The Sovereign, Capitalist Republic of the BCCI

Naomi Datta is a cricket enthusiast and believes it is time the Nation of BCCI gets its own Constitution. She helps draft it
The Sovereign, Capitalist Republic of the BCCI
The Sovereign, Capitalist Republic of the BCCI
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(Naomi Datta is a cricket enthusiast and believes it is time the Nation of BCCI gets its own Constitution. She helps draft it)

It took the Supreme Court of India to tell us what the N in N. Srinivasan stands for. Nauseating. As a cricket enthusiast though, I am far from queasy at the murky state of affairs that the IPL in particular is and the BCCI in general is. It doesn’t make me barf or bark – on the contrary I am filled with admiration at Srinivasan’s adamantine (word filched from Tarun Tejpal) shamelessness and his obdurate (word used to prove I have a vocabulary beyond Tejpal) stickiness.

Simply put, Srini (as his friends, foes and those feigning familiarity call him) should be signed up as Fevicol brand ambassador at the earliest. He makes the dodgy an art form and makes Lalit Modi look like a Missionary of Charity. But his most worthwhile contribution as BCCI President has been to the reinterpretation and tweaking of stock English words and phrases. The English as you know can’t be relied on to do anything – least of all tweak something they have invented be it cricket or their language. They invent things and then move onto what is really crucial – whining about the weather. You need Indian hustle then to show them how it is done.

I take it upon myself to present BCCI’s English Words & Their New Meanings as set out in Chapter 14 of its Constitution. This will now become the standard lexicon in all cricket playing nations – refuse and we give you test status only in 2050. No. Actually far worse. We shunt you out of the IPL auctions and there goes your only chance to star with Shilpa Shetty’s svelte waist in the Halla Bol music video. The Supreme Court came this close to nixing that as well but you can catch your breath now. (Aside: It would have been patently unfair to ban Rajasthan Royals on the grounds of gambling on the IPL – one of the team owners recently produced a film starring Harman Baweja. Now that is a bonafide, high risk gamble – not some petty punts here and there on match scores. But we digress)

Here is a brief glossary of words & phrases as understood and used in the Constitution of The Sovereign Republic of BCCI and how best to use them to your advantage

1 . Step Aside: BCCI Presidents are not quitters. They do not quit – that is for those spineless, gutless politicians implicated in scams. BCCI presidents do not take moral responsibility- and there is no need for it. If partisan observers keep dubbing the BCCI’s assorted activities IPL included as a cesspool of immorality and everything that is murky, there is no role for moral responsibility. It is like demanding that toppling SUVS in Rohit Shetty films follow the laws of physics. However, when push comes to the Supreme Court it is perfectly acceptable to settle for a deft manoeuvre called The Step Aside. This is a slight shuffle to the side – you go marginally off centre, acolytes step in and you head to the ICC. It works out quite well. 
Unacceptable Synonyms: Sidestep, Evade, Cop Out

2 . Conflict of Interest: The BCCI is a pacifist organisation and does not believe in any kind of conflict. There is no conflict of interest in any of the ownership patterns of any of the teams. The BCCI President runs a cement company which owns an IPL team. The BCCI runs the IPL. Where is the conflict of interest in this? Cement and Cricket are two completely different interests. Duh.
Unacceptable Synonyms : Poppycock

3. Enthusiast: The BCCI believes in promoting a culture of general enthusiasm. Therefore, it often lets cricketing enthusiasts pass off as proxy owners, sit at dug outs, attend team meetings and even wear badges which proclaim them as team owners. The BCCI is not one to dampen the fervour of enthusiasts and will not display that sort of mean spiritedness in its conduct. Enthusiasm however cannot be confused for culpability. With great enthusiasm, comes no responsibility. So much is the BCCI’s commitment to enthusiasm that when the honourable SC declared that the BCCI was ‘full of filth’, the BCCI counsel was quick to point out that that strictly speaking was not true. ‘We are mere filth enthusiasts, your honour’, they said plaintively and truthfully. 
Unacceptable Synonyms: Proxy Owner, Actual Owner, Any Kind of Owner

4. Independent Enquiry: The BCCI believes in keeping it within the family. Members get a DVD of Karan Johar’s K3G (not to be confused with 3G or any scam related to it) in their membership kits. After a mandatory viewing, the lesson of ‘it is all about loving your family’ is drilled into BCCI members. Therefore, if anyone is a tad bit naughty, the BCCI will set up an internal investigating committee with members who are on the payroll of the BCCI. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the BCCI which has displayed exemplary standards of integrity and propriety in all its dealings will ensure a free, fair and impartial investigation. These enquiries are often followed by the dispensing of clean chits to all and sundry. We don’t waste paper rest assured – we recycle the same clean chits. Putting the Environment First. Always. 
Unacceptable Synonyms: Khap Panchayat

5 . Spot Fixing: The BCCI is committed to the utmost standards of hygiene, and believes that any spot can be fixed by third party sponsorship deals with detergent manufacturers. In return, it offers detergent branding on cricket bats. This will also solve the issue of clean hitting that often plagues our batsmen. This is the official position on spot fixing. 
Unacceptable Synonyms: Sreesanth, Vindoo and Towels.

The above is a brief framework of guidelines that govern the BCCI, and I do hope that setting them out in the public domain will stop the slander and vilifications that it has received unfairly. Suggestions are welcome but will be disregarded because as the richest cricketing body in the world, our middle finger is permanently placed in your posteriors.

(Naomi Datta is a television presenter and producer. Former broadcast journalist. Currently tweets.)

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