By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Ethics Officer D.K. Jain questioning the role of former players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman's as commentators in the ongoing World Cup while they are already a part of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, has put the Indian board and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in a fix. But senior BCCI officials feel that this was waiting to happen.
A member of the Supreme Court-appointed CoA said that the committee was looking into the question raised by Jain and would seek to find a solution as it was too restrictive. "Yes, we will discuss the issue and come to a solution as it is too restrictive. We are working on it and will let you know soon," the member told IANS.
Jain has not only questioned the position of former players who are commentating in the World Cup while holding positions in either the IPL or the Indian board, but has also said that players who haven't retired cannot take up the role of being experts on television.
Jain has explained that as experts, the players are flouting the Lodha Panel's recommendations on conflict of interest as they are holding multiple positions and the proposal says "one person, one position".
Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that the fault lay in the rules and not how Jain interpreted the proposals of the Lodha panel. The official went on to add that the administrators should have taken necessary steps to avoid such a scenario.
"This is not about the Ethics Officer being strict or not. He has been given the set of rules that he has to interpret and it is according to the facts and the rules that he has to decide. It is the rules that are flawed along with some of the other recommendations. These flaws were known to a few but the administrators were not willing to pay attention to them as a strong bias had crept in against individuals with a part of the focus on who all have to be kept out of the BCCI.
"Somewhere this became personal and the organisation and the sport will only be the worse for wear. The choice that now exists for the former greats, who have so much experience that can be used for strengthening Indian cricket, is simple; either support their families and provide for the education and future of their children by taking up assignments that pay well, or take up decision making positions and places on committees for the betterment of Indian cricket.
"If they choose the latter, they also would know that their suggestions and decisions would be assessed by a peer who is being paid an enormous amount and would also be assessed by a smartphone wielding executive with no clue about how things should function," the official explained.
"Imagine a scenario where Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman, Sehwag and M.S. Dhoni were to take up assignments with broadcasters or franchisees in very crucial roles, it would be the grassroots cricketers who would be bereft of the benefit of their knowledge and experience.
"Rahul Dravid is being paid a handsome amount and has a key position but all these greats deserve to be at that level. Asking them to contribute at a different level would be unfair as well. It would be like asking the CEO of Microsoft to work as a General Manager at a tech start-up because the position of the CEO is already taken."
Another official added that while the position of the former players is under the scanner at present, the vacuum in running of the BCCI will also be felt soon thanks to the steps being taken at present.
"You have cricket administrators who are experienced and have done a great job, but all of a sudden a vacuum has been created with no opportunity to create the next line of administrators. This will also affect the game in a big way. We already see a situation where BCCI has crumbled at the ICC with a clueless CEO and other interference. When you have people with not enough skin in the game, the organisation is not the top priority and personal gratification and personal progress at the cost of the organisation become top priorities. Sadly, this is another outcome that will become visible to everyone soon.
"People at the ICC are happily taking advantage of this. The correct resolution of the entire situation is warranted and not only a speedy resolution. We all want a speedy resolution but are deeply concerned that a speedy resolution may create bigger problems if it is not the correct resolution of the issues," the official warned.
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