Important, So To Finish CPL Problem And Then Take Things Forward: Binny > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Important to finish up with this KPL issue and then take things forward: Binny
"It is difficult to control everybody. When a match is going on, it can happen anywhere."
The leading wicket-taker when Kapil Dev's intrepid bunch turned the world order upside down by pulling off a shock victory in the 1983 World Cup. An influential figure when Sunil Gavaskar's band scripted an unbeaten run on to their way to the World Championship of Cricket crown in Australia in 1985. One half of a long-standing record opening stand of 451 (alongside Sanjay Desai) in the Ranji Trophy. A national selector, a celebrated coach, a storied administrator who had served as two-time vice-president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
Few cricketers possess more impressive credentials - and are better liked and respected -- than Roger Binny, so when he was elected president of the KSCA this October, it was no surprise that he assumed charge with a groundswell of support and goodwill. It hasn't, however, been a smooth ride for the former India all-rounder. In his early days at the helm, he has had to grapple with the fixing mess striking down the Karnataka Premier League and threatening its very existence.
Taking a phlegmatic view of the events that have led to arrests, among others, of one team owner (Ali Asfak Thara), a former state captain (CM Gautam) and a former Karnataka batsman and junior coach who was elected to the managing committee alongside him (Sudhindra Shinde), Binny opened up on the damage to the reputation of Karnataka cricket and what the future holds for the KPL, currently put on hold.
It's been an eventful two and a half months since you took over as KSCA president. How do you look back at this phase?
Initially, when the (KPL fixing) news first broke, it looked quite alarming because we didn't expect this to happen in our association. One perhaps thought it probably happens to Indian players and beyond that. But after a while, it dawned on us that it's not the young cricketers who are doing it, which is good. It is the cricketers who are on the way out, who think they don't have much time left -- they are the ones who are indulging in all this. It is a moment of shame for all of the state. None of the great cricketers that we have produced in the past have said much about it, they have all kept away from it but I am sure they are all in the same boat as me. It's something we have to take in our stride. It has already happened, we have got to sit down and see that it doesn't happen again. We need to take things forward and make sure that kids don't get into this sort of a situation again.
Given that there are anti-corruption mechanisms already in place, what more can associations do to prevent such malpractices?
All the kids, they go through so many classes from the ACU and even from the association - from the secretary to the managers. Everybody is aware, it is not that they are not aware. But they tend to forget about all this sometimes. Also, the other part is - I will come back to your question later - the shame they have brought to their families, their parents, it is all a big build-up. From the association side, we have done everything. Probably the franchise owners, we could have had another thought about them. They are the ones who have been the big players in this saga. They have tempted the players with gifts and the rest. That's the only thing we could have looked at. Otherwise, all the precautions are in place.
It is difficult to control everybody. When a match is going on, it can happen anywhere. You can't tail six or seven teams, you can't tail even the person who is doing it. We have got everything in place. We took this (the KPL) up as cricketers because we thought it was a great opportunity for the younger players. That's how it started (in 2009). A lot of them went to the IPL, a lot of them went to the Indian team as well after playing the KPL. Now that this has happened, we have to see whether we should be running this tournament. It's created a bad name for the association. We've got to take a call and see whether we go ahead with it or just stay away from it and let the boys go back to what we came up through - the Ranji Trophy, your Vijay Hazare Trophy and your T20s, the (Syed) Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Is there a possibility of the KSCA taking over the tournament and running it on its own steam?
We haven't given that a thought at the moment. As an association running it, it will become just like the Mushtaq Ali, say, at a state-level. Probably we have to do something so that we keep the outsiders out. That could be one option but we haven't given it a thought. At the moment, we are just looking at getting this over and starting something fresh. That's what is in our minds.
A managing committee member being arrested, that must be pretty damaging.
He has been a state player also. He has played Ranji Trophy, has captained the Under-19 teams. It's something that nobody can digest. And moreover, he is a part of the managing committee. That's an even bigger happening, a bigger crime for us. We didn't expect that such things would happen from such recognizable players. When you represent the state, you represent all young cricketers. That's a bit harsh to swallow.
The Karnataka team is just coming off twin white-ball national titles, yet those feats have been overshadowed by the off-field developments...
It's sad because there is so much publicity given to this. They have played some fantastic cricket to win these two tournaments, the kids. But it is important that we finish up with this KPL issue and then take things forward. Our next step will be to win the Ranji Trophy. The only issue is that a lot of the players are going to be away on national duty, which is a good thing overall. We couldn't brush the KPL under the carpet despite these two fantastic wins. We will celebrate with them later when everything settles down.
What can Karnataka cricket do to win the confidence of the fans back?
This is all based in Karnataka, definitely, the public is not going to take things the way they did in the past. Any small cricketing accident, they could put the blame on the players. I think we have to just wait. Time is always a good healer. We shall wait for things to cool down and then put our plans into action - whether we are going to run this event, run it in a different way, those are the things we will discuss going forward.
While the senior side has been bringing home the trophies, the state junior teams have been struggling for a while now...
We will have to work something out. Something has to be wrong somewhere, we haven't yet got to the bottom of it. We need to find out why, what the reason is for our junior sides not doing so well. I am not blaming the KPL mess - yes, but that came in also and set our plans back, it set our AGM back. We have to sit down and work out and see what the best way forward is. We have the right people, we have cricketers doing the job. We just got to do a little more homework and find out where are the areas we can improve.
As a player, you could control things with bat and ball. How tricky a challenge is this, especially in these troubled times?
I have got the faith of my team. Everybody in the team looks up to me when it comes to cricketing matters. That's why I am looking forward to contributing. We have been doing well and producing a lot of cricketers. But I want to contribute my bit and try and make things better. We have tried to get the players on board. We have a wonderful relationship with the players, it's not that we sit in the office and they play the game. We want the players to know that we are also there to support them and support the game, not like how it was when I played. We always looked up at the officials as a different kettle of fish, unlike now. We want to ring in the changes, basically improve the game. Like you said, the 19s are not doing well. The 23s had a bad season this time. They have not improved - it's not just this year. This has been happening for a few years. Why is that the case? We need to get to the bottom of it.
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