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Sight Screen

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The President speaks

The BCCI president, that is. Here.Choice excerpts:
I admit that Indian Cricket is at a critical juncture, and presently many people are viewing Indian Cricket with suspicion, due to these recent developments, but we all know that Cricket is a game of ups and downs. Indian Cricket Board is fully competent to overcome these, and the glorious days would be back again soon.

So said the ostrich, amen.
My first priority is to shift the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) headquarters from Mumbai to Delhi, since the latter is our capital. The proposal for this regard is already with the Board and is being seriously discussed. Second is to appoint a CEO for the Board, this is to done to bring in professionalism in the Board's functioning. Another important priority is to direct the focus of the Board and all efforts towards the Indian team’s preparation for 2007 World Cup. I consider this crucial for the future of the game in the country.

Indeed. This, if I am not mistaken, is the proposal Dalmiya (who is just one of 30 individuals, do note) submitted on August 28, and which is being fully considered. Rather amusingly, it is now the 'first priority' of a president who needs to be re-elected before he can lay claim to that title. But I agree with the proposal -- since the BCCI is now filled with politicians of various stripes, why not just go the whole hog and shift the GHQ somewhere near the Vidhan Sabha? Makes more sense than have the politicos run around the country attending meetings, at the board's expense.
There is no lack of attention towards team building for 2007 World Cup. The selection committee has been asked to give primary attention towards this, and I think we should leave it to the selectors. I would not like to comment publicly on the selection issue and would appeal to the countrymen to repose faith in our selectors and show a bit of patience. can say with confidence that when the selection committee meets to select the teams for upcoming series against Sri Lanka and South Africa, the main focus would be on this aspect. However, I must say that we need to give pace to our efforts in preparing for 2007 World Cup.

To which, I can only say amen.
On zonal selection, this:
Well, this matter has come up for internal discussions many times in the Board. For a long time, the thinking in the Board has been that having selectors from all zones in the country helps in search of talent from all parts of the country. However, this thinking seems to be changing now, and there have been suggestions that instead of the zonal selection committee, we should go in for other methods, like choosing selectors at the national level. Personally I favour that we should change the zonal selectors system, but I cannot say today that this is certain, and maybe in the coming days, the Board has a proper discussion on this issue. But, certainly, a change in thinking is taking place.
The board on domestic cricket:
On the contrary, I think it has been due to the efforts of the Board towards domestic Cricket that the game is alive and kicking in the country. Our Board is perhaps the only one in the world which spends 26% of its income on domestic Cricket. To strengthen domestic Cricket in the country, the Board has set-up a National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and the results would be visible in the near future. The Board is paying all possible attention towards the domestic Cricket, whether it is Under-19, India A and B teams. Therefore it is not correct to say that we believe in mere promises, which are not fulfilled.

Factually incorrect, the Australian board for instance spends more. Incidentally, the 26 per cent figure is clever accounting -- the income is not spent entirely on developing the game, but on zonal associations, 'miscellaneous' heads, etc. The actual figure spent on game development is far less -- last I checked, which was in 2000 before I lost access to board records, that figure was under 10 per cent. And on a related note, this:
Let me assure you and the countrymen that interest of Cricket is uppermost for the BCCI. Regular audits of the Board’s accounts are done and displayed as welll. What you are saying regarding the team playing for BCCI, well, that was said in a particular context, during litigation in the court. I admit that during the past one or two years, the Board has faced a number of cases in the courts regarding elections and other related things. I will only say that former Board Presidents, who have run the Board, know fully well that today also the Board is being run in the same manner as was done when they were in control. I agree that the public of the country is confused due to regular litigation, but for this, more than anyone else, it is the frustrated individuals spreading canards who are responsible. I assure the countrymen that the Board is being fully run in a transparent manner and I appeal to the public not to pay heed to misinformation campaign of frustrated individuals.
Some former Presidents of the Board, out of frustration, are making unwanted statements, which are not helping anyone. They want the issue to remain alive through the media and otherwise, but we are working in a fully transparent manner.

Excuse me? Where are the board's audited figures displayed? Please may I have a copy? Been asking, for five years. Rahul Mehra, the Delhi-based lawyer involved in the PIL, has asked, even through the courts, for three years now. As to transparency -- do point us to the site that contains a copy of the Board's constitution, would you sir, so we can make sense of this election you keep not having? I agree, though, with one thing -- the board today is being run exactly as it was run when Dungarpur and gang were in control; that is not to say it is the right way to run it, though.
Never has the Indian Board or any of our captains instructed the wicket and ground committees to prepare slow tracks for home series. We are fully aware of the fact that our team would have to play on good fast tracks in West Indies, and, keeping this in mind, the wicket and ground committees have been asked to prepare accordingly, and our experts are also working in the direction of preparing the team for such tracks.

Oh lord, sorry, couldn't stop laughing. Correction: Every Indian captain has, at some time or other in his career, interfered with the ground staff, demanded changes to the strip. And finally, this on the famous email leak:
You are right -- had the e-mail not been leaked, such a situation would not have arisen, and the same is correct for the developments which took place in Zimbabwe. As you are aware, the Board is probing the e-mail leak. At the same time we have taken corrective measures to ensure that such things do not happen in the future. Many players have also said and they feel that whatever happened in the dressing room should not have come out in the open. Form here, all of us have realised that we need to avoid such situations, and work for the betterment of the game and its fans.

Hold your breath for the outcome of that probe. Start now. Do provide contact info of loved ones though, who we should call in case -- in the very strong probability -- of asphyxiation.


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    By Blogger postUK, at 14:28  

  • u almost killed me with ur 'hold ur breath' comment!! LOL.........

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:30  

  • Prem:

    You had rightly chosen a policy of not writing on the GC-SG affair any more although you have been dragged into it from time to time. I hope you adopt the same policy for BCCI, Dalmiya, Mahendra, dungarpur and co. unless they utter something sensible.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 14:40  

  • Prem

    Isnt this man a master of words ? But Can someone challenge Dalmiya in court for some false claims that he has made ? Since the statements are quoted public ? Can Rahul Mehra do it as a part of his case ?

    How long does it take to catch hold of the culprit when the no. of suspects can be counted with fingers . Plus Since this was an 'electronic crime' shouldnt be too tough . But I guess BCCI is gonna use the old trick of people having short term memories ! He has been partly successful too , no one's discussing the AGM . all the ink got wasted on GC-SG

    Really looked like the presentation and picture our HR department painted durig my new employee orientation !

    By Blogger Adi, at 14:51  

  • that hold your breath part was funny. I am looking forward to their decision on the zonal system of selection.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:02  

  • shifting to delhi is high priority....oh and also another priority is to win world cup 07

    So once they have shifted, we can start thinking about 07

    Talk about priorities!!

    By Blogger cartan, at 15:33  

  • toney,
    look forward to something more practical.

    The board president is only hoping that this will be discussed :).

    Such a pathetic administration aint it? .....hope, think, near future.....is anything definitive at all??

    By Blogger cartan, at 15:38  

  • cartan, with the board, all we can do is hope.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:49  

  • Anticipate more and more comments in the near future with action plans from the president as the power struggle intensifies

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:34  

  • Bakwas interview- more and more theories- no substance

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:40  

  • Great peice by Rajaraman "here" .

    I think, burnt by this episode GC has sworn off the media (or is it Just Indian Media)

    By Blogger Amit, at 16:46  

  • Good one Prem.

    Also some more things in the same vein form the same piece.

    "As you are aware, the Board is probing the e-mail leak. At the same time we have taken corrective measures to ensure that such things do not happen in the future."

    This is hilarious. There is a probe going on to find out how and when the email leaked. As per the Board president its not clear yet. Hence the investigation. How did he then manage to take corretive measures on it? How has he fixed a problem without understanding what it is? Notice the irony. What are the corrective measures and how did he ensure they are "corrective"?
    Wow! this guy is genius.

    By Blogger Anand K, at 18:35  

  • *shrug*

    Dalmiya may have submitted that propoal at the end of August but RSM said the same in his Hard Talk interview on the 16th of July.

    By Blogger Ritu, at 00:44  

  • prem, unbelievable stuff. I am baffled by it all...

    1)"My first priority is to shift the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) headquarters from Mumbai to Delhi, since the latter is our capital. "
    -> Shift to delhi is priority#1 ? Hullo ? Am I from Mars or am I missing something here ?

    2)"When Greg Chappell was appointed the coach, we told him that our aim is 2007 World Cup"
    -> You ask Greg to focus on WC07 and then, you blindly shush-shush his real concern (SG, his form, fitness & his attitude). Talk about hypocricy.

    3)"The upcoming Challenger Trophy beginning in Mohali on 10th October would see all main Indian players participating in it, including Sachin"
    -> but, not Ganguly, he already chickened out...

    4)"as the Indian Board is concerned, the personality is not the sole criterion, the performance is also seriously taken into account"
    -> This is really funny. Maybe amitabh bhachan should start playing cricket for Indian team..

    5)" will only say that former Board Presidents, who have run the Board, know fully well that today also the Board is being run in the same manner as was done when they were in control.".
    -> In essence he is saying that the BCCI is the same old crap...

    6)"It is not a question of whether we would allow him to play for ten innings on the basis of a single century, but after his hundred in Zimbabwe, Sourav has just played one innings, and before he goes out to play next time, the selection committee is going to review his performance and decide on what they think would be right.".
    -> Does this mean that selection comitee is going to ask Donna regarding Ganguly's performance ? Because, she is the only one who can judge his performance (in bed) before SL series !!!

    7)"Being the BCCI President I hope and wish that, keeping in mind the hopes of crores of Cricket lovers from the team, his return to form would happen soon and he would fulfill the expectations - but the final decision about his future would be of the selection committee."
    -> How corny is this ? He hopes !!! also, what does "crores of Cricket lovers from the team" mean ?

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 02:33  

  • JD has really done lots as far as commercial rights of Indian cricket is concerned.But now the time has come for proffesionals to take place.As far as HQ is concerned please he can keep it in timbuktu as far as I am concerned as long as they function out of it.They should keep it in bangalore as the NCA is based there.Also not just ceo but they should have a proffesional seceratary and a full time manager.Also i would like to see them telecast domestic matches,if nothing else highlights of matches.As far as SG form is concerned w ehave discussed about it enough.

    By Blogger bulchee, at 03:27  

  • Yo PP.
    This is grossly unfair on you being so nit picky on BCCI and whatever they say to media. The media and particularly you, have time and again distorted their best of intentions and poke fun!

    The BCCI should sue you and demand royalties for using their material!
    Shouldn't some of these characters be in the running for Oscars? I don't know how they are able to say all this with a straight face again and again :-)

    Nothing is going to change at BCCI but at the end of a long day, I get much needed R&R.....

    By Blogger BakWaas, at 05:34  

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