The legendary Sunil Gavaskar said his faith in the BCCI was shaken because they have reneged on a commitment to pay him Rs. 5 crores. “Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley both promised me that my dues will be cleared.” he said. The issue apparently came up for discussion in the working committee meeting after Gavaskar wrote to the BCCI. Gavaskar talks to the BCCI chief and he offers him a verbal commitment of 5 crore rupees! No contract, no paper work, no transparency, plain and simple insider deal between the head honcho and India’s iconic cricketer. It begs the question – Why Gavaskar? Why not Kapil Dev? Why not some other player? How was this amount arrived at? Were others given a fair shot at such a lucrative sum of money? What gives the BCCI chief the authority to cut deals of this nature without any process or procedure whatsoever?
Next, we have the case of another legendary Indian cricketer, Anil Kumble, who recently quit as chief of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) after a supposed fall-out with the BCCI over his three year plan for the NCA. It has been reported that Kumble proposed the use of expensive software and it is believed that he might benefit from the sale of this software. Once again, a whole host of questions come to mind. Was this the only reason why his proposal was rejected? Clearly, Kumble knows a thing or two about cricket. Were there cricketing reasons for his proposal being rejected? If so, who are these individuals who opposed it? Were they more qualified than Kumble and what were the reasons put forward by them? Was there an open, transparent process where the requirements of the software were published and bids invited? Is this a case of administrators trying to stem the rise of former cricketers like Kumble, who are slowly but surely expanding their reach through key administrative positions, enviable engagements with IPL teams, and personal profit making ventures, among others?