"The more things change, the more they remain... insane."
Michael Fry and T. Lewis, Over the Hedge
All the ongoing brouhaha about the new rebel league, the ICL, beats me. I think it's great that the aging, bureaucratic behemoth - no, no, not the UN; I'm talking about the BCCI- is finally being asked to pull up its socks and do a few rounds of the field to warm up for some competition. And that, a little outside the sphere of dirty politics and safari-suit-officials, good players from all over will get a chance to go out there and make a damn decent living out of the thing they are best at and love doing: playing the game.
When great names like Kapil Dev, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohd Yousuf are treated like so much short change and sullied in press releases, you know something's very wrong with the way things are being run. The BCCI and PCB are both behaving like sulky adolescents [and seem about as attractive] what with disregarding these names, lashing out at the players who opt to play for the ICL and the worst, the door-slamming routine all teenagers in angst demonstrate: disallowing these players to be a part of the national cricket team. The Big Boys have finally been caught doing what they were doing all these many years for the betterment of the game- nothing- and it's bloody embarrassing for them. Reaction: "Muscle power. Ostracize the rebels!" What ho.
Here's my question: If a player wants to associate himself with any number of organizations, to earn more and play more, why shouldn't he be able to?
It's no secret that the state of sports in India is quite pathetic, even the mothership of all games: cricket. Farcical selections, unprofessional training and ignoring real talent on flimsy grounds known only to the 'suits' in the Government-run boards is a regular story for aspiring but disillusioned sportspersons.
Why not let private, professionally-run leagues like the ICL enter the arena [not just cricket either. It would be great to see such leagues come up in all sports], create more playing and earning opportunities for deserving players and all of this at a very good economic compensation to both sides? Because in the end, of course the ICL is also going to want to make money. And probably will. Or, it won't.
In either case, let the games begin.
It's nice to see big names from international cricket jumping on the ICL bandwagon already. And 'nuff said about these players being old fogies or out-of-form-has-beens. I'd pay good money to see my proven favorites any day over the current crop of long-artificially-colored-hair-strutting-jewelery-laden cocky young 'uns who haven't proved anything yet except they somehow got in to the national team.
Here's a list of the has-beens I'm itching to watch play: Inzy, Mohd Yousuf, Razzaq, Lara, Fleming, Zulu. Hah.
This is the ICC's stand on the matter, by the way. Pretty sound, wot?