Narendra Modi has taken over the reins of the Gujarat Cricket Association and, in trademark fashion, hit the ground running.
“There is much to do in cricket world except playing the game by ball and bat in the field,” Modi said.
“I will sit with co-members of GCA to form a blueprint of development of cricket, how to give it a professional touch, development of cricket by an integrated approach and attracting youths towards sports by using the popularity of Cricket,” he further said.
Ho-kay! We are all agreed that this is a good thing.
“It is a very good development. The CM will now be closer to the issues of cricket in the state and will give impetus to cricketing activities. I congratulate him and wish him luck in his new endeavour,” said Chirayu Amin, BCCI vice-president and BCA president.
When asked how Modi as GCA president would help the game, Amin said, “Any issues involving state agencies will get quick clearance.”
The reporter left the logical next question unasked: Name one such issue, please, that currently does not get quick clearance?
Before you read into this another ‘anti-Modi rant’ from a ‘pseudo-secular pseudo-intellectual or pseudo-secular-intellectual’ or whatever, my grouse, and question, is this: have you ever wondered why every damned politician in the country is in recent years hell bent on improving the state of Indian cricket? [At this rate, pretty soon election manifestos of the various political parties will have a section on the game].
Ask the question and the answer you will get is, cricket is important to so many people, it is a religion in this country, it provides amusement to so many of us, so of course it is the politician’s duty to do what he can for the betterment of the sport…
The answer you won’t get is, cricket generates as much money as the top industries do; there is no way I can wiggle into top positions in top industries but heck, I can sneak into cricket administration quite easily, and once there, there is tons of money to be made. By me. For me.
Hence, cricket is now a full-fledged battleground for not just ambitious individuals but for political parties [remember the problems Lalit Modi — who, incidentally, is the only individual to merit an entry in this wiki list of cricket associations, and how cool is that? — faced after Vasundhara Raje lost Rajasthan?]:
GCA was till now controlled by Congress leader Narhari Amin. But Modi’s Home Minister Amit Shah was engaged in long drawn political as well as legal battle with Amin group for the last one and half year for the control of cash rich GCA.
Recently, the BJP had managed to win over the Central Board of Cricket of Ahmedabad (CBCA) which is a part of GCA from the Congress group, after which Amin had resigned.
See? The BJP and the Congress, as represented by Amit Shah and Narhari Amin, are so hell bent on improving cricket in Gujarat, they have been fighting a legal and political battle for a year and a half now — and here you were thinking politicians didn’t care.
So anyway, since we have reached a point where you can’t keep politicians out of cricket even with a court injunction, I have a suggestion: the BCCI should just amend its constitution to say that the chief minister of each state automatically becomes the head of the respective cricket association.
Why not? At the least, it puts and end to these power struggles and year-long legal battles and such. And as the BCCI veep pointed out, all issues relating to the state will get single window clearance.
And who knows? Maybe Muthuvel Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu and Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan in Kerala have bright ideas on all the things you can do in the cricket world outside of playing with a bat and ball.
And how about Mayawati as head of the UPCA? At the least, Lucknow will get beautified with statues of her with bat in hand, and what a boost that will be for the development of cricket in the state!
Here’s Ramesh Srivats on Modi & Modi, Inc.