Administrative efficiency after an in-demand game sells itself for billion is vastly over-rated.
It’s a positive strike for democracy that the elected representatives should be running the BCCI once again. The choice of Sourav Ganguly, a reliable batsman of his time, engenders optimism that what’s right for cricket and its players will be done. The wounds the game suffered by way of major hits to its image as metaphor for fairplay may have been self-inflicted as administrators indulged their offspring or “damads”.
The top court had to entrust revival of the game to a bureaucrat and a retired Indian woman cricketer as they were about the only ones who stuck to their SC-appointed-administrators’ tasks. Would you believe that Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji are to be paid Rs 3.5 crores each for holding the reins for 33 months, a princely sum a first class cricketer would not have earned in his career as match fee for sweating it out under the unforgiving sun in a test of skills against his peers!
Cricket in India is a “stinking” rich game, with a reported Rs 2,400 crore revenue surplus in 2018, about 95 per cent of which comes from the cash cow IPL. A sense of perspective is lost when riches pour in like that. Even so, it seems excessive when the suit and tie media plan executives and number crunchers are paid comparatively extravagant salaries when the Prime Minister of India gets a basic pay of Rs 1.6 lakhs per month.
Administrative efficiency after an in-demand game sells itself for billion is vastly over-rated. While CoA and BCCI associations were at loggerheads all through the interregnum, the cricketers held the Indian pennant high, winning mostly every prize in the Test arena and performing well enough in unpredictable white ball cricket. So much so, it raises the point about why so many in India line up for honorary jobs in cricket administration. But at least a Test cricketer gets to direct the game while dynasts of the political, industrial and cricket admin variety claim their share of reflected glory.