI, I had (like many others) written this side off, and somehow they managed to pull through to win the series. Well done, guys.

The Champions Trophy got postponed

I am usually glued to the idiot box when the Champions Trophy is on, but that doesn’t mean I fully approve of this tournament. It is kind of like a World cup, but isn’t. It doesn’t have the importance or stature of the World Cup and International Cricket could well do without this tournament in its already packed schedule. ICC could get rid of tournaments like this and the Afro-Asia cup and nobody would miss them.

India not playing any tournaments during the Champions Trophy gap

What the …? This came as a surprise to me – I am really glad BCCI didn’t sign up for a quadrangular or triangular or some x-angular tournament to fill up the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy. They apparently want to use the time to prepare for the upcoming Australian Test series. What the…?

Cramped Tour Itinerary for NZ tour announced

Yes. That sounds like the BCCI we have all come to know and love. For a very brief moment I thought BCCI was actually changing the way they think. Oh, well –  back to reality, now.

India are going to be playing 19 days of cricket in 33 days. The longest gap they get between any two matches will be 2 days. Yep, that’s right – 2 days. Unless, of course we finish the 5 day test matches in 3 days…Going by what happened in NZ in the previous series, we are sadly quite capable of doing that.

Indian selectors to be made paid positions

We have advocated this in this blog in the past, and I am very happy that the BCCI has decided the positions in the Selection committee are to be made paid positions. Ok, they are only recommendations made by the working committee at this stage, but I would expect this to be accepted soon. Now they will have more accountability and responsibility.

Next step – getting selectors from overseas. Oh wait, What am I am thinking? They first have to move away from the mentality of appointing one selector from each zone…

-Mahesh-