The Talented Mr Jaitley

In ‘Breaking News’ just now, Arun Jaitley tells NDTV, among a lot of other stuff that would win top honors at any stand-up competition, that “The administration of cricket in India has been good”.

Mr Jaitley, of course, has been administering cricket in the national capital since around the time Sachin Tendulkar made his debut (or so it seems). And doing such a bang up job of it that as far back as 2006, Virender Sehwag, other senior team mates, and even the Delhi coach were talking of running away.

Three years later, this happened.

Oh hell, why go on? Here is a post that chronicles just how good the administration of cricket has been on his watch.

Then there is of course his sterling fight against maladministration within the BCCI. Like the time his then boss Sharad Pawar allowed N Srinivasan to buy a franchise, and Jaitley raised the flag of protest. Oh he didn’t? My bad.

Or like the time, six months after that initial act, when the rules of the BCCI were rewritten to make Srinivasan’s purchase of a franchise legal. Jaitley — among other things, a lawyer — must have pointed out that such an act was both unconstitutional and illegal, yes? He did not? Oh, ouch, my bad again.

No, seriously, why would he raise his voice? By staying silent, he paved the way for yet another constitutional amendment (Seriously, the BCCI constitution, in the original, must now resemble a patchwork quilt, with amendments written on post its and stuck anywhere there is some space handy). This one, in September 2012, quietly did away with the rule that the seat of president of the BCCI should be given to the four zones in turn.

By rights, once South in the presence of Srinivasan had his turn (including a second term, also facilitated by another amendment at the same time), it would have been the turn of East Zone. But Jaitley needed a quid for the many quos he had conferred on Srinivasan — and this was it, an amendment that paved the way for his becoming BCCI boss in either 2013 or, if Srinivasan won a second term, at least in 2014.

In passing, here is a scary thought: A Sehwag could once — no, twice — threaten to run away from Delhi rather than suffer Jaitley’s mismanagement. If Jaitley becomes BCCI boss, just where the heck is there to run to? Pakistan?

3 thoughts on “The Talented Mr Jaitley

  1. This was one man who I thought was more administrator than a politician. But in a position where he had to be purely an administrator, he has shown that he is more politician than an administrator.

    After this NSrinivasan-IPL fiasco, I have lost a lot of respect I used to have for this man. I thought he would be one person who will deal with this issue with a firm hand. But history, as you have rightly pointed out, suggests something else.

  2. The whole fixing/betting saga since mid-May has led to a strong feeling of hopelessness. I think that if India produces a strong performances in the soon to start CT, a lot of crap that can be brushed under the carpet… will be.

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