Former India and Karnataka pacer Dodda Ganesh has a vision which sets him apart from the other two main contenders — Kirti Azad and Anshuman Gaekwad — for the post of male cricketer representative in BCCI's Apex Council.
While Ganesh is concerned about the plight of former players, he is also focused on weeding out corruption from all levels of the game. More needs to be done by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) in terms of educating players about the consequences of going astray, he feels.
He also wants the anti-corruption unit to expand its footprint to all age-group tournaments.
“Nowadays there is so much talk about corruption in Indian cricket, especially in the T20 leagues. There is an urgent need for transparent investigation to ensure that those responsible are punished. At the same time, some cricketers are unnecessarily dragged into anti-corruption investigation or their names linked. I am for punishing those who are guilty but speculating about involvement of a particular cricketer without strong evidence must stop,” Ganesh said.
The former Karnataka selector also wants BCCI's anti-corruption unit to spread its ambit to age-group matches at all levels. Ganesh said that he would also push for anti-corruption measures, including workshops for all cricketers from an early age, so they are aware of the modus operandi of bookies and fixers.
“Once there is a taint of corruption on a cricketer, it affects not only him but his entire family. Hence is it important that from a young age, cricketers are part of anti-corruption seminars and workshops. More needs to be done in the battle against corruption and also investigations into spot-fixing need to be done in a transparent manner so only those who are really guilty are named,” Ganesh added.
As a safety net for young cricketers who suddenly earn big bucks, Ganesh says he will ensure that they have the option of turning to sound financial advisers who will guide them so they don't waste their money but invest wisely.
“The kind of money some of these young cricketers make is astronomical. It is good that cricketers are paid well for the talent they have. But I have seen how some of these youngsters struggle to plan for their future. These cricketers need proper advice on how to manage money. This is very important,” Ganesh added.
The former Karnataka State Cricket Association managing committee member also promises to bring in additional benefits for domestic cricketers, including women cricketers, something Azad and Gaekwad, have echoed in their respective manifestos.
“I will work towards ensuring that all deserving cricketers, including women cricketers, get pension and also have medical insurance cover. I have seen so many former cricketers suffer for want of money and pension,” Ganesh added.
The formation of the Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) and two of its representatives - one male and one female - being on the Apex Council is a watershed moment in Indian cricket. Historically, players have been kept out of the decision-making process in the BCCI, but that is set to change thanks to the Lodha Committee reforms that have paved the way for players' voices to be heard.
The elections for the posts of ICA secretary and treasurer and representatives at the Apex Council will be held from Friday onwards. Ashok Malhotra for president and Surender Khanna for member of the Indian Premier League's governing council have already been elected unopposed as they were the only two to have filed their nominations for these posts.