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The BCCI mess: How 'Crisis Management' could have saved the day!

Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke
Some amount of humility would have served them well
Manish Pathak

There is a term called Crisis Management in brand building. These are not merely words, but essential ingredients which kick in when any organisation is grappling with an unforeseen and disruptive sequence of events and wants to stay afloat and then fight its way back into the fray.

However, Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke would now have to sit back, probably close their eyes and ponder at a whole host of 'what ifs'.

They have been sacked, almost publicly stripped off their post, and are now left with plenty of time to look back at the last 6 months.

There was a crisis, but there was no management and now the result is staring at their faces and these results could have well been avoided had egos and jittery communication not come in the way.

The day was July 18, 2016, almost six months ago, when the then Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur accompanied by Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla delivered a series of scathing recommendations and ordered the BCCI to accept the majority of the recommendations made by the RM Lodha-committee.

Incidentally, Lodha himself is a former Chief Justice, and he knew what he was doing, and was probably well aware of the implications in the time to come. He, however, remained dignified, kept smiling and kept reminding all that the BCCI was shooting itself in the foot and that they have nowhere to go as far as accepting these recommendations were concerned.

He feared the worst back then; Thakur and Shirke are experiencing it today. If only crisis management would was exercised.

One of the biggest tools in Crisis Management is communication, and the ability of the organisation to be flexible and adopt a more understanding approach. BCCI went the other way!

They isolated themselves, almost locked themselves up and refused to even lend an ear to any of the recommendations. Instead, they should have gone ahead and put forward their reservations to the committee and worked on a common ground. Alas, the series of 'what ifs' took its very root here!

An irate Supreme Court had to issue a warning, the BCCI was not interested. The Court then said that they have to take a hard stand, the BCCI kept looking away.

The January 2 decision was always coming, yet the shock value was never anticipated. It has finally been delivered, and the BCCI has been rendered helpless. It cannot even look to the International Cricket Council, as the governing council could do little when the highest court in the country decides to intervene.

And then the relationship between Anurag Thakur and the ICC Chairman, Shashank Manohar is not entirely a forthcoming one.

At a time when the political mood in the country is either black or white, a grey shade was where the solution lay. It is not as if the Lodha recommendations were all gold, but then the BCCI did not even bother to debate them, and this allowed the public to believe that the board has adopted a 'holier-than-thou' attitude.

There could be grievances facing the society but when the Supreme Court delivers a verdict, it is generally a dictum people follow without any debates. The BCCI which is on the receiving end at the moment is certainly on slippery ground, and to make matter worse, they do not seem to have the empathy of the public behind them.

However, credit should be given where it is due. The BCCI is the sole reason why Indian cricket is one of the best-managed sports in the country. The Board has made sure the Indian cricket calls out the shots even in the International circuit and the clout that the board exerts have always done wonders for the country.

All this amounts to nothing when the public is left in the lurch because all they see is the final result and the result is that the president and the secretary have been ousted.

"If the Supreme Court believes that Indian cricket would do well under retired judges, I wish them all the best," said a visibly hurt Anurag Thakur.

His tone had a tinge of hurt and sprinkling of sarcasm. There was a wide sense of positivity around Indian cricket, as the team enjoyed a brilliant run in 2016 and the Board was quietly going about its business behind the scenes. It has all now been brought to a screeching halt.

So much potential to grow has been nipped in the bud. Humility is not so common these days, and this very trait forms the basis of Crisis Management.

Hopefully, a lesson is learnt!


Edited by Staff Editor

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