Sharad Pawar is a prominent Union minister
in the Indian Government and has the unenviable job of ensuring farmer welfare, food security and delivery of agricultural produce to every nook and corner of the country.
Despite the obvious need to focus full-time on such an important aspect of governance, he contested the BCCI Presidency in 2005 and won
, toppling Jagmohan Dalmiya
. He obviously had his hands full, with the TV rights imbroglio
, the Indian team's inconsistent performances
, being 'pushed' off the stage
by the victors, the Ganguly inclusion/exclusion problems
, etc. Then he aimed higher. If he could be BCCI President, why couldn't he head the ICC, given that Jagmohan Dalmiya had done it before and Percy Sonn's extended term
was coming to an end soon? He found that the ECB Chairman
, David Morgan, was in the race too.
The ICC's board met to vote on who the next President would be but the nominations committee vote result was a tie
, with no hope of a bowl-out. The ICC's board met again yesterday and there was obviously a lot
of give and take. The result is that David Morgan
will be the ICC President from 2008 to 2010 while Sharad Pawar will head the organization from 2010 to 2012, when the subcontinent will host the 2011 World Cup
There are quite a few problems with Sharad Pawar becoming the ICC President from 2010 to 2012.
Firstly, 2010 is three years away. There's no guarantee that Sharad Pawar will still be in charge of the BCCI. If he/his faction isn't in charge, I can't see him taking up the ICC Presidency.
Secondly, by 2010, there'd have been another general election in India and there's no guarantee that Pawar will remain minister. His being a Cabinet minister and having been in charge of the Mumbai Cricket Association is deeply tied in with the clout he commands and him becoming the BCCI President.
Thirdly, he would be 60 years old, his health would probably be questionable. I'm not sure if he's afflicted with any disorder but I'm fairly sure I'd seen reports a few years earlier that he was paralysed for some time, resulting in his speech being blurred.
Fourthly, between 2008 and 2010, he will be a Union minister, the BCCI President and
the ICC Vice-President. If that isn't a lot of work, what is?
The only way he can extricate himself from his numerous commitments is to give up on some of them. There's no way he's going to resign as minister. The BCCI Presidency is what gave him the opportunity to go as far as the ICC. He won't quit as the ICC Vice President because he would be the President-elect. If he's going to manage all three roles effectively, I'll salute him!
I think there's a huge danger that the BCCI's administration will be affected. His Vice-Presidents will run amok, controlling the show, with very little accountability. Television deals will be signed with minimum regard for players, the quality of domestic cricket will not be attended too and the bean-counters in the BCCI will be very happy since the organisation would have raked in a lot of moolah
by having the
Indian team play in Cameroon, The Falkland Islands, Peru and Swaziland (the newest affiliate members of the ICC).
Indian cricket could suffer.
After the ICC's meeting yesterday, what is very obvious though is that bowlers will continue to suffer in one-day cricket. Most of the recommendations of the ICC Cricket Commitee
have been accepted. Bowlers who bowl a no-ball (front-foot alone or above shoulder-height ones too?) will see batsmen throw the kitchen sink at the next ball.
I wonder why there shouldn't be an identical rule for batsmen. If they play-and-miss, they should be forced to play the next ball after taking a 6th leg-stump guard.