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Democratization of sports is not in the interest of sport: Anurag Thakur

BCCI
Anurag Thakur. (Photo Source: Hindustan Times)

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur on Wednesday (April 6) said it would be unjustifiable to treat all state associations in the same manner.

Speaking after the Supreme Court criticized BCCI’s method of disbursing funds to state associations, Thakur said that disbursement of financial grant, even in cricket’s global body, ICC, has always been performance based, where the top Test playing nations got a larger share when compared to the associate members.

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Supreme Court had observed that big associations like Gujarat and Mumbai were allocated huge sums of approximately 60 crores while 11 Indian states were not given a single penny.

“The impression we get from the Lodha Committee is that you are releasing huge amounts to some states and you leave it to the states on the ways to spend. You are practically corrupting the person by not demanding explanation in spending of huge money,” the two-judge bench of the court comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla observed on Tuesday.

Thakur, on his part, gave the Board’s explanation in this regard while answering questions from fans on BCCI’s official Facebook page. He stated that he believed “democratization of sport is not in the interest of sport,” and pushed the idea of state associations earning their dues.

“When it is said that why we are not treating all states equally,” Thakur said. “I think democratization of sports is not in the interest of sports. Look at FIFA. They are struggling today because of this. Even the ICC, which is our parent body, they have Associates and Affiliate members. They treat Full Members separately and deal [with] Affiliate members separately. This is the norm [the] world over. We are not different from others.”

“You have to earn. If you don’t believe in earning your share, I think nobody will work hard. Look at Himachal Pradesh, we were not a full member in the early 80s and when we were made a full member, we worked hard. We created stadium and have done well and I think that should be done by all the states,” said the BCCI secretary.

Thakur pledged that BCCI has taken many steps in the right direction. “BCCI has taken many steps in the right direction, which has been applauded by fans. We will take every step to improve the game. We are also helping other nations.”

Regarding the observation as to what the BCCI has done in the last 40 years, Thakur said:

“In 1983, BCCI didn’t have enough money to honour the 1983 champions. After 33 years, we have enough money not only to honour the champions but also create beautiful stadia in almost each and every state. We have created wealth not only for BCCI but also for players and we are also dominating world cricket.”

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