BCCI is envied by the rest says Engineer

Former wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer has always been one who speaks his mind no matter what. According to him BCCI is criticized by the rest of the cricketing world as it is the wealthiest of its kind and there is some envy involved in such criticisms. He reasons that the amount of cricket lovers in India and the money they spend to watch a game cannot be matched by any other country and this is one of the reasons that they are jealous of the board.

He also finds allegations that ICC’s decisions are meant to benefit the BCCI because of its influence to be not absolutely true. However, he has said that he finds some decisions of the global parent body to be surprising. Regarding the question of players having control in the running of the board the once charismatic cricketer thinks that players and administrators should stick to their respective jobs. However, he does find the idea of ex-cricketers involved in the administration to be a good one and states that he would have been personally honoured if he could have been involved in some capacity with the Indian board.

Engineer also finds it strange that the Indian cricketers do not have a players’ union. He says that in spite of the huge amount of money being earned by them there is no guarantee that they will not fall on hard times when their playing days are over. He revealed that he was recently asked by the Professional Cricketers’ Association in England to lead the players’ body in India but he could not do so owing to objections from either players or administrators. Engineer also wants the families of former cricketers like Eknath Solkar who basically gave their lives for the game to be well looked after.

The former cricketer, however, is against the isolation of India from world cricket and feels that the IPL is one phenomenon that has changed the view of many cricketers from around the world about their Indian counterparts and now they are looking at it as a golden opportunity to make some money. Also he does not think that every step of the BCCI has been a correct one but feels that most of them are fine and that’s okay with him. He is of the opinion that now India is capable of replying to the criticism leveled against it from different quarters.

According to Engineer the major area of difference between past and present cricketers is the amount of money cricketers get now. He has also lambasted the administrators of his time saying that they had little understanding of the game and cites the instances of Pataudi and Wadekar as well as himself as players whose careers were cut short owing to administrative fallacy and lack of empathy. He feels that credibility will always be a problem with a certain section of the Indian population and that will never change. The England resident also feels that Srinivasan is an excellent administrator because of the pension fund instituted by him for former cricketers, which is a rarity of sorts. He evidently has a great amount of respect for the tainted BCCI president and thinks his benevolent measures for the former cricketers are the reason why no ex-cricketer raises his voice against the board. This is also the reason that he feels that the CSK chief is one of the finer presidents that the BCCI has seen.

Engineer thinks that factors like spot fixing and betting allegations hurt the image of the board and give people, who want India knocked from the top spot, a good opportunity. However, he has also congratulated the board for taking tough but justifiable decisions like banning Sreesanth and stated that the punishment for cricketers like Azhar should have been tougher.

While his views do reflect Engineer’s open-mindedness they also bring to the fore the fact that Srinivas has perhaps done something for the cricketers who once served the country with honour and dignity. The monthly pension amount of INR 35 thousand is at par with the amount received by at least middle level government officials and would go a long way in ensuring that they have a good life for their services and contribution.