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|Political Stranglehold on Indian Cricket|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Editor|
|Wednesday, 18 March 2009|
The number of politicians in key positions in Indian cricket’s governing bodies has ensured that politics and politicians have a stranglehold on cricket in India. Take for instance the way that the Indian Premier League and the fate of players and matches is being held hostage by politicians who are making the IPL officials dance to their tunes with there being no resolution in sight still.
It is perhaps the fact that cricket is of such tremendous importance in India, is so visible and such a big money spinner that attracts political heavyweights to it. The biggest example of politicians not just dabbling in but also controlling Indian cricket is Mr. Sharad Pawar, who is currently a union minister with the central government. He was the former president of the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), and current Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president and is one of the most if not the most powerful entities in Indian cricket today. He has tremendous clout in Indian cricket. In fact, as reported in the cricket news recently, there are 27 cricket associations in India and of them as many as 19 are headed by politicians or people closely associated with them. Therefore the long shadow cast by Indian politics upon Indian cricket is both undeniable and inescapable.
The list is seemingly endless: Rajeev Shukla is BCCI vice-president as well as the UPCA chief. Famous politician from Gujarat, Narhari Amin heads the Gujarat cricket association. The inimitable Lalu Prasad Yadav, Union minister for the Railways and ex chief minister of Bihar heads the Bihar Cricket Association. And these are just a few, better known examples of politicians controlling cricket.
The unfortunate fallout of this overt political control over cricket in India is that political agenda and affiliations, to say nothing of favouritisms often dictate the behaviour and the actions of the politicians that control cricket. Personal biases, political agendas are often sought to be furthered under the guise of cricket. And this is not just in matter of the selection of players; the IPL is a prime example of cricket being held hostage by politics.
However it is a point to ponder that even with these many political heavy weights in the cricketing arena, the IPL is still in limbo, the deadlock regarding dates, venues and security issues still unresolved. As of now even the many political entities in cricket have not been able to ensure light at the end of this particular IPL tunnel.
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