‘N. Srinivasan completely destroyed the game’

Former BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta believes the board is on the verge of getting liquidated, but admits that not all Lodha proposals are feasible to implement.

The Jaipur-based Rungta is now saddened with the way the cricket board is losing its significance, courtesy the legal tangles   -  SHAYAN ACHARYA

Kishore Rungta has seen Indian cricket come of age. The seasoned administrator, who is also a former treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India belongs to a generation when Indian cricket did not have the huge inflow of money like today, but it stood firm, laid its foundation for today’s success story.

The Jaipur-based Rungta is now saddened with the way the cricket board is losing its significance, courtesy the legal tangles. While the Committee of Administrators has been asked to bring a steady administrative group in place, Rungta believes that at the moment there is no such credible face in the board, who can be trusted both by the people and by the court. That, he insists, adds to the woes.

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“This has also happened because there is no stalwart on whom the general public or the government or the court can have confidence,” Rungta tells Sportstar on Wednesday.

Having served as the treasurer from 1998 to 2003, Rungta has seen how Jagmohan Dalmiya changed the face of the game in the country. And the veteran administrator believes that Indian cricket has gone to the dock, largely because of its former president N. Srinivasan. “Srinivasan is the one who, in my opinion, completely destroyed the game. If he had stepped down at the right time and had not done that wishy-washy by forming a two-member committee to probe his son-in-law (Gurunath Meiyappan) over Indian Premier League spot-fixing, the matter would have not gone to the Supreme Court. So, I blame Srinivasan for all that has happened,” Rungta says.

Rungta also believes that a fall-out between Jagmohan Dalmiya and I. S. Bindra for the chairman’s post in the International Cricket Council in 1996 was the beginning of divisions in the board. “The image of the BCCI was tarnished the first time with the fight between Bindra and Dalmiya. They were stalwarts and charges were levelled against one another. The first time, we went public with allegations against each other. Although white paper was brought out, we had good people, and it was run harmoniously. It started getting tarnished thereafter,” he says, adding: “The best team Indian cricket had was when Bindra was the president and Dalmiya the secretary. That was the golden era. They fell sick and fell out. That was when it all started.”

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Then came Srinivasan. “He centralised everything in his hands. The secretary, treasurer did not matter one bit. On the contrary, unfortunately there was no controversy. That was the worst era of the BCCI. After that, the decline began. It has reached the bottom now.”

After Srinivasan’s exit, the board officials failed to reach a consensus, leading to more trouble. Rungta says that at that point of time, Sharad Pawar should have stepped up. “Sharad Pawar should have taken charge of the BCCI, he was a capable man. That would have possibly put the board in a better position as people would listen to him.”

Though he believes that this deadlock will end soon, Rungta, is not in favour of implementing the Sports Code for the cricket board. “Cricket is a different game altogether. I don’t think sports code should be implemented for cricket. It is mainly for Olympic sports, and it should be kept that way,” he added.

While he fears that the BCCI could be liquidated soon, Rungta feels the only option is to make Justice R.M. Lodha and the Supreme Court understand that not all recommendations are feasible to implement. “There are some practical points, some are impractical. Neither Justice Lodha or Supreme Court are prepared to listen, they are adamant to enforce the proposals. If a mix of both can be brought, it would be good or else, the BCCI will get liquidated,” the seasoned administrator says, making it clear that he would still hope for a better future.