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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Privatise sports...

...is the leitmotif of Harsha Bhogle's latest column.
Indian sport needs the accountability and thrust of India's private sector and that can only be achieved if it is handed over to the private sector.I can foresee, maybe I dream but that is where all progress starts, vibrant domestic leagues, fine coaches, high quality television and the injection of pride and accountability. If we can go prospecting for oil, why can't we prospect for hockey players at a laughable fraction of the cost? Wouldn't the Tatas do what they can to see an Indian team ascend the victory podium at the World Cup?

Harsha talks here primarily of non-cricket sport, but much of it would be applicable to cricket, too. You could argue that cricket is already privatised -- in fact, is run pretty much on the lines of an old family-centric concern, but that is not the sort of privatisation I had in mind. Bring the corporates into the mix, let them run teams and manage stadia and see what happens (you already have an example, in the private pace academy founded by MRF, to which the world now flocks).
But to do this, the entrenched powers have to be ready to relinquish their grip on the game -- or at the least, give up some part of it. Do I see that happen? Um, no -- no more than I see anything short of imminent demise prompt Priyaranjan Das Munshi to give up his control fo the AIFF.

2 Comments:

  • Thats a really good column.
    The problem with cricket is not that BCCI doesn't have money, its the way BCCI is structured. The administrators are appointed because they win votes not because of their competency in handling the matters related to cricket. That has to change.

    To be fair though, i feel that cricket -- even with all BCCI's incometence -- is much better managed than most other sports in the country. One of the reasons is because media scrutiny. The others being winning team means more profit for BCCI and may be more power etc.

    The only way I can see some accountability coming into BCCI is if one of the well intentioned cricketers (lets say after they retire Sachin, Dravid or Kumble tries to get into BCCI politics and becomes successful and changes the system). The reason I say this is because only these people can rally the medai and public imaginiation behind their cause and force BCCI to mend their ways. If other people try to get power in BCCI they have to win election, i.e. play a lot of politics and in turn return favors when they win etc.

    Or it can happen step by step. The way BCCI was forced to appoint foreign coaches, good physios, may be one day they will be forced to appoint an accoutable selection committee because of media pressure, or coach or celebrity cricketers like Sachin, Sehwag going public with the cause. Then after some time have a CEO for running the cricket matters while have the election junta s board of directors etc.. I don't know. May be wishful thinking..

    -i

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16:52  

  • We are living in an era where selectors of the National Cricket team are employed on a "zonal" basis. Add to it, The coach does not have a say in team selection.

    With pressing matters like these to be taken care of, I think Mr.Bhogle has come up with a far fetched dream.

    Why?

    Would Mr Dalmiya let it happen?

    By Blogger Truman, at 01:34  

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