December 2016 and early January 2017 are of great significance for the cricketing community. The old guard paving way for younger ones on one side and the Hon. Supreme Court immense efforts of making BCCI, the highest cricket governing body of India, cleaner and transparent than ever, on another side. Let us look at the events that turned out in the field of Indian Cricket…
It all started with the Mudgal Committee report on IPL Match Fixing scandal submitted to Supreme Court. Later the supreme court has ordered a committee be formed under retired Chief Justice of India, Mr. Lodha to make recommendations for effective functioning of BCCI. Lodha committee had handed over its recommendations in mid-2016. However, the norms were stringent enough to irk the lobby of BCCI. Mandatory state cricket committee, having no stakes in the entities associated with BCCI or cricket, 70 year retirement age, etc. have not augured well with the existing brass of BCCI.
At the helm of BCCI affairs was Mr. Anurag Thakur, an MP and also Major in Army. His associate was Mr. Ajay Shirke. BCCI’s stubborn attitude against reforms drew severe criticism from the quarters of Supreme Court. Though ample time was awarded to the BCCI to reform and restructure itself, BCCI failed to do so, to a large extent. Rhetorics of ‘we respect and abide by hon. SC orders’ were never put into action. The angered Supreme Court passed a dictum to adhere to its order else face consequences. Frequent confrontations with the Apex court has, to an extent, dented the image of BCCI globe over. However, this will be a short-term impact. For having constantly rejected the proposals of SC and dishonouring court’s dictum, a case of perjury was slapped against Mr. Thakur. The final verdict was out, where the hon.SC removed Mr. Thakur and Mr. Shirke from their respective posts.
For now, temporary arrangements are being made. But, complete cleansing of BCCI will take considerable time. With the Lodha committee recommendations of bringing BCCI under the RTI ambit as well as inclusion of a CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) representative into the management of BCCI, the cricketing body is all set for a major makeover. Make no mistakes, these arrangements will not dampen the Indian Cricket team. Amidst all these there are whispers in the corridors and calls from various cricket fans to make Ganguly as BCCI chairman, Sachin as Indian Batting Coach, and Dravid in a supervisory role. However, who gets what, time will only decide.
Who would have anticipated a 20-year clad, with long hair, immense hand power and out of box thinking, would rise to a level of being one of the India’s finest captains. That’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also known as Captain Cool. MS Dhoni has called it a day for his captaincy of ODI and T20. By doing this he effectively has passed on the baton to Virat Kohli and a battery of young players to continue the cricketing legacy built under Dhoni’s captaincy. Of the 199 matches Dhoni captained, India won 110 and lost 74, thus hitting a success rate of ~60%.
Let’s have a brief look at his records as a captain.
- ICC world T20 campion 2007
- ICC World Cup 2011
- Champions trophy 2013
- 27 wins of 60 test matches played
- 110 wins of 199 ODIs played
- 42 wins of 72 T20s played
- The highest serving Indian Skipper
- Affected 152 stumping, most by any cricketer
- Placed Indian test team in no.1 position for 11 months
- 197 sixes, most by any Indian batsman
Dhoni’s captaincy will be remembered for risk taking, responsibility taking, out of box thinking, brave strategic decisions, team selection tactics, etc. He is a true inspiration to many youngsters. While, he continues to be a part of Indian cricket team, it is not sure if he will be in active sport till 2019 World Cup. He is a ‘natural captain’. Virat Kohli in a tweet quoted Dhoni, “He will always be my captain”.
With Dhoni stepping down as the captain in all formats, the baton undoubtedly passed on to Virat Kohli. Kohli’s tremendous performance in under 19 team made his name into the list of Indian team. There on his stellar performances drew wide range of applause from various cricketing circles, even from his hardcore critics. His aggressiveness earned him fans as well as haters.
His last 5-test series victories are simple testimonies of his ability to lead India. Playing a bigger format game needs more calculative mind, which Kohli has proved. Kohli’s almost ‘Superman’ like performance comes from his immense handwork and hard work. Kohli is the first to score 3 hundreds in consecutive innings as a captain. He’s the first captain to score 2 double centuries. He has 26 centuries to his credit putting behind Sachin and Jayasuriya. Starting January 15, Kohli’s stint as India’s next captain will be keenly observed by cricketing fans and enthusiasts.
With the SC on a clean drive, Kohli’s target to clean sweep upcoming series, cricket is more interesting than ever, not only the past 30 days, but in mere future too!