Sports in dire need of a real “Game Changer”
In the aftermath of the recent anti-corruption surge, an important bill that is in the works, the Sports Development Bill, is simply not getting the attention it deserves. This bill has everything to do with corruption and the unholy nexus between politics and big business. Interestingly this time around, the crusader who is on a war-footing to fix sports administration in the country is Union Minister of Sports, Ajay Maken. His opposition is the who-is-who of the country’s business and political elite. Sharad Pawar sits atop the biggest money-spinning sport in Indian history — cricket. His party colleague, Praful Patel, heads the football federation. The MCA is headed by Vilasrao Deshmukh, while the RCA is headed by Transport Minister, C.P. Joshi. The opposition parties are equally represented in this racket. Arun Jaitley of the BJP heads the DCA, Narendra Modi heads GCA, Farooq Abdullah heads the JKCA, Lalu Yadav heads the BCA, then there is Manohar Joshi and Rajiv Shukla, among others, who play dual roles as politicians and cricket administrators.
Next, all the business houses in the country have a piece of the cricketing action –Mukesh Ambani (Mumbai Indians), Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers), Subrata Roy (Pune Warriors), N. Srinivasan (Chennai Super Kings and BCCI President), to name a few. Then, of course, you have the Bollywood stars who double as team owners like Preity Zinta (KXIP) and Shahrukh Khan (KKR), to name a few. This is just a shortlist of the rich and powerful with strong ties to cricket.