Millennium Post

Banning IPL not the solution, says Maken

India's sports minister Ajay Maken feels banning the Indian Premier League (IPL) is not the solution and has made three suggestions to clear the mess in Indian cricket.

According to Maken, no politician should manage the affairs of cricket; the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL should come under the Right to Information Act (RTI); and 25 percent should be reserved for former cricketers in the management of the BCCI. The BCCI and the IPL should also distance themselves from each other, he said.

'Banning is not the solution. I think we should rectify the anomalies. I've three suggestions...first there should be no politician managing the affairs of cricket; secondly the BCCI and IPL should come under the RTI, it should be managed by the cricketers, there should be at least 25 percent of former players in the management of BCCI. Thirdly, BCCI and IPL should distance from each other,' Maken told in an interview to CNN-IBN.

Maken refused to pick names of his fellow politicians who are playing an active role in managing the affairs of Indian cricket, and said they should leave the job of running the game to cricketers.

'I would not go into the names but the names cut across party lines. The politicians managing cricket at different levels belong to different political parties. Please leave the game of cricket to the people who have specialised knowledge of the game. Politicians should do their own job in parliament,' he said.

Maken said politicians have no knowledge of cricket and managing the sport should better be left to those who have played it.

'Including my own party. I am saying everyone. All politicians who have no knowledge of cricket, who have never held a bat in their hand, why should they run the affairs of cricket?' Maken said.

'Let cricket be run by the experts who know about cricket, who know about the management of sports, let them run the sport and let BCCI and IPL be away from each other. Unless you do these things, you will be having these controversies coming up and credibility crisis in days to come,' he said.

Asked about the arrest of Royal Challengers' Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach, on charges of molesting an American woman, Maken said: 'I don't know. As far as Mr. Vijay Mallya is concerned, he should also answer to the fact. Did he first inquire into what kind of player this Australian player is? He has also past history of such incident in Australia in Queensland. He had such kind of fight in Australia as well.'

'So, before selecting him to bring to India in our country, has he found out his history? He has history of alcoholic abuse, he has history of such brawls in his own country. So, all such things they should have done,' Maken said.

On bringing accountability to IPL, Maken said: 'I would like to reiterate they should come under the RTI. They should make everything transparent. BCCI should distance itself from IPL, then only it would be a good just honest watchdog and politicians from whichever party they are should keep themselves away from the running of the affairs of the IPL.'
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