These days the HCA’s functioning or more accurately malfunctioning, is being brought to the eyes of the public with increasing frequency.
When Mohammed Azharuddin was elected to the post of President, everyone expected that the affairs of the HCA would take a turn for the better. Here was an able cricketer who had accomplished many things and given a new dimension to Indian batsmanship. But as an administrator he has failed woefully.
Another bungling within the HCA that seemed to have escaped the notice of the media was a strike called by the employees and staff of the HCA due to unpaid increments and enhancement of salaries as promised. Everything with the HCA seems to be falling apart at an alarming rate.
The Ranji trophy team is putting up a poor performance and it reflects the rot that exists within the administration. Former players have pointed out that there is corruption going on in team selection. This is not a completely new aspect of Hyderabad cricket. It is an open secret that even in the past there were some players who were selected on considerations other than merit. Mostly due to recommendations. They were known as “quota” players. But these cases were in the minority. The majority of the team was made up of merited players. Now the performance of the team has plunged to new depths.
The biggest tragedy is that in some cases, the parents are willing partners in crime. This is a very short sighted and unscrupulous approach by the parents. How far can a boy’s career go by using such underhanded methods?
A former cricketer, who does not wish to be named, told this correspondent that parents nowadays are willing to shell out huge amounts of money, up to Rs 30 or Rs 40 lakh, to ensure that their boys get a chance to play in the team. At this point, Hyderabad’s Ranji team is at the bottom of the table with one point in five matches. Even this solitary point was awarded because bad light led to a drawn match just when Hyderabad was on the verge of losing the game.
“Where is the pride of playing for Hyderabad? When we were playing, back in the 1980s and 1990s, we used to fight for a place in the side. There was stiff competition among all the players. Only the best players in Hyderabad got a chance to represent our state. When we entered the field representing Hyderabad, we were all fired up. Playing for a state with such a great history made us feel proud. But nowadays all one has to do is pay a certain amount. No pride, no merit. All that passion and zeal have gone out of the window. So I am not at all surprised at the poor results of our Ranji trophy team,” he lamented.
“As for the others, they are scared to expose the rot because they fear that they will become victims of powerful people within the vicious network. This being the case, the question that arises is– who will bell the cat? So far the BCCI has turned a blind eye to all the misdeeds within the HCA for reasons best known to it. A supervisory committee has been appointed but there are differences even with this body.”
According to a report in a leading daily, boys and their parents can buy their places in Hyderabad teams at different age levels. The amounts range from about Rs 15 lakh for juniors and go up to Rs 30 lakh for seniors. BCCI guidelines, Lodha committee recommendations, everything is being flouted without any apprehension. It shows how strongly the corruption has taken root and is flourishing.
If the BCCI has chosen to keep quiet, at least the state government should take some steps in this regard. Because what is at stake is the reputation of Hyderabad and its image as one of the progressive and modern cities in the country. Corruption cases must be investigated vigorously, culprits punished and the malady rooted out forever.