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.
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!