There are people in public life who are without shame. N. Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, appears to be one of them. The very fact that the Supreme Court had to tell him that if he did not quit, he would be removed by the apex court is proof of Mr Srinivasan’s thick hide. Mr Srinivasan has been involved in a series of controversies, not the least of which are the charges of corruption concerning the Indian Premier League. Any person with a modicum of self-respect would have stepped down on his own. But Mr Srinivasan obviously sees no conflict of interest between his remaining as president of the BCCI and a free and fair investigation of the charges. The judges of the Supreme Court found his lack of decency and self-respect “nauseating’’. The investigations follow a report of indictment presented by the Mudgal committee. Other than this report, there exist the contents of an envelope submitted by one of the members of the panel; the contents of the envelope are still not in the public domain. But what is there in the public domain is enough to shame anyone with the obvious exception of Mr Srinivasan.
The matter is important because it concerns the game of cricket, which is by far the most popular sport in the country. The BCCI may be a private body but it is accountable to the millions of people who watch and support the game of cricket. It is this fan-following that has enabled the BCCI to become one of the richest sports bodies in the world. But in recent years, men like Mr Srinivasan, who have been responsible for the administration of cricket in India, have shown scant regard for transparency and rectitude. Under this lax dispensation, corruption has thrived, bringing ignominy to the game of cricket. Not only officials but even players are allegedly involved in betting and spot-fixing. The administration of cricket is a continuing scandal. This situation prompted The Telegraph in these columns to suggest, against the grain of the paper’s anti-nationalization stance, that the BCCI should be taken over by the government. The Supreme Court’s strictures against Mr Srinivasan are a clear indicator that the BCCI cannot be allowed to be run in the manner it has been. It is obvious that Mr Srinivasan is surrounded by cronies and that is one reason why he has been allowed to continue in office. The BCCI is in a mess and it will require a Hercules to clean the stable.