- Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
And this is how BCCI responds to crisis. With hypocratic self-serving short-sighted populist measures! Recap: Each player cannot endorse more than 3 products. No product can be endorsed by more than 2 players. So where does that leave the endorsement world? The shortest and the simplest answer is that it forces a lot of companies to enter into negotiations with the BCCI. So, we will see an official team TV, tape recorder, milk, cola, socks, shoes, trousers, shirt, t-shirt, car, bike, TV channel and the list is endless. The players will become puppets in the hands of their employers - BCCI and BCCI would reap huge rewards on the name of these players - spoils that will shared by the autocratic regional sarpanches. And since the player has to get the approval of the BCCI for their contract, the conclusion would be that we are in for a lot of court cases when the corrupt in BCCI block player endorsements that don't suit their interests. The rule of players not appearing for events upto 20 days prior to tournaments is equally beneficiary for BCCI - they would be available to promote BCCI sponsors.
I watched an interview of Ajay Jadeja in NDTV where he said that the players are the only people ever held accountable and no beauracrat has ever been held responsible in the history of cricket. I am not against a showcause notice sent against Sachin Tendulkar as long as the stupid VP was also issued one. But the shameless people who run BCCI have concluded that office-bearers should not give interviews. No show-cause notice. I am reasonably confident that the contributions of Sachin Tendulkar to Indian Cricket is much more than the beaurocrat VP. For all potential Indian cricketers, please take note - even Sachin Tendulkar comes second in priority to BCCI's office bearers. Times might have changed, but BCCI attitude does not. It always insults and backstabs its star performers - ask Sachin now, ask Kapil in 1984/85, ask Gundappa in 1970s.
I have no love for Greg Chappell and to see our BCCI fall at his feet is perplexing. The guy is the opposite of professionalism. If you notice, the only way he operates is through the media - silent leaks, SMS-es, e-mails. I am dumbfounded that BCCI did not censure Greg Chappell for the SMS or the NDTV leaks but sent a showcause notice to Sachin Tendulkar. Sorry to say this - 60 years after Independence, the color of the skin does continue to have an impact.
I have a doubt. Is BCCI still stuck in the age of the cold war era? Why is media exposure curtailed for all players? Maybe BCCI wants to continue the culture of media leaks as showcased by NDTV which leaked information from a source close to Chappell. Instead, please do the opposite - all cricketers are open to the media as long as it is non-exclusive and the player receives no money or benefits for talking to the media.
The world cup debacle was the right time for BCCI to interospect about its short-comings. For all those who make their money or spend time in criticizing the Indian players (including you - 'honorable' Greg Chappell) please remember that we went with the team because there were no other options. Chappell favorites like Suresh Raina or Mohammad Kaif don't have a strong case - atleast no stronger than Virender Sehwag. BCCI has taken no steps to address this issue.
At the very least, hats-off to BCCI for turning a bad situation into an opportunity for generating profits. None in the world can milk the cow as much as BCCI does. However, BCCI doesn't realize that the reason for their existence is to promote cricket, not gather cash. The game of cricket, in India is poorer for the autocratic decisions of the board.