Cometh the hour, cometh the Swamy!

Press Trust of India has carried a news item "Swamy threatens to sue BCCI for targeting Chappell, Dravid"

Accusing some BCCI officials, including vice-President Rajiv Shukla, of planting stories against Team India skipper Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell in the media, Janata Party supremo Subramaniam Swamy has threatened to sue the board if it failed to stop them.

"The BCCI has unfortunately made the selection process cricket players, team captain and coach a matter of public debate and discourse," Swamy said.

Accusing the BCCI vice-President of planting stories against a select group of players, Swamy said the speculation surrounding the future of Dravid and Chappell proved that insiders such as Shukla were feeding the media.

"The media has pounced on selective leaks of individual members of the BCCI such as Rajiv Shukla, who have been regularly interacting with members of the press to get stories planted in favour or against certain cricketers," he said.

"The latest news in the media speculating the dismissal of both Dravid and Chappell bears the stamp of such a motivated campaign," he added.

Swamy said if the board did nothing to stop the campaign, he would be forced to drag it to the court.

"If the BCCI will not stop the selective leads and target inconvenient players who are otherwise performing under very difficult circumstances, I will have no alternative in the public interest but to approach the court and seek a full fledged inquiry into the working of BCCI," he threatened.

Dr. Swamy is a maverick Indian politician - the champion of realpolitik! He is also a Harvard economist.

It doesn't matter who poses a challenge to the BCCI at the moment. It is about time we had some reforms in BCCI; we need full transparency and accountability.

Look at how successful English club football is. Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal are the top teams in the world. They are rich, players get well paid, players are not at the mercy of team management. If things are not working out the player is free to look for another club.

Compare the success of English Premier League with that of the England national team. The team, managed by McLaren, wouldn't even get past a fourth division club team. Nationalism doesn't work well with English football anymore. It is not such a bad thing, it is a good thing. After all, we live in an age of Globalisation.

My next post will be on reforming Indian cricket.

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