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Saturday, July 26, 2008
When the South African cricket team was banned from playing cricket in the late 1960s, it had exposed the worst effect of racism to be practised in sport. The beauty of sport is that it cuts across all barriers--linguistic, regional, colour, caste. But in this case, even sport could not play the leveller in front of heavy racism in the form of Apartheid. Ever since the South African cricket team were granted the right to play international cricket in 1992, Protean racism had long become defunct as far as cricket was concerned and we now see a Dale Steyn rubbing shoulders with a Makhaya Ntini.

Cricket has had its fair share of racism with players resorting to racist abuses with one another on the field creating an ugly picture of the gentleman's game. But the administrators of the game have been wary enough not to let such incidents go overboard to the extent of damaging the spirit of the game.

The recent form of racism is being practised by an Indian. Now do not conjure up mental pictures of a Punjabi bowler abusing a Queensland allrounder by referring to the latter's most primitive ancestors for that issue has been resolved long back. This time it is Lalit Modi, the vice-president of the BCCI and the commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the helm. The issue here is IPL's Indian rival, the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The BCCI-ICL tussle began ever since Subash Chandra approached the latter for recognition of his league. He was given the cold shoulder but Subash went on to create the league and brought in players like Lara, Cairns, Harvey, Astle etc in its ranks. The BCCI tried every attempt possible to thwart it including bringing lesser known grounds and stadia under its control. But the ICL managed to get hold of the Panchkula stadium in Chandigarh. At this moment, the BCCI realised it had had enough and decided to take on the ICL by forming the IPL. At the end of a hugely successful IPL, most ICL players are left ruing over taking the hasty decision of not waiting a bit longer.

The BCCI recently issued a notice to Piyush Chawla and VVS Laxman to not play for their English counties as they had ICL players in their ranks. This move is described as nothing less than apartheid by Harsha Bhogle in his latest Indian Express column. It would not be a surprise if the BCCI declared, one day, that Kapil Dev never played for India, given the absurdity of such a move. If the BCCI is seriously thinking of grooming youngsters like Chawla, there cannot be a better method than allow them to take part in county competitions and thereby get a feel of the conditions in other countries.

In the past, the Indian cricket's administrators have issued warnings to selectors and players to refrain from commenting on the board's matters. The BCCI would do well to realise that by indulging in such prohibitory acts, it is the game which stands to lose out in the long run.

This has nothing to do with cricket leagues. Delhi cricketer Akash Chopra is authoring a book on the life of a typical Indian cricketer in which he attempts to portray the hurdles an Indian cricketer faces at the domestic level before he enters the international arena. He also attempts to dispel the popular public opinion of cricketers as pin-up boys. The book will be launched in October.

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Property of Sheks @ 12:40 am  
  • At 9:13 pm, Anonymous prathamesh said…

    With BCCI being run by a bunch of dumbheads I wonder where indian cricket is heading..

  • At 10:02 pm, Blogger preeti rocks said…

    Indian cricket is adulterated beyond reparation. Thats the sad fact.

  • At 3:07 pm, Anonymous Sarvesh said…

    Call it the Moditva of Indian cricket.

  • At 4:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘Blissful Ignorance and Powerful Knowledge’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


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Name: Sheks
Home: Madras, TamilNadu, India
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