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BCCI should not come under sports ministry says Ajit Wadekar
It seems that for the richest cricket board in the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) their days of dominating Indian cricket may well be numbered, as the High Court has issued a notice to the sports ministry, BCCI and the Delhi government on a plea to bring the BCCI under the Sports ministry. Is this the end of BCCI as an independent body?

But former Cricketer Ajit Wadekar thinks that the Mumbai-based BCCI should not come under the sports ministry. “If this does happen, whatever little name that cricket has received in sports, will go down. If the government takes over, they will take their own time in functioning. It is a separate body and it should not go under the sports ministry,” Ajit Wadekar told this citizen journalist.

One cannot ignore the words of former Indian cricketer blindly, as one look at other sports organistaion, which comes under the purview of sports ministry such as hockey, football, and boxing does not draw a positive picture. The central, Delhi government, BCCI needs to come up with their response by August 14.

BCCI being the wealthy organisation it is, hardly gets scrutunised for its functioning, but the IPL spot-fixing and the betting scandal has caught them on the wrong foot, from which it might be very difficult to get out. Petitioner NGO Association for Social and Humanitarian Affairs has stated in its PIL that the sports ministry should declare BCCI as a national sports federation.

Wadekar agrees with the disappointment over the current state of affairs regarding IPL betting and spot fixing cases, in which the game has been brought to disrepute, especially BCCI and Indian cricket. Wadekar said, “Whatever is happening presently – the general public is very disappointed.” Many cricket fans all around the country has lost faith in the working of the BCCI, as such kind of things were happening right under their nose and it is hard to digest that they were completely unaware.

In spite of such things he is not for sports ministry controlling the BCCI, but suggests some things, “The BCCI should have few nominations, which would include senior cricketers into the working committee. They are the ones who are exactly aware of what is happening in cricket at present.” In this regard, the BCCI is on the right path, where they have given respected cricketers like Anil Kumble specific roles in the BCCI.

The BCCI, in spite of being involved in controversies due to their opaque functioning, it has done so much for Indian cricket and also other sports. Such facts cannot be ignored. It is understood that they make huge money, but they have also put in an effort to push other sports like football through funding, unlike the government.

If the BCCI comes under sports ministry, there are chances that various obstacles might be created, unnecessarily, as were met by Hockey India, where they had to initially withdraw the national participation of 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Indian Hockey as Sports Authority of India refused to pay their air fare. It was later compromised. What if BCCI also meets with such fate if it comes under the purview of sports ministry?

The BCCI is a well-established organisation. Cricket is doing very well under the BCCI. It goes under the government, look at the conditions of the municipality stadium, it is not good,” responds Wadekar.

The BCCI has done a wonderful job in building the best of the best infrastructure, providing best facilities and paying them good money and extra bonuses for exceptional performances. If the BCCI falls under sports ministry, such facilituies might be a thing of the past and it is Indian cricket, which might suffer.

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