Traces Of Nepotism In BCCI Begs The Question: When Did Cricket Become A Family Business?
In the light of Sourav Ganguly becoming the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India or the BCCI, the nation is finally celebrating the appointment of someone who truly deserves the position not because of his name or the family he belongs to but his contribution towards his country, and the game of cricket itself.
However, ESPNcricinfo recently shared a post on Twitter revealing how some of the relatives of former cricket administrators were appointed to assume offices both at national and state levels.
In the recent state board elections in 🇮🇳, several relatives of former administrators were elected to posts. These are just some of the names. pic.twitter.com/LmKFhJy1dv— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 15, 2019
Case in point Anurag Thakur, the man who is being credited for the selection of Ganguly as BCCI president after Brijesh Patel was considered to be the front-runner for the position until a day before the final call.
A former BCCI president himself, Thakur's younger brother, Arun Dhumal has been elected as the president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and the treasurer of the Indian cricket board. What makes this appointment a lot more questionable is the fact that no other candidate stood for the position of the HPCA president and Dhumal won unopposed.
Former Gujarat Chief Minister Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah is now the secretary of the Indian cricket board. What is his connection to the game of cricket? Well, Shah Jr. was coached by Gujarat's Jayendra Sehgal according to a 2015 Ahmedabad Mirror report which was published after he was appointed as the joint secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association in 2013, but that's about it.
In October 2017, a report by The Wire said that both Amit Shah and Jay Shah flouted Supreme Court's orders of maintaining a mandatory “cooling-off period,” something even Ganguly himself will have to follow and step down as the BCCI president in July 2020.
“Jay Shah has “ridden the wave of his father's dominance”, and his elevation to GCA in 2013 was smooth and the decision unchallenged,” the report says. Jay Shah was also part of the seven-member committee to analyse some contentious Lodha panel reforms which the state units were opposed to in 2017.
“Jay Shah's place in the panel is a result of the Shah dynasty's dominance in the Gujarat cricket scene,” The Wire writes.
Twitter users are asking these questions loud and clear and are calling out the unfortunate dynasty politics that overtook the game of cricket Indians love with all their heart.
Amit Shah in every Election rally "We are here to destroy Dynasty Politics"— Nенr_wно™ (@Nehr_who) October 14, 2019
After Election : Appoints Jay Shah as Secretary of BCCI
That is how it happens in India.. #veryfair 😂— wasim (@Ohwasim) October 15, 2019
Gali cricket khela hoga.— Chewy Suarez Kumar (@Chewy_Suarez_) October 15, 2019
Nepotism to nhi keh sakte.
Ironically enough, the allegations of favoritism towards family members and nepotism come just seven months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced Congress' 'dynasty politics' in his blog.
"Indians were tired of our beloved nation being in the Fragile Five, where corruption, cronyism, and nepotism made headlines instead of anything positive," he wrote.
While on the one hand, Ganguly's appointment brings a lot of joy and satisfaction to the fans of Indian cricket, the appointment of some close relatives of former officials and that too without a lot of transparency can't help but make us ask the question -- when did a game of bat and ball become a family business?