The messy battle between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Cricket League (ICL) has entered the messy corridors of the judiciary, with the latter seeking to restrain the board from “intimidating” its players and interfering in its affairs. ICL doesn’t want the pensions of players who have associated with it to be affected, wants permission to conduct its matches in stadia across the country, and so on.
More interestingly, the ICL has hit the BCCI where it hurts most, by questioning its “national” credentials. It has urged the court to restrain BCCI from using the Indian flag as the board had admitted before the Supreme Court that it was a private body. In other words, ICL is seeking to suggest that the “Indian team” that the BCCI selects and sends out is far from Indian as it is only a team representing a conglomeration of private clubs.
Questions: Is the “Indian team” picked by the BCCI a truly Indian team? Are Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid representing India when they kiss the crest atop their helmets or are they only saying thanks to the BCCI? Should BCCI be barred from using the Indian flag? If BCCI’s team cannot be called an Indian team, what can be? Or is the ICL fishing in troubled waters, a bit like what Suresh Kalmadi of the Indian Olympic Association did a few years ago by threatening to send his own cricket team to the Commonwealth Games?