Another day, another headline that makes you stop in your tracks. Sahara ends ties with BCCI !! Is this the year of awakening. Is this an Anna Hazare impact? Say no to corruption.
What is so special? Nothing much probably, it is just the end of a business partnership, one would say. People enter into partnerships, people end them. Big deal. But this is the National team sponsorship, that is being pulled out from!
What was special to me about this was the way Subrata Roy clarified as to why he was pulling out from the sponsorship and all association with the BCCI. His comments, clearly show a hurt that has effected him badly and the decision to move on, however, commit to completing all its obligations, including payment to all concerned, and not reneging on its commitments.. That to me was special.
No doubt, Sahara has not, not received any benefits from the sponsorships. I am quite sure their association with the Indian cricket team has been equally rewarding as the money they have been paying BCCI, and would not have been without adequate return, it still takes a great effort to stand up to say, enough is enough. Cricket now is more a money making business for the BCCI, rather than a sport, where the aim was to excel. The fact of their investment and payment fees per match (Rs. 3.4 crores), is simply an indicator of what volumes one is talking about. Obviously, with more players around in the market, there are more people willing to put their money, where the BCCI mouth is.
There has no doubt been a lot of support on this move from all across, and is probably the jolt that Cricket needs. As absolute power corrupts absolutely, so does absolute wealth. BCCI today is the richest cricketing board in the world, and the fact that it uses its money power to wield decisions is no doubt a death knell for the game. One still does not know, if the BCCI would be impacted. Issue is you have equally rich corporates who are willing to put their money in, irrespective of how India fares. How much of social support they come to, that is another question.
My only grief on this.. Sahara mentioning that they will now invest this money in other sports. Nothing wrong with that.. If only, they as the sports corporate body, had promoted other sports where we had started to excel… This day probably might never have come.. But, as a wise man once said.. Better late than never…