At a time when the government seemed to have taken the lead in the fight against black money, corruption and plutocracy, the Supreme Court, the old anti-graft warrior, has struck again. A three-judge bench headed by chief justice T.S. Thakur has sacked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke for failing to comply with a court order on implementing the reforms outlined by the R.M. Lodha panel.
The apex court will now decide, in the next hearing, a set of administrators who will take over the BCCI. While it is fulfilling for some to see the political cabal controlling the world’s richest cricket body fall down, a decision of such magnitude must assess the costs as well. For all its flaws, the BCCI is one of the best-run sports governing bodies in India—the performance of the Indian cricket team is just one indicator. This kind of nationalization doesn’t do much good—the gains against corruption are often transient and the damage to autonomous governance permanent.