Game & name

In an argument questioning the very way cricket is played and viewed in India, a petition in the Madras High Court has sought a direction to the authorities for initiating legal action against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for ‘allegedly representing the country without any proper official approval from the government’. The petitioner, Geeta Rani from Delhi, said, “The BCCI is registered as a society in Tamilnadu under the Societies Registration Act and always denied its status of being a State under Article 12 of the Constitution.”

According to Geeta, even at the time of registration, no recognition or affiliation was asked from the government to represent India by BCCI and presuming it to be the sole authority to govern cricket, without any sanction, the BCCI started to act as the governing body of cricket as well as representative of India. She contended that the BCCI has no legal sanctity to use the word ‘India’ in its name, nor does it have the right to represent a team called ‘India’, as the name implies patronage from the Indian government.

Stating that the BCCI has continuously refused to identify itself as a public authority and is also not officially recognised as a national sports federation, the petitioner alleged that the players’ selection process carried out by the organisation was never transparent and has always been discriminatory. Like any other sport, cricket should also be governed by the Union Ministry of Sports, she added. Based on the petition, a division bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam issued notice to the BCCI and other authorities, returnable 7 February 2019 and posted further hearing to that date. Since cricket is nothing less than a religion in India, an appropriate decision must be taken to end the issue.

NT Bureau