New Delhi:If Indian Cricket League is an "out and out" commercial venture, so is BCCI and it's time for a reform in the Cricket Board to allow former players and lovers of the game to run the administration, says Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
In a sharp letter to BCCI President Sharad Pawar, his second since the BCCI-ICL tussle broke out, Singh said it was the right time for the BCCI "to do some introspection" and he also sought a reform.
"The stranglehold which some people in the BCCI bureaucracy have established is something which has to be looked into... In this age of transparency and reforms, don't you think that BCCI also needs a reform where new people who love cricket and who have played for India are allowed to participate in the functioning of the highest body of cricket?" he asked Pawar.
Singh also rubbished the argument put forward by BCCI top brass that ICL was 'out and out' a commercial venture and questioned how could the Board claim to be different.
"Hasn't BCCI also become a commercial venture that is earning millions by allowing multi-nationals to use their logos on players' outfit? In fact, it has earned more millions
than trophies," he said.
Singh was baffled how the same Board can allow its cricketers to play in county cricket but not in the ICL.
"...the attitude of the BCCI in preventing and debarring the cricketers from participating in the ICL is a retrograde step and not in the interest of cricket and cricketers," he said.
In his earlier letter also, Singh had said instead of taking confrontationist stand, BCCI should act as a facilitator for the ICL to succeed.
"I am sure the objective of the BCCI is not to make the millions but to popularise the game of cricket. I am sure you will prevail upon the hardliners in the Board and make them understand sentiments of millions of cricket lovers in India," said Singh, also a friend of Pawar.
"What is good for cricket and cricketers should obviously be good for the BCCI," he had added.
ICL is a venture by the Subhash Chandra-headed Essel Group and Singh found nothing objectionable with the effort.
"Is it not a fact that Chelsea club of England is owned by a Russian oil tycoon billionare (Roman Abramovich)?" he asked.
He also pointed out that BCCI is teeming with people most of whom have no cricket back ground at all.
"Among the Board members, I do not think there are many who have played first class cricket, apart from Ranjib Biswal and Sanjay Jagdale, leave aside Test cricket," he said.