The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Govt caught behind in court
- Cricket team board's, not India's: BCCI

New Delhi, Sept. 30: Er, all those flag-waving fans out there, here's a gentle reminder: Sachin and Sourav are officially playing for BCCI, not India.

The cricket board today came up with unequivocal illustrations to argue its case that it does not come under the control of the government and, hence, cannot be considered a 'state' ' a crucial element in the telecast rights legal tussle with Zee Telefilms.

The Supreme Court, too, made it clear it was unimpressed by the government's argument that the board could be defined as a state.

The five-judge bench said the board has never sought or been given recognition by the government and wanted to know how it could be called a 'state' without the Centre exercising any control over its finances, administration and team selection.

To a specific question by a judge whether the cricket squad plays for India or the board, board counsel K.K. Venugopal replied: 'If India plays England, it is a match played by the official team of BCCI and not the official team of India.

'We do not even fly the national flag nor use any national emblem in the activities of the board.'

But in some international matches, the Tricolour is flown along side the board flag.

Venugopal cited the example of the film Devdas. When the film was picked as an Indian entry for an international film festival, its selection had no official stamp of the Government of India.

He also referred to the Miss India pageants ' a private enterprise.