Not just a night watchman: a commentary on the governance of BCCI under CoA
Vinod Rai’sNot just a night watchman: my sleeves in the BCCI’ is a transparent commentary on the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the direction of the Committee of Administrators (CoA). It highlights little-known aspects of a most critical phase of Indian cricket when many veteran administrators received cricket administration courses in the country.
“There was a lot of misinformation about our work. We were given the mandate to implement the recommendations of the Supreme Court and at the end of our mandate, there were only two of us left on the CoA. We have been clear in our determination to ensure that the Constitution is implemented even if three states disagree. My job was to carry the mandate and order to run the administration. To set a pattern,” Rai said sports star.
Rai devotes a chapter to the Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli episode which left Indian cricket in turmoil. Kumble, who was considered the best man to take India forward, left under very unfortunate circumstances. Known for his dignified demeanor, Kumble chose to leave rather than create an unpleasant atmosphere in the locker room. The CoA had to deal with the coach-captain showdown in both men’s and women’s cricket.
READ: Anil Kumble felt he was treated ‘unfairly’ in 2017, Vinod Rai writes in his book
The most shocking aspect was that Kumble was handed a one-year contract, even though his predecessor, Ravi Shastri, had spent two years in the role. The Indian team was due to participate in the 2017 Champions Trophy and travel to the West Indies right after the tournament. Kumble was widely considered ideal to lead the Indian team, given his stature in international cricket.
Strangely, Kumble was never made aware that Kohli was having issues with his way of functioning. “A deluge of opinions appeared in the media,” Rai wrote. “The CoA had been unanimous in believing that Kumble had a legendary record as a cricketer, as one of the most successful bowlers of all time. He had also guided the team to remarkable victories over the course of the year he was a manager. He was a sensible coach and a brilliant strategist for the team. However, despite his credentials and track record, the CoA was legally and procedurally crippled in allowing an extension by simply making a ruling voiding the clauses. contractual.
Rai also pointed out how he had discussions with Sachin Tendulkar, a cricket advisory board member with VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, and asked him to bring about a rapprochement between the captain and the coach. Tendulkar, according to Rai, said the CAC would talk to Kumble and Kohli and determine the “nature of the dissonance.”
The CAC, in fact, decided to recommend Kumble’s reappointment. But that never happened because Kumble opted out.
On Kumble’s resignation letter, Rai wrote, “It was vintage Kumble – mature, diplomatic and a thoroughbred professional. A legend in its own right. Even though Rai said sports star he did not speak to Kumble at any time about this controversy. He said in the book that the coach made the decision after learning that some team members had doubts about his approach as a coach.
“I haven’t spoken with Kumble. He has a tall stature and I couldn’t have convinced him because he would have turned around and asked me what my position was. Suppose we gave an extension what was the guarantee that the harmony of the team would not have been disturbed. Maybe someone went to court to embarrass us. I couldn’t have lectured him. The CAC could have. But let me tell you, I have tremendous empathy for Kumble. He deserved much, much better. Once the episode was over, I spoke to him and I must say that his injury was justified. But please tell me how it could have been handled better or differently.
“The BCCI”, speaking of his experience, said Rai, “had to change its approach and make the administration centered on the cricketer. We must realize the fact that the BCCI is rich thanks to the cricketers who play cricket well. The players are popular and it is thanks to them that the media is attracted to cricket. BCCI generates huge income and I wanted to see that the players are well taken care of as well as the public who are the most important stakeholders.
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On player contracts, the book, published by Rupa, details how the CoA reworked it in 2017. “It was shocking that the contracts had not been reviewed since 2011. Our players are very entrenched and I have to Appreciate that Dhoni and Virat tackled this by wanting to encourage Grade B and C players by giving them more money.Also I have to say there is no star culture in this lot despite the huge public adulation for them. I never felt any of the players trying to go overboard. I was however shocked to know that efforts were not made to fix the workload of players – engaged for 272 days a year.
Rai admitted: “A rather unusual step had been taken by BCCI in appointing Dhoni as a mentor towards the end of India’s England tour…..perhaps his presence in team management or in the dressing room would have could be effectively used…. If Dhoni was the epitome of calm on the pitch, Kohli was the image of aggression and passion. This model was ideal for Indian cricket and was to be adopted as a model.
He praised the Indian cricketers for their commitment. “This is a fearless and courageous group who will not accept any foolishness from anyone including cricket administrators. These cricketers are no longer at the mercy of BCCI or any cricket administrator. In the “Together, the objective of the Lodha reforms is to put the administration of cricket in the hands of former cricketers. With all the annoyance displayed by the Court at its last three hearings, the BCCI had still not thought it prudent to step back from its arrogant and aggressive stance and accept the reform package.
He was proud of the introduction of the North Eastern states as well as Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Pondicherry into the first class system. “I think every state should have the opportunity to compete. We have to provide them with the necessary infrastructure and we have helped them by giving them three guest players. To those who have laughed at their low standards, I would ask if every team promoted by ICC is strong enough to take on the big nations. We were keen to develop Indian cricket by giving everyone a fair platform to play.
READ: Navigating through turbulent times – a timeline of CoA’s bumpy ride
Rai left with regret that the CoA could not do women’s cricket justice. “I think we could have done a lot for women’s cricket. We could also have given players a decent academy than we have in Bangalore. Rai continued his association with the game. “My love for cricket dates back to when Polly Umrigar made the news. I also love the T20 format and marvel at the seamless way our players switch from format to format Our team is second to none and the CoA has helped them set new benchmarks.