Tuesday, August 21, 2007

ICL vs BCCI - The game has finally begun!

So, finally the much awaited news has made its place from TV to tea-time discussions; and all the animosity between BCCI and Kapil Dev has come to fore in its dirtiest possible form. I wonder, is there anything, which money could not control?

Thankfully, the answer is "YES". Still a few people are driven by the simplicity of their heart and do not mind accepting it. As Madal Lal said, "BCCI could not go dirtier than this.... they stopped my pension because I joined ICL. I was getting that pension for being a part of the national cricket team, which won India, its first and till now only, World Cup. What do they expect me to do... I too have my own needs... I too need a 'Job'. I have joined ICL, since it has given me a job... and bring one person, who could prove that ICL would not promote good cricket in India and I would leave it".

Of course, business men will do the business and cricket will make its place from in between. This is what ICL might do in India, as Kerry Packer did in Australia. Now lets see, if Kapil Dev and his boys can change the face of Indian cricket... as Packerism did for the international cricket. These two incidents are so similar to each other. I doubt if any such analogy has ever appeared in any two great events in the world.

Coming back to BCCI... If cricket is a religion in India, then BCCI has certainly evolved as a 'math', sitting on a heap of money, as large as beyond expectations for many. Just like, no one knows what happens with the donations worth lakhs collected at some major temples of the country, no one knows, how much of the BCCI's earnings is spent on the 'actual' development of cricket in this country.

There should never be anything like 'ultimate' in any country; especially, in the one like ours, where corruption has pervaded through the integrity of the commonest man. As my friend says, there should always be a scope for parallel system - parallel government, parallel education system and now parallel sports boards.

And why should not the common man of India, be allowed to watch the best cricket talent from his country. What difference it creates, if the game is under the head of ICL and not BCCI? The diamonds of BCCI have already shown their worth in the last world-cup... now we need a break. We have got just too tired, seeing models performing on the cricket ground.. we do not want to know, who drinks which health drink or drives which car. For this we have authentic market reports to rely on. We want cricket and committed cricketers.

And of course, this is the reason, why ICL has succeeded in collecting so many young and old cricketers. What can be the mentality of a young and fresh player, who has joined ICL, knowing that he will never get the change of getting into the national team, after signing the contract of ICL. It is indeed shameful for BCCI and an eye-opener for our dear players, who are living like dogs, with their mouths covered with an iron-grill, under the shade of BCCI.

Why players like Sachin Tendulkar can not come and join ICL, even if it ends his prospects at BCCI. Sachin's stature is big enough to get any kind of support from BCCI. He has already earned excess money and does not need to prove his worth, any more. Now.. its time to give something back to the country and the game, which has given you everything. And... of course, no one could deny the fact that even big players like Tendulkar and Dravid get a serious battering from BCCI, quite often. Why so?

Why BCCI has become the oxygen for cricket in India? I know so many players in my city, who have performed quite well in Ranji trophy and under-19 level. Nearly, three months back.. a cricketer had committed suicide in Kanpur, since he was not able to make it to the national team... even after performing awesomely well in under-19 level and also representing India at an international platform as the captain. His family members were forcing him to change his stream and look for some suitable job.

Why these players never got the chance to show their talent? Today, when somewhere someone is giving them a platform, why to stop them then? Its wrong..

As Madan Lal or Kapil Dev said that majority of players in India want to play because they love the game.. among them, only those few get the chance, who have any kind of influence over the selectors. After all, at the end of the day, a sportsman also need a good diet, a good living, future security and peace of mind.. if rich organisations like BCCI could not support the living of some 200 cricket players in a country, what is the purpose of their existence? After playing for so many years, if a player does not know, from where he is going to sustain himself at an age of 50, he would never encourage his children to become a sportsman.

Indian people are already too indifferent towards taking sports as career. It can be a source of recreation for them, that too to an extent, where it does not disturb their academics. This is the reason, why we are not getting good players in any of the games... and those, who come have to keep themselves hanging between passion and money.

Things are changing in several fields. But in case of sports, i do not think, even this much is happening. Thanks to films like Iqbal and Chak De. At least, somewhere it rekindles some dying emotions in some crazy people.

I wish, the brouhaha behind ICL does not settle so easily. It actually root out the dominance of BCCI from India cricket, for ever. Searching cricketers would not be a difficult task... at least, in a country, where cricket is played, watched and talked in every lane and heart. I know we have too many dark horses.

A very apt line from the movie, Chak De - "team banane ke liye takat nahi, niyat chahiye".

The game has begun.. just wait and watch.