Team India’s dismal show in the Kolkata Test match has cricket enthusiasts across the country angry and frustrated, to say the least. But public memory is short-lived. A win in the fourth Test or an exciting draw is enough for the defeat to slowly but surely recede into the background. What remains though is the root cause of the problems facing cricket in our country today. The old Chinese saying, “Fish rots from the head,” is apt in this case. Our problems begin with lack of professionalism and transparency at the highest levels of our cricket administration and poor day to day management.
India’s richest sport, cricket, is managed by the BCCI which stands for Board of Control for Cricket in India. It’s named rightly so because it is a Board comprised of rich industrialists and powerful politicians who elect and nominate each other in a well orchestrated “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” arrangement in order to exercise complete “control” over cricket in the country. The players represent the country but they are chosen by a selection committee appointed by the bigwigs of the BCCI, based on a zonal-quota system. If you are in the good books of the BCCI and you have the support of your zone, you could become a selector. The recent ouster of the outspoken Mohinder Amarnath from the selection committee is a perfect example of this, where the powerful crush the outspoken and troublesome. The RTI does not apply to the BCCI so the “Aam Aadmi” is not allowed to ask questions. This is despite the fact that the BCCI enjoys special government benefits and the players represent the country.