Miracles do happen.
Till the morning of 27/3/2014 it was inconceivable that Sunil Gavaskar will become BCCI President next day, even if interim and for IPL purposes. In IPL fixing case Supreme Court Justices A. K. Patnaik and F. M. I. Kalifulla told BCCI lawyer that they intend to pass three orders the next day; replace N. Srinivasan with Sunil Gavaskar as president, ban Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from IPL, and no employee of India Cements should hold any office in BCCI. On 28/3/2014 after hearing arguments of BCCI lawyer C. Aryama Sundaram, Supreme Court passed an interim order appointing Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of BCCI for IPL, and Shivlal Yadav, vice president from South Zone, as interim president for other purposes. Next hearing is on 16/4/2014.
Sunil Gavaskar said it was a huge honour. It was an incredible honour. When the highest court of the land tells you to do something you have no choice. He was ready for the challenge.
Supreme Court did not ban IPL supposedly because BCCI lawyer argued that it will cause a loss of 400 crore rupees. Some said BCCI argued against ban because Srinivasan’s team CSK was involved. In the past BCCI had terminated franchises of five teams and that time they did not think of loss. The five teams were Rajasthan Royals, Kolkota Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers, Pune Warriors and Deccan Chargers. Rajasthan Royals and Kolkota Knight Riders got stay orders from courts. Deccan Chargers was replaced with Hyderabad Sunrisers.
Soon after Sunil Gavaskar’s name came up some said he was not the right person as he has conflict of interest. He was in IPL Governing Council for three years. He is in contract with BCCI for commentary for Rs.3.6 crore/p.a. He has a contract with NDTV 24×7. He owns Professional Management Group which manages endorsements of some cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Varun Aaron and Manoj Tiwary. Some said Anil Kumble is BCCI choice. Some opposed Anil Kumble saying he has conflict of interest and suggested names of Sourav Ganguly and Bishen Singh Bedi.
It is unusual for Supreme Court judges to say in advance what order they are likely to pass the next day. However the judgment was somewhat different from what was proposed. Instead of one, two interim presidents were appointed. If CSK and RR deserved ban they should have been banned whatever be the cost. Decision on India Cements employees in IPL was left to Sunil Gavaskar. Supreme Court should have decided about them.
There is no clarity on whether N. Srinivasan will represent India at ICC meeting on 9-10/4/2014. If it is about IPL Sunil Gavaskar should represent India. If it is about other matters Shivlal Yadav should represent India. Most likely the meeting has nothing to do with IPL as IPL is a domestic tournament.
Sunil Gavaskar is not to do commentary when he is interim president and he will be suitably compensated. Nothing is said about his contract with NDTV 24×7 and running PMG. He had a dispute with BCCI regarding pending payment of 9 or 12 crore rupees for the time he was member of IPL Governing Council. Now is the time for him to resolve the dispute in his favour.
Who all are behind Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar which is not affiliated to BCCI, who filed a PIL against BCCI in Bombay High Court? The case subsequently made it to Supreme Court. Harish Salve’s fees are exorbitant. Aditya Verma could not have afforded him as his lawyer unless he has black money. Lalit Modi, Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar, Subodh Kant Sahay and I. S. Bindra are hostile to N. Srinivasan. Shashank Manohar wanted IPL 7 scrapped.
Harish Salve said Mahendra Singh Dhoni committed a corrupt practice when he lied to the Mudgal Committee that Gurunath Meiyappan was just an enthusiast. C. Aryama Sundaram said that was a scurrilous allegation. Harish Salve said BCCI is responsible for institutional integrity. CBI has evidence against players but BCCI does not want action against players. BCCI lawyer who appeared before Mudgal Committee did not want ban on CSK.
CBI can inform the police who can file FIRs. FIRs are first information reports. When the police have information about a crime they can file FIRs. There is no need for complaint from aggrieved party. In Tehelka journalist rape case Goa police filed FIR. Later they contacted the journalist. Tarun Tejpal’s arrest followed.
Bishen Singh Bedi asked how can an opening batsman be converted into a night watchman? Krishnamachari Srikkanth said all have to respect the Supreme Court and Sunil Gavaskar is the right choice. Bimal Soni said Sunil Gavaskar is the best man for the job in the short term. Give the man a chance.
Sunil Gavaskar’s appointment dominated news channels. There was not much about Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. Arivind Kejriwal made news due to an attack on him.
Some say IPL is a good product and should not scrap it. IPL is commerce, entertainment and glamour. There is not much cricket in it. All that glitters is not gold. If IPL is scrapped there is not much harm to cricket. Some cricketers are ready to play in IPL but don’t want to represent their country.
It is good to have cricketers as officials of BCCI. President should have played 100 Tests for India. Other officials like vice president, secretary, treasurer and selectors should have played 50 Tests for India. Membership of cricket associations that field teams for Ranji Trophy and other matchers should be restricted to players who have played first class cricket.
Miracles do happen.