When you hear the word BCCI what comes to your mind? Cricket, Money, Power! Definitely these words and if those were not enough, some articles may have enforced buzz words such as Issues, Controversies, Arrogance in your mind. Isn’t it? The BCCI, which is an easy punching bag for media pundits and some Twitteratis, has once again been in the news for the wrong reasons- this time they are taking on the supreme global body ICC.
A quick fact check about BCCI – It’s current assets (cash, fixed deposits, receivables, etc.) in FY 2015-2016 were about INR 4,700 crores, up from INR 2,838 crores in the previous year. That’s a whopping 66% increase! BCCI is greedy, no amount of money is enough, what has BCCI done for cricket and other sports, it must be cut down to size, etc., etc.
Leave aside the current scuffle with ICC for now – Is BCCI that bad an administrative body?
A quote on BBC website goes like this: “Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true?” Well, that probably explains why negativity dominates headlines!
Let’s look at the other side of the coin, which is hardly shown by mainstream media.
People have often alleged BCCI of tax evasion for many years (pre-IPL era) and question why it was allowed to remain registered as a charitable body. A CBDT Circular no. 395 dated 24-9-1984 had outlined “Promotion of sports and games” as “charitable purpose”. An amendment to income tax act in 2008-2009 clarified that there is no charity involved if an organization carries on trade, commerce or business. Since then the BCCI has largely been tax compliant, barring a few disputes, which are under judicial review.
In 2016, the BCCI was criticized for holding IPL matches in drought affected state Maharashtra and activists, through a formal legal procedure, pushed the matches out of Mumbai and Pune cities. At that time, BCCI had even offered to supply over 60 lakh litres of non-potable water to drought-hit areas in Maharashtra for free of cost. It’s noteworthy that much before this controversy, the BCCI had started focusing on green initiatives viz. rainwater harvesting, sewage water treatment plant and solar energy.
The stadiums in Goa, Vidharbha, Saurashtra (Rajkot) and Pune already have rainwater harvesting systems. In MCA Pune stadium, the surplus water is even discharged into the Pawana river.
Further, The BCCI is in the process of signing an MOU with Solar Energy Corporation of India to set up grid-connected rooftop photovoltaic systems in stadiums. The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore already has Solar panels fitted on top of the East Stand along with along with power saving LED lighting, thereby meeting 40% of its own energy demand.
The regular viewers of India’s international matches and IPL would acknowledge the fact that BCCI is now generously distributing money to former players, including women. Although Ravi Shastri recently hit BCCI out of the park by citing the salary of Indian players as peanuts, but you can trust BCCI to take his comment seriously and do the necessary, very soon.
In order to discover and hone cricketing talent in remote cities, the BCCI has been silently facilitating numerous initiatives across the country including North eastern states and UP, Bihar, Bengal, Himachal, Andhra, and Karnataka. Either the land has been purchased or taken on lease at numerous places to set up cricket academies and to organize training camps by NCA.
And if this is not enough, then there are examples of the support extended by BCCI to other sports in India. It made a grant of INR 50 crore to National Sports Fund (2008) and also paid INR 12.5 Crores to The All India Football Federation (2009). Further, it has also assisted well performing individuals in chess, archery, shotput, etc. over the years.
Despite all this, the BCCI has a long way to go before people talk about its good deeds, and not greed. As rightly said by Benjamin Franklin: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”