BCCI, a refreshing distraction

Written by: Vineesh Krishnan
Published: Sunday, May 9, 2004, 17:25 [IST]
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One should at times appreciate the good deeds. Especially, the good deeds of sports administrative bodies. In a country were sports associations are dominated by touts and corrupt politicians, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is a refreshing distraction.

In sharp contrast to the richest and most powerful country in the world, the richest cricket Board in the world has not mismanaged its position. It has brought order into what formerly was a system of individualism, corruption, and favouritism. In the process it has formed the first real 'Indian cricket team' which used to be a group of individuals going in their own directions.

BCCI has made sure that no one is bigger than the game. It supported its senior players and groomed the youngsters to form a team that is now counted as the second best team in the world.

To top all the good work, BCCI has now announced a ten fold increase in the pay of domestic cricketers. It has announced Rs 52K as match fee for those in the top rung and Rs 35K for those in the lower rung.

Formerly those who took to cricket as a profession and unable to make it into the national side for a considerable period were an impoverished lot. Since domestic cricket was poorly covered by the media, there was a paucity of sponsors and cricketers had to depend on the paltry sum of Rs 5000, which was the match fee. If they got injured they lost that too because they were paid on the basis of the number of matches played.

Now with BCCI planning to introduce a contract system for domestic players and international cricketers alike, they can concentrate on their cricket instead of paying the bills.

The pension scheme for retired cricketers was long due, but better late than never. The monthly pension of Rs 5000 may be chicken feed for the mega stars, but there are many former cricketers who are in need of it.

But the crooks who abound in the sport's governing bodies may see the rise in pay for cricketers as an opportunity to make money. With the rise in pay packets there ought to be a rush to join the domestic cricket teams. Even today cricket is considered the game of the upper / middle classes. If the selection process is not made crooks proof, there are chances that talented cricketers are ignored.

But with Jagmohan Dalmiya at the helm, one can hope that BCCI would patch all the holes in the current system. It has emerged as a model for all the other sports administrations in the country. So, continue the good work!

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