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Sight Screen

Monday, June 13, 2005

Jaggu-Inder Bhai-Bhai?

You guys remember Thursday's Open Forum, where I asked for your list of the top ten turning points in Indian cricket? (The responses thus far are interesting, hope there's more to come).
For me, one significant point (not suggesting it is in the top 10, but close) is the period 1993-1996, when IS Bindra was board president, and Jagmohan Dalmiya was its secretary.
In course of random conversations over the years, many -- past players, administrators past and current, even the assorted politico -- identified this as the best phase, from an administration point of view, for Indian cricket.
The concensus was, these two made the perfect team: Bindra was the visionary, the ideas man, and Dalmiya the implementor, the man who would put his head down, attend to the details, and make the grand ideas work. One administrator recalled how he would get calls from Dalmiya in the middle of the night, asking if this or the other detail had been attended to. (The two tended, I was told, to be pretty autocratic -- but against that, they were focussed on developing the game in the country, so it was at best a benevolent dictatorship).
The story of how they fell out -- and how it impacted negatively on cricket administration in India -- is now part of cricket history (there is some background on that, among other things, here if you need it). The news of the day is that there are signs of rapprochment -- it's a huge step, really, for Bindra to get a seat on the powerful marketing committee, when you consider that in recent times, the only way Bindra formed part of any committee was when he was appearing before it in response to some showcause notice or other.
On the flip side of this news item, consider the indication that nothing really changes: the BCCI continues to stifle dissent any which way it can. Thus N Srinivasan, who till the other day headed the marketing committee and the TV rights committee, has been unceremoniously axed. For why? Because he is president of the TNCA, and a club affiliated to it sought to challenge the BCCI in court.
If you recall, this was a big issue during the recent BCCI working committee meeting, with Dalmiya making a two-hour presentation on why the TNCA should be hanged by the neck. A day later, they announced that there was no problem after all; compromise had been reached, the story said.
Sure it had -- for the time being. Now, first chance the BCCI got, out went Srinivasan. There -- that should teach the rest of you pesky state associations who's boss (not to mention who is boss of bosses).


  • A few months ago I contacted Mr Srinivasan for a story. What struck me immediately and over a period of time was his honesty and steadfastness in not talking about the workings of the board. No excuses or unconvincing explanations, just a flat out 'no, I don't kiss and tell' (not his words, but mine.).

    The workings of the board have been murky for a long time, and by ejecting Srinivasan, they've made a rather big blunder. He's a good man, a capable man, and from what I hear, one of the finer people in the board. Good luck to the BCCI.

    By Blogger Rahul, at 02:00  

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