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Even the best of sportspersons don’t travel light. English football has been shamed by fan hooliganism. Indian Cricket must carry the stain of its thuggish administrators. On India’s current tour of New Zealand, BCCI bosses are having a rather rollicking time policing the game. They have chosen dissociation with the Indian Cricket League to underline their supremacy in deciding what shall be allowed and what not. So, Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik were withdrawn from a masters Twenty20 match because Hamish Marshall, an ICL player, was playing. Pressure was put on the New Zealand board to have Darrel Tuffey withdrawn from a state championship match. The BCCI ordered that the channel holding broadcast rights for NZ cricket rethink its plans to induct Craig McMillan as a commentator. Tuffey and McMillan’s fault: to have participated in the ICL.

The New Zealand cricket press has reacted by calling BCCI officials “travelling goons”. Rude words those, but look what the BCCI’s doing by enforcing such degrees of separation from the ICL. It is actually ordering cricketers to be put out of work — not just from the field but also places as removed as television studios. The BCCI has always been brash in showing its clout. But its hyper-obsession with punishing anyone associated with the ICL indicates its tunnel vision on developing the game. When the ICL was announced as a private cricket league, the BCCI immediately saw the commercial opportunity it had missed. It’s a measure of the BCCI’s entrepreneurial instincts that it quickly launched the IPL, to immense benefits by way of public interest and revenue.

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