Johannesburg – I would have loved it if Cricket SA’s president, Chris Nenzani, had stood up and extended his middle finger in the direction of Narayanaswami Srinivasan, his counterpart at the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
“Stuff you Srini, India may be the most financially powerful cricket nation, but that doesn’t mean you tell us what to do. You can take this tour by India and shove it,” Nenzani should have said.
What right do Srinivasan and his cronies have to tell Cricket SA who they can hire as chief executive? Then Srinivasan and the BCCI demand an investigation into Haroon Lorgat’s role in a document published by the International Cricket Council’s former legal adviser, David Becker, in which he outlined the BCCI’s bullying tactics when negotiating at ICC level.
Becker has said he made the claims in his personal capacity and neither Lorgat nor CSA knew anything about what he wrote. This is the same BCCI which was admonished by India’s Supreme Court, which stated recently that “something is seriously wrong with the apex body controlling cricket”.
It is also the same BCCI to which the rest of the cricket world is forced to cower. Want to make money? Then you’d best ensure you keep the BCCI “sweet”, as they might say on the East Rand – just ask Cricket Australia, the England Cricket Board, the Sri Lankans; heck, ask the ICC. The BCCI really deserves to be shown the middle finger.
The rest of us – media, public – can go ahead and do that, but Nenzani and Cricket SA can’t. They don’t live in an idealistic world where standing up for yourself in the face of a bully will bring you what you want.
In the real world, money talks, and CSA – as a result of hosting a shorter tour by India – will have R200 million less in the coffers. No tour at all and the approximately R140m they will make from the shortened tour would have gone too.
That’s real life.
It’s one thing for the public to applaud CSA when they appointed Lorgat in the face of “concerns” from the BCCI, but then you have to understand that CSA also knew the BCCI would get angry.
Knowing that, was it irresponsible in appointing Lorgat? Or has CSA done the world a favour in publicly showing up the BCCI, something no other national board has done?
Expecting CSA to have shown the BCCI the middle finger is unrealistic. Lorgat’s suspension/withdrawal/forced leave is the price CSA has to pay for making what it believed was the right appointment for South African cricket after a protracted period of administrative mayhem.
The short-term consequences include a reduced tour by cricket’s most powerful nation. However, in the long-term, world cricket may benefit from this exposure.