Archive for May, 2010


BCCI under scrutiny: whatever happened to governance?

May 31, 2010

Courtesy of at

The title under which Cricinfo began aggregating its coverage of l’affaire Modi last month was a spontaneous decision, but would now be hard to improve: “The IPL Mess”. The affair carries the hallmarks of scandal, it has threatened to become a meltdown, but of its characteristics as a mess there can be no doubt.

 One of the more delicious stories to emerge, in the Times of India a couple of weeks ago, was that the Board of Control for Cricket in India was forbidding employees from taking work home, not out of a noble commitment to work-life balance but because they were afraid of still more documentation going astray. Profound significance was attached to Lalit Modi disgorging 15,000 pages of Indian Premier League material to the BCCI, but what was significant surely was that it had to be disgorged in the first place: Modi was seeking credit for surrendering to the BCCI its own documentation. Huh?

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Tamil Protest at Kennington Oval, London, 7 June 1975

May 13, 2010

Michael Roberts, late March 2010 [posted earlier but disappeared — now partially inserted, one more photo to follow. Again the machines have disorted the footnote citations so that has to be sorted out]

On 7 June 1975 as the Sri Lankan cricketers, minnows in the universe of cricket, took on the mighty Australians under Ian Chappel at the Kensington Oval in London in the early rounds of the first-ever World Cup in limited-overs competition, a small band of young Sri Lankan Tamil men invaded the centre-field and displayed placards as they lay down in protest.

    Sporting encounters that attract large crowds have occasionally been utilised for symbolic political statements. One of the most striking moments was when the American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos mounted the podium to receive their medals for the 200 metres at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 wearing one black glove, black socks and no shoes as the American anthem was played and then proceeded to give the Black Power salute. This graphic statement “was designed to highlight the oppression of black people [in USA] over the years and was headline news throughout the world.”[i]

Though intrusive, such actions are peaceful political expressions which differ from explosive assaults that have claimed the lives of athletes or bystanders. The occasion when Palestinian militants from the Black September group held Israeli athletes hostage at the Munich Olympics in early September 1972, resulting in the death of 11 athletes, one German policemen and 5 assailants during a series of fights, is perhaps the best known incident of the latter type. More recently, as we know, on 3rd March 2009 a body of Islamic militants attacked the convoy bearing Sri Lankan cricketers and ICC officials to the stadium at Lahore. [ii] Read the rest of this entry ?


Privatisation and Cricket: the Indian Premier League implodes

May 11, 2010

Mike Marqusee

Courtesy of  Frontline (India), 8 May 2010

In the flush of its success, the IPL was held up as the face of the new, thrusting, ambitious India and its swelling status. “It is a global representation of India,” Lalit Modi argued, “and what the modern-day India stands for and its successes.” Promoting the IPL was promoting India and what passes for the Indian “miracle”. The virtues of the IPL were presented as the virtues of neo-liberal India: it was an embodiment of the free market and the creative capacities of an unleashed private sector.

Those who pointed out the flaws in the picture were brushed aside as “nay-sayers” and “doom-mongers”. If they came from outside India, they were derided as “anti-Indian”, “neo-colonialist”, westerners resentful of India’s bold economic advance. Read the rest of this entry ?