Cricket: Administrators are like great whites without the water

Srinivasan at a recent meeting (picture: Google)
Srinivasan at a recent meeting (picture: Google)

It is a devastating prospect to even contemplate; those “running the game” (think ICC, BCCI etc) have their wallets lined, yet “behind the scenes” it is chaotic.  Corruption investigations galore, everywhere you turn.

These top dogs try – and fail – to hide the problems they say are not there, but to the smart fans out there today, everything is in plain sight.

Take one N. Srinivasan, the ICC Chairman and BCCI President, currently under investigation for corruption.  Understanding how deep that runs is something fellow cricket writer Dennis Freedman can help you with here.

Allegations are rife within the BCCI and the Indian Premier League to the point of uncontrollable.  Yet, only this week, Srinivisan and colleague Sundar Raman – the IPL chief operating officer – were 100% cleared of all corruption and/or cheating charges that had been brought against them.

Buying into these outcomes is less than pleasing.  In fact, doing so would certainly spell danger.  With the BCCI itself having an enormous cloud of corruption and money hanging around like a grumpy elephant.  Pictures ain’t pretty.

On a different note, but the exact same principle, FIFA conducted an internal investigation on corruption within their organisation.  Football fans worldwide held their breath; it was almost not surprising to hear the result that they had cleared themselves of any wrongdoing.

BBC Sport highlighted the impact the investigation will make to football in England and Europe, giving more ultimate power to the likes of FA and UEFA.

Cricket is headed this way too.  Srinivasan’s arms extend so far beyond international cricket, including the Chennai Super Kings (who had a worth estimated at $75.13 million in 2013).  What’s ridiculous is the comprehensive Mudgal report, presented this week, slammed Srinivasan for blatantly ignoring a violation of the player code of conduct in the IPL.  Enough to make you want to run and hide and not deal with cricket’s problems.

Next dilemma is this: why is Srinivasan suspended as BCCI president, yet allowed to continue on as ICC Chairman?  It presents as baffling.

If you want something done right, be efficient.  The list of charges, statistics and other indiscretions against Srinivasan’s name is extensive.  With India coming out to Australian shores this summer, there is even more of onus to stamp out corruption.

The power of the big three has not been fully realised yet, but the stranglehold the BCCI has over world cricket is punishing – and then blindsiding those at the top.

A $42 million dollar “slap” was handed to the West Indies Cricket Board after their abandoned tour to the sub-continent.  It is an exorbitant “fee” for a few matches left behind.  That, however, is another story.

Srinivasan  was found to be “not involved with match fixing activity” and “not found to be involved in scuttling the investigations into match fixing.”  The signs have pointed to his name for so long that news becomes a red flag.  Surely this, plus his ignorance on the player code of conduct, and the fluctuation of his tenure in power, is enough to wake people up and make them see something is wrong.

Cricket was touted as “the gentleman’s game” when it was first played way back when.  It has come such a way, down twisted and jagged paths, that some elements are unrecognisable.  Anyone who’s involved tries to find some way to make the playing field swing towards their favour.  Srinivasan’s getting his way far too easily; how can he be suspended from one board, while still having a position of power in another?

The answer is incompetency.  Another avenue of the Mudgal report that investigated a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, Raj Kundra, was stopped “abruptly and without reason.”  Yet another red flag in the face of the situation.

Everywhere you look, there is a connection.  The money in question throughout some of these alleged deals is beyond comprehension.  Stand up and realise there is something so terribly wrong, and maybe something will turn.  However, former ICC CEO Malcolm Speed issued the disturbing declaration that “these bookies are never going to go away.”  Actions speak louder than words; it has never been more prevalent than sport, and in this case, cricket.


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