Cricket fans in India are in the dumps. India, supposedly one of the hot contendors to win the ICC Twenty20 World Championship were eliminated without entering the semi-finals. Today even as we watch the finals between two teams -Sri Lanka and Pakistan-who deserved to be there more than the Indians did, we can’t help asking ourselves: What went wrong?
Where did the defending champions- who won the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship so gloriously in 2007 – go wrong? Every fan has his/her own theory. I think with the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Indian cricket has begun to suffer due to a strong conflict of interest. It is true that the IPL was very demanding on the players. Press reports abound with stories of injuries to Indian players. Yet other countries also had players in the IPL.
If someone is not fully fit and chooses to play on , they are doing a great diservice to the country. As much disservice as those who select them. N. Srinivasan is the Secretary of the BCCI and the owner of the Chennai Super Kings. He was the one who “warned” the Indian coach about speaking out against the IPL. Kris Srikkanth is the Chairman of the Indian selection committee and the brand ambassador for the Chennai Super Kings. He has chosen M. Vijay and S. Bhadrinath, both from Tamilnadu to the Indian team to tour the west Indies. Can they ask M. S. Dhoni or Suresh Raina to take a break and miss a few IPL matches to be in better fitness for the World Chamionship? Dhoni who could do no wrong, three years ago seemed to be doing everything wrong this time around.
As the IPL becomes more popular and makes the players far richer than they would be by playing for their country, the conflict of interest becomes a factor that cannot be ignored.
Effective organisations take great care to make sure they minimize the possibility of conflicts of interest. In the BCCI, it seems to work the other way.