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Chick… Chick… Chicken!

By Sudeshna Guha Roy | Last Updated: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 09:14
Sudeshna Guha Roy

That’s the first thing that came out of my mouth after I saw the news flashing on my Television screen: ICC suspends WADA’s ‘whereabouts’ clause until solutions to India’s problems are found!

What a thoughtful move by the ICC! Isn’t it? Ha ha…. Sure… Why not?

A tussle between the International Cricket Council and the Indian Cricket Board, BCCI, has been going on since ages regarding the ‘whereabouts’ clause of World Anti-Doping Agency, a clause which, it seems, has been found controversial only by the Indian cricketers.

The BCCI had refused to accept the clause, and the ICC meekly decided to suspend the issue for three months, by when they hope to find a possible solution.

Unlike other sports persons of the country, rather, unlike any other sportsperson of the ‘World’ (again, barring a few), Indian cricketers have huge qualms in accepting the WADA code completely, the bone of contention being the ‘whereabouts’ a.k.a. ‘controversial’ clause.

The clause binds a sportsperson to give details about their availability for one hour every day for random ‘out-of-competition’ testing by WADA officials, which, apparently, our ‘Men in Blue’ look at as a direct intrusion in their privacy.

MS Dhoni and his men claim that the clause may pose a serious threat to their security, and moreover, they play the whole year, and they do deserve more ‘space’.

ICC’s decision on the clause came as no surprise to me, given the way the International body has succumbed to the BCCI’s whims and fancies time and again…

But, I think I knew this was coming! But, again, for once I thought that the ICC would stand up that no matter what, an athlete has to accept the code completely.

What is bugging me currently is the fact that the apex body did exactly what a chicken would have done when a butcher stands in front of it with a huge knife, threatening to kill it! And why not, the BCCI has always exerted its power on ICC to have things either their way or their way!

I feel there has to be a time when the Indian cricketers stop considering themselves above law.

The players fear that the information about their whereabouts might be leaked, which could threaten their security, which might be a serious concern as these players are considered gods in our country. You must have heard of a man in Ranchi, who decided to build a temple for our captain, MS Dhoni!

As immense popularity brings threat to life along with itself, it is, undoubtedly important for the players to keep their whereabouts a secret.

However, I believe that an association of such stature and magnitude like the World Anti-Doping Agency would of course have a security system with utmost specifications and it would not be possible for any third party to sneak out information about the players that easily.

If Roger Federer, Abhinav Bindra, Tiger Woods and the FIFA players - who too (mind you) are considered as demi-gods in their own respective countries – have no issues in signing up with the WADA code and do abide by all the rules and regulations, I fail to understand how things become any different for Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh or Dhoni!

Is this their habit to always have things their way?

This single decision by the ICC, has made other athletes of India question the very basis of the whole issue. The entire sports fraternity bombarded the ICC for their double standards, for favouring the cricketers of the country while other athletes are compelled to accept the code if they wish to compete at the international level.

What Indian cricketers need to understand is that it is not their privacy, which should be of utmost importance; it is the will to have a dope-free sporting environment!

I wish that the Team India could have shed their snobbish attitude towards the code, and looked at the larger picture!

First Published: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 09:14

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