INDIAN cricket is currently in the news for the reported differences between two star personalities. One, the current BCCI President and the other the former captain of the Indian cricket team.
There is no doubt that these two cricketers – Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli – have brought great glory and pride to Indian cricket and have also injected the much needed aggression in the team. Both have great fan following and an image which can be safely called as larger than life.
As I have said earlier, we really do not know the truth in these stories, but we must remember that “perception” matters a lot in public life.
The first issue was when Ganguly stated that they tried to persuade Kohli to not leave the T20I team captaincy, but the latter in a press conference declined that anybody contacted him in this regard. There was a lot of debate on who is telling the truth.
The next controversy is very recent, when India Ahead News broke the news that the BCCI President wanted to issue a show cause notice to Kohli, but was prevailed upon by his colleagues and the notice was not issued. Again, it will be good if the situation is clarified by all those concerned.
Both the players involved in the controversy have a big reputations and are known for their integrity.
I will definitely keep away from being judgemental about the issue or to pass any comment on presumption. But there are some other points to be considered in view of the factual legal position which today prevails.
Basically, after the Supreme Court gave a new Constitution to the BCCI, the Selection Committee has become more independent and in fact that is the only body which will take decisions about selecting the team and appointing a captain.
So, it is only between the Selection Committee and the bunch of players from which the team is to be selected and a captain is to be appointed. With this background the views or the statements of other officials will not be of much relevance to the subject matter.
Under the earlier Constitution, the team used to go to the President for signatures and hence he used to have some say in the matter. There are a few incidences of this in the past. But now the situation is quite clear.
As regards the disciplinary action, to be taken against a player, under the new Constitution the same is to be decided by the apex committee, and if decided the CEO will have to call for an explanation. We still do not know the complete facts in the matter and it will not be right to draw a conclusion in this regard.
But, as stated above, the perception becomes more important even than the facts especially when it comes to Indian cricket.
With my small experience as an administrator, I have seen how a curator was accused on the basis of a copy paste job, as observed by the ICC’s independent investigation team. But with the mere perception, the person involved with great repute suffered irreparable loss.
That is why it is very essential that the air of perception is cleared very quickly.
Lastly, I would like to touch a very serious and sensitive point. The Supreme Court while giving the new Constitution to BCCI, has considered that if cricketers are given greater authorities and responsibilities, it will help in giving clean administration.
On January 20, 2022, the Madras High Court observed that involvement of politicians and business tycoons in the sports is not advisable and all the key functionaries should be given to the sports personalities. With this background if it is seen that two top cricketers are at loggerheads, it does not send out a good message.
I am sure, this air of confusion will be cleared quickly and the focus will be again on the performance in the ground.