Monday, September 21, 2009

WADA: The holy cows & little lambs

The debate rages on, the latest to join the issue is Shashank Manohar, chief of the BCCI. While he has not said anything about what BCCI’s answer would be to the Sports Ministry, he has said they would discuss about the issue with ICC.

May be he could have made the lives of the journo's simple had he said, “Let me discuss that with Sharad Pawar and come back”

Going back to the January of 2009, it was the ICC which had approved and implemented the WADA regulations. I am not sure if a single official at ICC could take a unilateral decision to sign the regulations. For, the ICC is supposedly a council. Hence it wouldn't be wrong if one assumed that the decisions must be consensual.

The Indian board and all the other “little lambs” that are following the BCCI today had time till July ’09 to think about WADA. To read, re-read, evaluate & re-evaluate the merits and demerits. The BCCI woke up after August 01, 2009, that was when the “Whereabouts” clause was to be implemented. That too after a couple of holy cows moo-ed.

The worst thing is that NADA, the National Anti-doping Agency of India has been writing to BCCI to know what their response / opinion / view on doping and WADA regulations are, but the BCCI has not been responding.

BCCI’s holier than thou behaviour could be justified by saying that they are not answerable to the government or any governmental agency, they are a private co-operative society after all. But when it comes to upholding the integrity of the game, when it comes to guarding the spirit of sportsmanship the BCCI should have answered.

Add this to the BCCI’s rhetoric of starting their own dope control agency which I am sure has not even seen a pen and paper, it makes one whine. I am sure the BCCI can get away with murder in India, because they are not dependent on the government and they are cash rich but the other “little lambs” that want to follow this Mary today would have to herd back to their respective farms once their governments wink on this issue.

So it wouldn’t be long before the BCCI is left orphaned with an immoral cause.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Should WADA have spoken to the Government of India about cricket ?

This is the latest of the series of million dollar questions about WADA. There have been a million of these questions in the last couple of months. This one assumes some importance as there have not been any WADA questions for a while now. And some of us know the fact that the BCCI is a private co-operative society and not a government controlled sports body.

So why should WADA speak to the government, when the GoI doesn’t control the BCCI ?

Don't they know BCCI is not controlled by the Indian government ?

What will WADA achieve by speaking to the GoI about cricket ?

Is WADA bureaucratic in its ways ?

Two reasons why WADA could have spoken to the government

1. To assess the kind of interest the Government of India has in getting rid of doping from sports. There have been far too many voices against the “Whereabouts” clause, but most notably there was one voice of support, that of the Union minister of Sports, MS Gill.

We still don't know if it were his private opinion or the governments. There has not been a declared GoI position on the whole issue. So may be WADA wanted an official word on their position

2. The most important reason, if cricket gets to the Olympics then it would be the GoI & IOC who would be responsible for the Indian cricket team.

So what happens to the BCCI and its selection panel ?

The BCCI would select and recommend a team to the IOC and then the IOC & the GoI would get them to the Olympics.

So whenever that happens, the cricketers too must conform to the Olympic spirit and standards

Therefore what WADA have done is not at all surprising. They have done the right thing in speaking to the Sports Ministry who in turn control the local anti-doping agency NADA in India.

So if there is any such thing called an Indian dope control standard, it has to be the NADA which would govern it till the BCCI decides to give life and unleash the paper tiger of having its own dope control agency.

Let us not forget a key fact, WADA is just an enabler...

A key to shut the arena of sports away from the menace called doping. To offer a level playing field for the sportsmen & women around the world. The moment they become bureaucratic in their ways, the whole reason of their existance would be comprimised. As a responsible body, I am sure WADA is aware of this fact and would make sure they never get there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Recreation time…

The WADA story keeps floating up and down the sports headlines for the last couple of months. Most of the Indians and the cricketing community didn’t know the difference between this WADA and the one sandwiched between a Pav. Suddenly every Tom, Dick and Hari is speaking about it.

There are some people who subscribed to WADA initially who have now woken up rejuvenated once they heard that the Indian cricket board is against it. Agreed FIFA is in two minds but, most of the other game chiefs are in agreement that the arena of sports and sportspeople in particular should be clean.

The simple reason why...

Because they are role models for the youngsters, The Gen X, Y & Z

There was a report in the Guardian recently about this. Before dissecting the content of the report, let us remind the goodfellas at the Guardian that the Indian Premier League has still not spoken anything about the WADA regulations. Simply because of the reason that the IPL is regulated by the BCCI.

It was the BCCI and its cricketers who are against WADA.

According to this report the Professional Players Association which represents players, including those who play cricket (??) have spoken about two things.

1. The “Whereabouts” clause
2. Recreational drugs

In this post let us not talk about the “Whereabouts” clause.

Let’s see what the Professionals / Role models say about the recreational drugs.

“Don’t ban our players for a longer duration if they took recreational drugs”

Discipline – That is the most important trait a sportsperson / soldier should have. I have never known of a disciplined drug addict. Once a sportsperson decides to take recreational drugs, he / she is no more disciplined and therefore I wouldn’t want this person to be someone who influences my kids.

If these are recreational drugs that warrant such light punishments, then why do governments world over have a fleet of gadgets, dogs & people going after the so called recreational stuff ?

Why are they outlawed ?

Why are some South American governments hell bent on losing sleep and men fighting cartels ?

I wouldn’t want a drug addict’s poster on my son’s bedroom wall…

Would you ??

I wouldn’t want him ape an addict the way he walks, talks and plays…

Would you ???

However recreational the drugs that fella took might be

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Infusing life to 50 overs cricket...

The last week was hectic, everyone spoke. There was no action but speech, excluding Harbajan.

Every cricketer you could imagine spoke about the state of 50 overs cricket, except of course the gentlemen from the Westindies. They were debating about the survival of cricket - the game. They would continue to, till Floyd Riefer leads his grandchildren against Afghanistan in a world cup that would be hosted by Vanuatu some 25 or so years from now.

Cutting the long prelude short. Let us firstly, thank Sachin for the proposal.

Thinking about it The Twelfth man got the sparkly idea of the century, something that would revive the great game of ODI cricket. Something that would extricate the game from the beaks of a vulture called T20.

Let’s jump straight to the brilliant idea.

Each team would play 2 innings. Each inning would be of 25 overs

The batting team, before commencing its first inning would declare their set of 6 players who would bat. The innings would come to close at the fall of 5 wickets or 25 overs whichever occurs first.

The notout batsman along with the remaining 5 would bat in the second innings.

So each team would have a total of 10 wickets to lose in the match and one player who would be the notout batsman in the first innings of each team gets to bat in the second innings too.

Each innings would have two powerplays, of 5 overs each. The first 5 overs and another 5 overs which the bowling captain could enforce anytime during the 25 overs.

Now for the bowling…

The team bowling would select its 4 bowlers who would bowl in the innings. 3 would bowl 7 overs and the other 4 . The bowlers who bowled in the first inning can’t bowl in the second. This means each team would have 8 bowlers.

To make things a level playing field and give some advantage to the bowlers, we would allow 25 bouncers an innings. The teams can decide to bowl all 25 in the trot or leave it to its bowlers to decide when to bowl them. So the game becomes much more competitive and balanced.

This version would be much more balanced than a blind 25 overs each innings cricket. There again inequality would creep in, it would become the game of your best batsmen and the bowlers. So ideally you can have 5 batsmen, 5 bowlers and a wicketkeeper who can bat. That would drive you home.

In the format we are proposing, we cut all these shortcuts off.

ICC… BCCI and the other powers to be… Are you guys listening ??

Don’t forget to pay The Twelfth man his due before you steal this idea !!

Thank you Thambi… I had to time you out !!

Friday, September 04, 2009

WADA and cricket: What is happening now…

BCCI wants cricket’ own watchdog.

ICC wants to wait till WICA (the players association meets WADA).

And the media wants all the cricket boards to join the BCCI against the whereabouts clause, for they want some sensational news and some sustainable TRP’s.

Now that Mr Y S R Reddy is gone (pardon me for not considering the other passengers of that fatal flight… that how the Indian political and journalistic dharma works) and we have another very important news to talk about for the next 7 days. Post that we'll talk about Jagan Mohan as the next CM !! So thankfully WADA becomes a third class news...

Let me spell out the reason why I have been a vociferous advocate of the WADA and its regime…

It is an independent body, they know nothing but enforcement.

What does that mean ?

This means that someone can’t get off by simply replacing a “Monkey” with a "Maa Ki". It means that the Darwinian theory could be disproved, it wouldn’t be just about the survival of the fittest but about the abiding of the lot.

So if the ICC does, as BCCI has been wanting … Set up its own anti-drug unit, it could be (shall be) a farce.

It would then be selective, crucifying an X while exonerating a Y. A Nandrolone could become Nimbu Pani just like the metamorphosis of the monkey in Australia.

That is why you need a neutral body, some one who doesn’t know the difference between the intersection of the union of the bottom and the elbow of cricket politics.

For heavens sake, please realize that they (the cricketers) too are humans, and not some species else or the gods.

Let them also adhere to some rules and regulations. And that too for the noble cause of keeping sports clean.

More WADA talk: If you wanted to start from scratch or wanted more dope... Click here

PS: The only thing that is common between us and these demigods is the strip search at the US airports