Wednesday, July 6

oye BCCI

I suppose its good I find myself with so many words to choose from. Except its not. I am dismayed, annoyed, frustrated, ashamed and incensed. All at the same time.

As if it was not enough that the Indian Board more or less thrives on machinations within the (dis)administration. Or that nothing matters more to the powers that be than power. Or that these powers have no accountability, and no one to question how they run the body like its their own kingdom. Nope, thats not enough. One has, of course, to live with the fact that the Indian Board is hell bent on making an ass of itself in the international arena, scripting the newest chapter in the Ganguly-ban story.

When will these power games stop? Because thats all this is about- showing everybody how much clout India has in the world game. What clout is this, that is based on such churlish behaviour? What influence is it, that needs to flex its muscles like a school bully?

You are a cricket Board, your responsibility lies to your players, the followers of the game in your region and, above all, to the game itself. Is this the way you choose to uphold the spirit of the game, by laughing in the face of its laws? This blatant attempt to show the world your strength serves aught but to belittle the very game you wish so desperately to control.

And please, do not demean our intelligence by telling us that you are doing the 'right' thing by standing behind, and beside, your captain. This is not a personal attack, that he needs you to fight alongside him. This is not a slur on his character that he requires you to help him erase. It is a law of the game he plays, the very law that you are meant to be loyal to. So don't even try to mask your disloyalty with misguided solidarity.

Don't, because you will only sicken me further.

my previous thought on this, when it first happened.


worma said...

Akr, I do realise that this is showing BCCI as the arm twisting bully, which I guess they don't care too much about. But tell me, how/why do you think not complaining about the ban is upholding the spirit of the game ? Here are some questions (even I dont know most of these answers, which is why I dont know if BCCI are wrong to complain, do you ?) :

1) Do you know what is the BCCI complain about the ban ? Is it the ban itself, or the number of matches for which it is done ? Or the process through which the punishment was derived ?

2) Do you know if there is a fixed process through which such punishments are decided ? Like x minutes of delay in overs means y number of matches ban for the captain ? To me this looks very random, therefore scope for feeling cheated ?

3) Do you think this rule of delayed overs = captain banned is followed religiously in ALL the matches by all the referees (I know recently smith, inzy are banned, but no-one before Ganguly ban, looks like ICC trying to show fair play after ganguly ban ?) I read recently that Felming, Ponting have been regularily late in their overs during Aus-Nz series. No bans heard of ?

4) If the rules of delay = ban are so straight forward, why do we need to look up at the match referee each time ? We just need a (stop)clock and calculator to decide ban on each matches, right ? Referee comes in to count the non-intentional delays etc etc like drinks break, injury breaks etc ? But even those can be adjusted in the stop watch. What else does the referee take into account ? Humid conditions leading to bowler delays etc ? Non objective factors ? Do you know what all ? Is it then dependent on the 'person' that the match referee is ? Isn't that already grounds for complaint ?

So, its not that simple, as far as I can see. Note, I know BCCI does a lot of stupid, mindless things, and I would be very happy to see them replaced by a professional body. That does not mean I would automatically start deriding them for each and every action they take ! (e.g. they've appointed Wright, Chappel, Leipus, Gregory etc also....for whatever reason I dont care....those were good jobs)

Ashwin Ramachandran said...

I agree with akr. This kind of blatant "up-yours" bullying is consistent with Jagmohan Dalmiya's dictatorship. Ganguly has had umpteen warnings in the past and the issue has been talked about numerous times. Agreed, that a captain should not be held completely responsible. But the buck has to stop somewhere and ultimately the captain is responsible for field settings and on-field strategy. Its the nature of the game and most captains adhere to the rule. Cricket is a long enough game and can do without extensive delays. BCCI should lay off and get on with it...and so should Ganguly.

akr said...

- They are going after the ban itself. They feel it is unwarranted.

- There is no direct formula regarding over rate/bans (thank god). A slow over rate per se does not mean a ban. It calls for a warning/fine. However, repeated offences within a time period (12 months) mean that a level 1 offence is upgraded to level 2, and then to 3. Increasing levels of offence then justify a ban.

-well if the ICC's fault is that Ganguly is the first, then they are not at fault at all. someone had to be the first, and there's no need for us to go on a victimisation trip just because of that. And, Ganguly is surely one captain who does this (slow over rates) most, and most often.

- as regards your 4th point (the "person" the match referee is), I really do not know what to say. These are officials appointed to be objective. If the match referee being a human being- and not a robot-is 'already grounds for complaint', one cannot have any regulation in anything.

And do remember, this issue has gone through the process of appeals. The ban was appealed against, the decision was reiterated. What here, exactly, calls for deriding the whole process by threatening arbitration?

Lastly, re: the spirit of the game.
how/why do you think not complaining about the ban is upholding the spirit of the game

I think abiding by the laws that are set out to uphold the spirit of the game, is displaying your solidarity with the laws, and thus with that spirit. Therefore, complaining about a decision that has already been through the set procedures for redressal is, in effect, indicating that you care two hoots for the spirit of the game.

I find Anand Vasu has articulated these thoughts with more facts thrown in, maybe a little more what you are looking for.

ps- I do not automatically deride the BCCI. (I suppose they need to be commended for their steps in the coaching area, though one would think they are required to do that) Anyhow, I do believe what I wrote about this particular issue. I think that this is an extension of how the Board is essentially power obsessed.


worma said...

Ashwin, first of all, lets keep Ganguly out of it. I dont think he has shown enough signs of 'not getting on' with it.

So lets come back to BCCI. Akr, I have read Anand Vasu, and the process of level1, level 2 etc that you articulated above. I brought up those questions despite that article.

1) He says 'it is believed that the India board is now contending the letter of law...'regarding the latest. I dont know how its possible to argue with the ban per se if Ganguly has served 2 ODIs. Is BCCI that stupid not to realise this plain fact that its easier to challenge the number of matches rather than ban itself (and lets not have a blanket 'yes they are stupid' here...we know its not that simple)

2) Anyway, about that level 1 level 2 thing....I still dont know (and have no way of knowing, maybe Anand Vasu can tell) if there is any law about level1 = x match ban etc ?? If that is so then the other question comes..

3) Was Ganguly charged directly under level 3 ? Is it defined that level 3 = 6 match ban ?

4) Were Smith and Jaysurya chared under same level ? Why less number of matches banned for them ? If they were charged at a lower level, then why wasnt Ganguly charged similar ? If Ganguly's case was of upgrade from level 2 to 3 (or 1 to 2 whatever) then why wasnt he banned earlier when he was on lower level itself ? (as we know Smith, Inzy were banned at lower levels) ?

5) So my big point is that there is no consistency in this whole thing. Frankly, I dont see any fairness in match refereeing in cricket. It seems to be biased against India based on circumstantial evidences we have (and no big conspiracy theories behind it). Whether it was Sachin's ball tampering (when in the very next week Fleming got away with the same act), or Mike Deniss affair, or Clive Loyd's getting away with statements against Ganguly (when its against the ICC rules to speak to media about the decision). I'm sure if ganguly had as much as uttered a single word regarding the Loyd issue, he would have been severly reprimanded by ICC, and would have been the first one to be treated thus. Why wasnt Loyd the first match referee to be hauled up by ICC for breaking code of conduct ?

When I said it depends on the 'person' the match referee is, I meant that the rules are not objective enough (unlike umpiring rules, which we all know, so we know whether umpire was right or wrong..doesnt mean he was biased...just wrong). I dont agree that with human being as referee there cannot be regulation in anything. Why not define rules more objectively ? Unless we see the rules being applied more consistently, and feel the rules to be transparent and objective enough, we keep on complaining. And yes, life goes on. As it goes on despite a Steve Bucknor against India (another offcial strongly backed by ICC, appointed to be objective etc etc)

worma said...

Eng bowling against Aus...running late on overs..commentators(on bbc radio) saying there is only 'financial penalty' for being late. Don't know how (this is the kind of confusion I am talking about!). But would be interesting to see what level penalty Vaugn is charged with. Also mentioned that Ponting had been repeatedly late in the Natwest series. Wonder how late he was, why no mention of it at all !

Did you watch the games on tv ? Any idea how late he was, did anyone mention it ? Also, from earlier hints in articles, I wonder if the commentary/telecast team has any role in pointing out such issues to referee ?? If that is the case, its really absurd ! I remember many reports mentioning that Sachin's case of 'ball tampering' was brought to referee's notice by television team ! How's that for regulations !!

shakester said...

The television team supplelments the material the referee has to opine on any issue. He, to my knowledge, des not watch the game on tv with commentary. Naturally, what the production unit broadcasts is what he sees, but I dont suppose that can be construed as influencing his thoughts.

As for the rest of your queries, I really wish i had more time respond to them, worma. No, there is no 'formula' that equates either time exceeded to offence levels or offence levels to bans. Ganguly was banned earlier as well, and he went to an appeal there as well if you remember. If I am not mistaken he had 4 offences within a 12 month period- surely, that is too much. Could you think of a mathematical formula that would be acceptable to all and not seen as too constrictive? might be a start...

The Clive Loyd talking to media thing was absurd, I agree, but not related to this. I don't thikn we need to go into the India ia a victim of prejudice thing here. Looking purely at this case, Ibelieve that Ganguly deserves what he has been given. The BCCI is challenging this decision, which to me smacks less of their desire for justice and more for power-play. It really is that simple from where I am.

As for the Natwest series, I am fairly certain that none of the matches finished substantially later than they should have. A captain taking his time in the field, and a captain taking so much time that the schedule for the match goes haywire are different things...

phew. gotta run.

worma said...

Akr, I know referees dont hear the commentators. When I mentioned that, I meant that the telecast team actually brought the Sachin ball tampering incidence to the notice of referee 'by talking to him in person' !! Yes this was highlighted in all reports at that time. Check it out, if possible from archives somewhere.

Anyway, lets have this some other time...

shakester said...

awrighty worma
potatoes and potahtos, this one.

MY last point- this was never about the objectivity / viability / success of Match referees in general. It was questioning the motives of the BCCI in this whole business.