I, as a compassionate sportsperson and someone who has fought the cricket mafia in the state, lock stock and barrel support the petition addressed to the apex court signed by over 28 leading sports persons, Olympians and distinguished sports personalities for its intervention as it had done with the BCCI. It is a very welcome step. The voices against the sports administration in the country which has become a refuge for cabals, coterie manipulations and intrigue have come from within, which should be supported with all heed. At present the administration of sports is with the moneyed and the powerful few. Sports bodies like Kabbadi, hockey, wrestling etc have been controlled by the rich nexus of political-bureaucrat-businessmen which is extremely detrimental to the interests of the sports and the sportsperson. I am glad that the signatories to the petition include some of those whom I have eulogized in my past. And these are Bishan Singh Bedi, Kirti Azad, Ashwini Nachappa and Jwala Gutta from Badminton, Joaquin Carvalho and Ashok Kumar who is the son of hockey legend Dhyan Chand.
“One state one vote” and uniformity of structure in state associations with limited tenures for office bearers and compulsory cooling off period , a voice for players , appointment of an ombudsman to adjudicate complaints between players and management , elections to be held transparently with no life time members with voting rights, accountability and ethics and separation of governance from management etc. are some of the vocal issues raised. Also there is a strong opposition to the various national sports federations which have reached such depths that neither the sporting bodies nor the state care any longer for the future of successive generations of sports persons. Sports administration is mired in power play. Not just that money, influence and chicanery play the dominant part in sports administration, not welfare of the game or the player.
Quite interestingly, our state too has produced one of the biggest sport juggernauts with a perilous sports outlook, just an ambition to generate wealth and power. Though he was taught the lesson from the Supreme Court still the person wants to continue with the IOA state chapter. What is the interest? The game of cricket in Himachal has completely been ruined by the cricket association which has completely finished the regular district tournaments from which performance could be gauged. There has been a complete fiefdom of the association with a complete closure of the body by building blocks like life time members with voting rights. And who are these life time members, just a cursory look will expose everything. Then there is this building of another line of chicanery where by the resources of the state are used and then a society is converted into a company so that one gets completely fortified so that the individuals and the association can do everything at one’s own will. There should also be an inquiry into the assets that the HPCA office bearers have generated in the past one decade which for sure is going to be disproportionate to their income. How could that happen? The many voices being heard on many occasions that there is a nexus in HPCA which is instrumental in the selection process by bribing some of the members is not just a canard , apparently is quite true.
Already there is another petition pending in the HP High court much before the Lodha committee recommendations which quite intriguingly is congruent to the Lodha committee. It starts with 3 basic postulates in cricket and which are a) transparency in the association, b) complete democracy with elections being the basis and no voting rights to the life time members and c) cricket to be run by former cricketers and not by cabals , manipulators and the mafias.