Bihar does not have a recognized cricket association. Or rather, it has two — the Cricket Association of Bihar whose head, last heard from, was Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Association of Biharl Cricket, floated by cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad. The BCCI dissolved the CAB back in 2008 for ‘financial irregularities’ (which is a bit rich, because if held to that standard the BCCI would need to dissolve all its state associations, and then its own self); since then, the issue has been dragging its feet through various courts.
The shenanigans of the rival associations had led to an exasperated Supreme Court declaring — hoping? wishing? — in November 2012 that cricket should not become a ball in the game of political football. To which pious thought we all say Amen.
But that said — how ironic is it that it is this dysfunctional body that today flies the flag for probity, and successfully challenges in court the constitutional irregularities committed by the BCCI in the constitution of its “inquiry committee” to probe gambling and spot-fixing in the IPL.
Read that again, slowly: Bihar, led by Lalu Yadav, is now the outpost of probity for the BCCI.
Look now at who the BCA has to tilt against: A BCCI hierarchy that contains among others, Rajiv Shukla, among the best connected of Congress politicians; a raft of other well-connected politicians including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Modi, to name just two.
And Arun Jaitley — the BCCI’s president-in-waiting but more to the point, arguably one of the sharpest legal minds in the country and the national law-minister-in-waiting.
Does it not seem slightly unreal that none of these luminaries saw that the appointment of the inquiry committee, which they all endorsed either actively, or passively by silent acceptance, is “illegal”?
When you collude in illegality, what does that make you?
One tangential point — and this has been made by IS Bindra, who to his credit has despite being part of the system been routinely, vociferously, calling out the serial wrongdoings of the current regime:
Jagmohan Dalmiya, the “interim president”, is as unconstitutional an appointment as was the inquiry committee.
Here is a question I’d love to hear Jaitley speak to: Per the BCCI constitution, is it not the vice-president who assumes the duties of the president when the latter is for whatever reason unable to perform his duties? If yes, why was there a need to bring in someone from outside the chain of command to fill the vacuum created when N Srinivasan had to step down?
PostScript: My column on Yahoo today, about how the BCCI has historically rigged inquiry committees to get itself out of trouble.