Pious intentions and utterly bona fide motives are often not adequate to achieve the desired good. What is also required is will — the ability to act on those intentions. This is a truism in all spheres of life, private and public. What is equally true is that human actions are often stalked by the shadow that falls between noble motives and incomplete deeds. There is no denying that the Supreme Court was most seriously concerned about the state of affairs in the Board of Control for Cricket in India. An inquiry and the contents of a sealed envelope put before the court by a former judge had convinced the apex court that something was rotten in the state of BCCI, especially the manner in which the most popular tournament, the Indian Premier League, was conducted. There were anecdotes and allegations circulating of mounting corruption, of attempted cover-ups, of nepotism and of conflict of interests. At the eye of the scandal was the erstwhile president of the BCCI, N. Srinivasan, who stepped down only after the Supreme Court had practically ordered him to. This initial move of the Supreme Court was welcomed by all those who follow cricket, including this paper and in these columns. The pronouncements of the court gave rise to the expectation that it would take the necessary steps to clean up the BCCI and enable it to begin on a clean slate.
Such an expectation has somewhat been belied by what the court prescribed. The thrust of what the court has decreed is aimed at improving the administration of cricket in India but the impression is that it could have done more to achieve this goal. In place of Mr Srinivasan, the court has requested Sunil Gavaskar to exercise the powers of BCCI president only in relation to IPL 2014; it has also asked Shivlal Yadav to discharge the functions of the board president in all other matters. This does not tantamount to cleaning even an innocuous stable let alone the Augean one. There is nothing that stops Mr Srinivasan from running the BCCI at one remove through Mr Yadav. Mr Gavaskar is a great cricketer and an honourable man but he has been a beneficiary of the system. Why go even to Caesar’s wife when other options are available?
The Supreme Court has also not debarred any player or team from participating in IPL 2014. This is a trifle surprising since the court aired its concern but stopped short of acting on it. The court could have, in its wisdom, stopped these two teams, the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, from playing and thus ensured that IPL 2014 was above suspicion and corruption free. It is only by bringing back a degree of rectitude can Denmark be cleaned.