Monday, 5 September 2011

The Evil Empire of the BCCI

If the cricket world was to be made into a film, it's pretty obvious who the bad guys would be. The BCCI. Yes, there are naughty people like Allen Stanford or Mahzar Majeed who come along every once in a while to provide plot twists, but they're more incompetent criminals then evil empire. The evil empire, of course, being the BCCI.

It does all add up. The BCCI created a league that they want to control world cricket, as well as giving themselves a monopoly at the top of the ICC (who, like the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter, mean well but are largely incompetent). After taking all of the money and making all of the decisions, the evil empire then go around doing evil things like kicking associates out of the World Cup, or having massive conflicts of interest within the IPL or drowning kittens and the like. The BCCI are downright despicable, and they make people want to throw their popcorn at the big screen in disgust.

Of course, the people are so scared of the BCCI that they daren't speak out. Thought-crime is punishable by death, or by having their contract terminated, which means that people are happy to either toe the party line, or stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn't happening. Any publication that disagrees with official BCCI policy (or indeed, doesn't support it wholeheartedly) is banished, and only a select few are allowed to report the news to the people - but only once they've signed a contract pledging to only speak the good word of the BCCI.

Every film needs a good guy - and oddly in this case, the good guy is Nasser Hussain. Not content with just inanely agreeing with every press release from the Empire, Nasser isn't afraid to speak his mind, no matter what the consequences. After verbally sparring with Chief Minister of Propaganda Ravi Shastri, Hussain then likened the Indian fielding to "donkeys".

Hardly the most cutting of comments, but everyone knows that anyone who opposes the BCCI in any way is committing a gross act of treason, and is liable to firm retribution. In this case, the BCCI get in touch with the ECB and tell them to "control their commentator". However, the ECB not being a totalitarian cricket state, they're unable to control this rogue journalist. And quite rightly.

Nasser Hussain is employed by Sky Sports, and a few other media outlets in order to give his opinions. Which is what he's done. If he thinks the Indian team have fielded like donkeys, he's well within his rights of free speech to say so. The fact that the BCCI think they are in any position to say that "commentators who make such comments, should abstain from saying such things" is a violation of Hussain's right as a journalist to report as he sees fit. The BCCI, or indeed any cricket player, official or body have no right at all to interfere with the commentators or reporters whatsoever, and any body that does so should be stopped immediately.

I was appalled to see that two of the leading commentators in Indian cricket are on the BCCI payroll, in order to spout BCCI policy, whitewash the news and brainwash the public. And that the BCCI are threatening the ECB, who quite rightly have no say over who Sky employ or what they say certainly smacks of an evil empire attempting to covert the world to their way of thinking - and should be stopped immediately.

As a cricket blogger, I will naturally agree with some of what I read and hear about cricket, as well as also disagreeing with certain items too. That's the nature of a free press, who are able to report whatever they see fit. But if an organisation is threatening and blackmailing reporters into only reporting whatever fits at the time, then the freedom of the press is lost. The BCCI have absolutely no place telling anyone what to, or not to say, and the evil empire certainly need putting back in their place. It's just as well that the good guy, the seeker of truth and justice, won't let it lay.

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