Ravi Shastri feels that BCCI is the best board in India as far as sports is concerned. While speaking at the 5th edition of the Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture organized at the Bombay Gymkhana on September 6, 2013 he came to the defence of the board that is facing a lot of flak of late. He has rejected every suggestion that the times are problematic right now – in fact he is of the opinion that it is just a question of mindset that needs to be won over by the richest sports body in India. He has also compared the condition of the BCCI with that of the other sports bodies in India – he claims that the BCCI has done a lot for the game in India and is not like other sports bodies that are mostly having problems with their operation.
The former allrounder, who is well known for slamming six sixes in an over in a first class match, has praised Sharad Pawar who gave Lalit Modi the freedom to make IPL the event that it is today. He reasons that so many people are attracted to its “underbelly”. According to the member of the IPL governing council, Shashank Manohar was the best administrator for the BCCI because he was supposedly very clear about what he wanted and he also wielded complete control during his tenure.
However, during the same speech he also realized that perhaps he had spoken a bit too much and jumped to the defense of N Srinivasan, the tainted former president of the BCCI. Shastri stated that Srinivasan was a major sports fan and had made immense contribution to the game in India – well the biggest contribution of Srinivasan has been the tainting of the IPL owing to the match fixing allegations labeled at his relatives. He also felt that the BCCI stood vindicated regarding the stand it had taken on not supporting the DRS till it was proved to be 100 per cent correct.
According to him DRS was not even 98 per cent correct and has made the umpires less confident than before. He has questioned the logic behind the ICC trying to get it accepted by all the member nations. He has gone so far as to level it as a contravention of the spirit of the game as it questions the decisions made by umpires. Well in his defence, Shastri is correct about the superiority of BCCI in India but does a governing body, which looks to become one of the very best in the world, pride itself on being better than the worst?
Secondly BCCI is one of the few cricketing bodies where ones who call the shots are ones who have never played a proper game of first class cricket in their lives – this is a board that looks to punish a counterpart for the reason that its chief official was once on poor terms with it and has arranged a series and brought forward another one so that it can make the other board realize what a grave mistake it was to not heed its warning. This is the board that is led by a person whose most significant move during his reign as ICC chief was permitting a team of the stature of Bangladesh to play the team and later justifying it that India was not the only country to get that deal sealed.
The wonderful results achieved by Bangladesh have meant that the door is now firmly closed for deserving candidates such as Afghanistan, Ireland and others that are playing the Intercontinental Cup as far as test cricket or full membership is concerned. There was a time when teams like Australia and England ruled the roost because they had the maximum sponsors. Gradually they have been replaced by India. During their tenure atop the ICC, England and Australia were not liked by the other members because they tried to play big brothers way too often. Now India is following the same path and will keep at it successfully till their companies find enough money to sponsor and make profits from the game.
The thing is that India does not realize that in its obsession to make it position count it may be laying the foundations of a future where it goes back to being treated shoddily when some other country replaces it at the top – one day the money supply will dry up and then the other members of the ICC would pin it down mercilessly. The world runs on co-operation and respect and not on force – the sooner the land of Mahatma Gandhi understands this the better it would be for everyone associated with the game of cricket over here. They need to understand that you should do to others what you would do to yourself or like to happen to yourself.