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Sight Screen

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A+ for D

So Jaggu Dalmiya has won again -- his 12th successive year as CAB president.
Abhinav, in response to your question, will try for the abridged version here.
I thought the wake up and smell the coffee moment for Indian cricket administration was when NKP Salve was famously denied passes to the Lord's enclosure for the 1983 World Cup final, despite India being in the climactic game.
That slight spurred India into flexing its muscle and getting the rights to host the next WC, which in turn brought Reliance (a symbol of big money) into the picture.
What should rank, IMHO, on top of Dalmiya's list of accomplishments is that he (and Bindra, the then president) were the first to realize that money equals muscle; they pulled out all stops to ensure that Indian cricket became lucrative.
So if today, the BCCI is sitting on the sort of money most corporates would envy (money, incidentally, that ensures the administration can spend as much as it wants to keep the game healthy -- you only need to look at the West Indies, for instance, to see what lack of real money can do to the game), Dalmiya deserves enormous credit for it.
The single biggest con? Ever since he fell out with Bindra over the issue of the ICC president's post (a schism very cleverly engineered by the ICC honchos themselves, in pursuit of a divide and rule policy), Dalmiya's single point agenda has been control -- iron control, no matter how it is achieved.
In the process, cronyism (the Rungtas are one example, hardly the only one), politicking (every BCCI election of late is an example), politicians getting into cricket administration, corruption (vote for my faction and you get big games; vote against me, I'll stick you with duds that will cause you losses) and mismanagement (if you are a control freak, you don't want professionals in the system, because such people tend to do what is right, not what you want) became rampant.
Does that serve, for an answer? (Like I said, this is the short version -- there are smaller JD achievements, and minuses, but these two would be the top of the pops).


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