21 October, 2020

Admit Not Jeeves’s Game Sense

The BCCI detests the RTI’s bind. Yet its very structure—the men who officiate in matches—stands on government patronage.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Admit Not Jeeves’s Game Sense

For several years, the central government has been making an effort to bring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, like all National Sports Federations (NSFs). But the Board has been steadfastly, even auda­ciously, stonewalling the government, thanks to the full backing of politicians who have been—and still are—part of it. Successive dispensations, too, have never really been serious about implementing it.

While defying government RTI orders with disdain, the main thrust of BCCI’s defiance—and on which it has been harping unashamedly—has been that it doesn’t take financial assistance from the government. That is only partly true, as it does take indirect, ‘substantial assistance’, as the Delhi High Court observed some years ago and something the Union sports ministry, too, keeps insisting. And, crucially, the men who are the foundational support to the superstructure of BCCI-run tournaments—match officials who run things on the ground—are emp­loyees of...



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