Bangalore: Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary Brijesh Patel has become one of the few successful player turned administrator. Apart from his hectic business schedule, Brijesh earmarks time for the development of the game and ensures regular international matches at the state-of-the-art venue, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Stadium, in fact, has added many dimensions ever since it became a regular feature of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sponsored National Cricket Academy (NCA). In the midst of preparing for the third Test match of the current India-England series, Brijesh took some time off for an exclusive chat with Thatscricket.com.
"The ICC needs to review the issue of match referees," he said passionately. Excerpt of the free-wheeling interview:
Has the game been affected in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal?
I don"t think there has been a marked change in the following for the game after the scandal. The game is still very, very popular. If you saw the Test matches played in England and Australia had full houses. Even in South Africa there was a good crowd. Even the matches in India have drawn good crowds. Cricket is still a popular game and the people have forgotten about the scandal.
Has the episode affected the players in anyway
Not much. The managers and coaches are aware of who the boys are meeting and talking to. Even the boys are aware that they have to keep away from certain people. The boys are now careful about making even casual comments like how the wicket is. In our days, if you were at the bar (laughs), you could have easily got our plans for the next day. Now, the boys are also conscious and the game is going on.
Do you think the innovations that have come into the game are good?
The concept of the third umpire is a very good idea. It is helping to give the right decisions.
What about match referees
The International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to review the whole issue of match referee. We had the match referees, because umpires were not able to control the game. If we have umpires who aren"t able to control the game, they don"t deserve to be there. If a Dickie Bird, Dave Shepherd or Steve Bucknor can handle the game – they don"t need a match referee, then why not others?
The issue is that the ICC must have good umpires, give them powers and they should be able to control the game.
In this context will it be good to introduce the card system of punishment as in soccer
There is nothing wrong in adopting the soccer style of card system to warn the players. Again you don"t need the referee to do that, the umpire himself can call the concerned player/s and tell them.
For instance in the case of the Mike Denness controversy, the umpire himself could have called Ganguly and told him hey listen tell your boys to be careful and not to claim so much.
But, in a longer duration game like cricket do you think it would be feasible?
Why not, the player can go out for a session. The umpires sometime back had the powers to send off a player for a session. The player can be penalised say for an hour or half an hour during which time the team has only 10 players on the field. That would make the guys to be more careful.
Do you think the game can improve if the administration is mostly run by former cricketers?
Not all cricketers can be administrators. We also need good administrators to run the game. If you are a cricketer, it would help as you know exactly what a cricketer wants. We have to find out how many guys are ready to work and give something back to the game.