India Insight

Shastri, Gavaskar paid to preach BCCI gospel?

Going by this Mumbai Mirror report, the world’s richest cricket board has two of the most silver-tongued player-turned-commentators on its payroll to spread its agenda.

The report claims the Indian cricket board (BCCI) pays former captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri 3.6 crore rupees each year to defend its stance, often debatable, on controversial issues like the Decision Review System (DRS).

According to the report, no channel can broadcast an international match on Indian soil if the commentary team does not include the Mumbai duo, who have served BCCI in various capacities.

There is no denying the fact both the retired players have been quite close to BCCI administrators and served the board in various sub-committees and elsewhere.

Both Shastri and Gavaskar were influential, and paid, members of the IPL governing council, along with another former captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Cricket going global? Think again

As the cricket World Cup gets under way, the jury is out on the relevance of such a tournament in a developing region, and for a sport played seriously in only a dozen countries.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has worked hard to expand the game’s reach across the globe, but that attempt is yet to show substantial results. The popularity of the game is so limited globally that the word still means a bug to the non-cricketing world.

The primary argument is that cricket is mostly popular only in former British coloniesCRICKET/ and there is hardly any chance for the game to take the world stage, particularly when its classical format lasts for five days.

Back to the Lalit Modi saga

Lalit ModiIn India, a thin line separates bravado from infamy. In a country that swears by its Bollywood potboilers, it does not take long to turn a one-time hero into a villain.

And the perfect example is Lalit Modi — once head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league, he was first removed from his post after a tax scandal and later booted out of the cash-rich Indian cricket board.

Media reports on Thursday say the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a ‘blue alert’ against Modi, after he failed to make himself available for interrogation in the corruption allegations.