“A lot of stuff (has) been spoken about match fixing..hmm..I think I would like to talk about…the BCCI; I am not particularly critical of the BCCI because I have been a part of it at least on the periphery…” thus starts Tiger Pataudi (1941-2011) in a short speech he delivered in 2010. In 2010 a big row irrupted in IPL administration (see Cricket, a tryst with destiny) taking everyone by surprise including its governing council appointed by the parent cricketing administrative body the BCCI (the board of control for cricket in India). The IPL governing council had many credible members and one of them was Tiger Pataudi. When asked, he was very honest to admit that they were not as vigilant as they could have been.
IPL, the Indian Premier League of T-20 Cricket, is not new to controversies and I have despised IPL since its inception for many things that it stood for and off late for many things it doesn’t stand for (I won’t go into the details). You can call me a hypocrite for that I have been following some individual cricketers within IPL despite my reservations about the tournament. That may not be the issue here. Oh! Hang on. May be it is.
In the following audio excerpts former India cricket captain Tiger Pataudi details his position on what BCCI should stand for and what is the way out to clean the mess IPL finds itself in today (spot-fixing allegations). He made these points in 2010 on two different occasions. I have edited and combined them to get some sense of completeness. (click on the link)
Excerpt 1: In a speech as he reminisces his friend Raj Singh Dungarpur (Audio © Mandavrai group)
Excerpt 2: In an interview on the Straight Talk programme on NewsX.
I follow individuals in the game of cricket because it is individuals who bring credibility to the game. I follow their sports irrespective of the format they play in. IPL or no IPL. It makes no difference. Individuals win you games and teams lose games collectively (this sounds awfully like a political party trying to protect its leader). Individuals lose credibility and teams restore them. It is a mysterious equation. Indian cricket was at its lowest ebb during the Hansie Cronje match fixing scandal of the late 1990s. It was individual integrity of a bunch of players who played for India (post-Cronje) that restored people’s faith in the game. Tiger Pataudi highlights that individuals could be easily misled by unknown ill-elements outside the game. He also argues for a strong transparent institution and in this case it is the BCCI.
We are individualists. In that process, we have sacrificed institutions of governance, blinded (satisfied?) by an occasional individual of substance. Isn’t this almost everything that is India?