There is an irony to the fact that Ramachandra Guha’s greatest impact on the governance of Indian cricket could have been his resignation, rather than anything he achieved in his short tenure.
Guha, a lover of certain aspects of the game, a historian with impeccable credentials in his area of expertise was an unusual choice, to say the least, for a seat on the Committee of Administrators. Certainly the haughty attitude he had towards Twenty20 cricket in general, and the Indian Premier League, in particular, left many wondering how he would reconcile his personal opinions with his professional ones.
Guha, in his scathing letter of resignation that goes well beyond the usual garb of “personal reasons” has laid bare the multiple rifts in cricket administration in India. There is Guha, and his dissatisfaction with the rest of the CoA, there is the CoA and the officer bearers of the BCCI, there is the old guard in the BCCI and the first professional chief executive officer. All this in the background of a rift between captain and coach. If Kumble and Kohli wanted different things for Indian cricket, and could not find a middle path, that would certainly qualify as a rift. But, if, as is being reported, it is merely that Kohli has a problem with Kohli, it would be pretentious to call that anything other than one man’s opinion.
Naturally, the exit of Guha will leave many in Indian cricket flustered. After all, this is the clearest admission that the CoA has not done the job it was assigned by the highest courts of the land. If anything, it raises the questions over the courts’ choice of members of the CoA.
Guha may believe that a male cricketer of stature is desperately needed on this committee, but the fact that he has launched an a barely sheathed attack on Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar all but ensures that virtually no player of the species Guha wants will take up a role in the CoA. Javagal Srinath has been suggested as a possible replacement by the incumbent, but that would require the former India fast bowler to give up his lucrative assignment as an International Cricket Council match referee.
Given that this is the time of ifs and buts —anything other than Guha’s letter on the subject of captain and coach has been pure speculation —it’s worth going completely left field just for a second. If what the CoA really needs is a strong former cricketer who has no other conflicts of interest and brings to the table administrative experience, who better to turn to than Kumble?
After all, Kumble may no longer have the appetite to stay in the job of coach with all the mud that’s been slung at him. And you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to realise that a man players call “overbearing” or a stickler for doing things the right way, would be just the person to put in charge of cleaning up the system.