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BCCI’s focus on making money is killing cricket; throw out politicians from the game

After the 10 wicket debacle of the Indian team against England in the ICC T20 World Cup, one hopes that there will be some introspection in the corridors of power. The BCCI must think deeply whether the policies that it is following are yielding results or killing the game and the players.

Will any of the wise men who rule cricket in India take responsibility for the slide that we have been seeing in recent times?

Is there a lesson that India can learn from the success of teams like England and Pakistan?  Is it time to bring in fresh blood? This year, India experimented by appointing a number of captains across different bilateral T20 international series. Was this move successful or was it a failure?  The statistics of players like K.L. Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and others must be examined closely. Sunil Gavaskar has suggested some changes and his views should be given due consideration.

Further, the BCCI should realize that the players are being taxed beyond their ability. There is too much cricket being played. How much can a human body and mind endure? The daily physical stress and mental tension will finish off even super-fit players. Once or twice we have heard of players meekly raising this complaint but their half hearted protests have been brushed under the carpet. Since they are being paid huge amounts, they are being used like slaves. For the players too, the money has become an addiction. Once you have driven expensive cars, eaten only at expensive restaurants and lived in a grand manner you cannot go back to leading the life to which you were once accustomed to.

For the BCCI everything seems to be centered round money. After exiting the T20 World Cup, the Indian team will depart for New Zealand to play three ODI matches and three T20 matches to begin from November 18. Where is the time for introspection and consultation? It looks like the ignominy of the loss against England will be ignored and the story will continue as if nothing untoward has happened.

But sooner or later several aspects of the way cricket is being handled in this country must be looked into. For example the IPL is being given more importance than it deserves. The hectic schedule of matches in the IPL is physically and mentally stressful. The reason why our topmost bowler Jasprit Bumrah is now nursing an injury is because of being overused. In the T20 World Cup, while Virat Kohli scored well, Rohit Sharma, R. Ashwin and Dinesh Kartik did not perform up to expectations.

But for our power hungry administrators, the IPL is an opportunity to promote their own selfish goals. The politicians who have made inroads into the BCCI have never played cricket themselves and have no love for the game.  They are using the game to promote their own interests and their power in politics. They have brought into cricket their own methods of manipulation in which they excel in regional and national politics. Sourav Ganguly was eased out of his post because he did not bow down to political pressure.

Today a nation of more than a billion people is left disappointed because our team, which has always had the potential to win many trophies, never seems to fulfill its promise. Now a few players may be axed. But the real culprits, those who sit in air-conditioned offices and make imprudent and immature decisions, will continue to hold on to their posts and pretend that everything is alright. It is because of them that Indian cricket has reached this sorry state and may not improve in the near future. Indian cricket can improve only when politicians are thrown out of the BCCI.

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