New Delhi: After PepsiCo's decision to end its association with BCCI, two veteran cricket administrators believe the world's richest cricket board is now facing a credibility crisis.
According to a report in the Indian Express, former South African cricket boss Ali Bacher feels this is a “wake-up call for Indian cricket”, while former ICC president Ehsan Mani states that Pepsi has dealt a “big blow to BCCI’s reputation”.
“Pepsi are a massive global company. It’s not like a local domestic sponsor that is withdrawing. What they seem to be saying is, ‘Listen we have a problem. Match-fixing that surfaced with Hansie Cronje in 2000 has still not been eliminated and we don’t want to be part of it’. It is a very significant signal to the BCCI, and they need to heed it.
You can’t separate the IPL from BCCI when all the top players in India are playing in it. It is one. The ultimate responsibility is with the BCCI. It’s not for me to tell the BCCI what they should do but there’s definitely a signal out there from Pepsi that they still have problems with cricket in India.
The money is so big that cricketers from all over the world are going to be keen to play in the IPL. The money is so big. It’s simple as that. You can’t expect players to withdraw because of Pepsi’s omission,” Bacher told the newspaper.
Mani too echoed Bacher's sentiments.
“When sponsors are not sure about the integrity of their product, they take exception. They always want the highest ethical standards and even a hint of corruption makes them iffy. I still remember that during the Cronje-gate, some sponsors of the ICC seriously thought about backing out. More recently, as the FIFA scandal broke, four of their sponsors demanded Sepp Blatter’s resignation.
I’ve nothing personal against Mr Srinivasan, but he ostensibly put his personal interests above the game. The irony is that he’s the ICC chairman and Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board are supporting him. Someone, whom the Supreme Court of India declared not fit to run the BCCI, is running world cricket,” opined Mani.