Amid the unpredictability of this World Cup, the only thing that can be forecast with some certitude is the content of the emails received by the press corps from R.N. Baba, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) media manager. These emails, sent casually from Baba’s iPhone, do not usually contain even the cursory courtesies that one would expect towards the press.

The phrase most commonly employed in these emails is “no media activity". While other teams routinely make players available to the press outside match days, the Indian team all but shuns the media outside the mandatory International Cricket Council press conferences.

It took something unusual for Baba to send a mail on Wednesday morning on a subject other than his usual no media activity. “There was a misunderstanding and no abusive language was used," the mail said. “Virat has spoken to the concerned gentlemen immediately and matter ends." It was a bizarre description of a bizarre event: Virat Kohli’s abusive, foul-mouthed outburst during training against a journalist whom he was unhappy with, apparently for a story written about him and Anushka Sharma, his girlfriend.

On Tuesday afternoon, after finishing his nets at the Murdoch Oval, Kohli began gesticulating towards Jasvinder Sidhu of Hindustan Times. Wagging his index finger at Sidhu, Kohli let rip the kind of abuse that, not so long ago, he would scream out on reaching a century. This startling behaviour occurred not in a discreet hotel corridor, but in full view of the travelling Indian press contingent.

Kohli’s tirade was apparently meant to be directed towards the sports editor of another national publication, whom he mistook Sidhu for.

This has been coming. For a board that treats the press with such contempt, it was only a matter of time before the same attitude transmitted itself to the players. Shortly after last week’s game between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concluded, the UAE captain Mohammed Tauqir appeared for the post-match press conference. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned up nearly an hour later, despite ICC convention that dictates that the captain, or chosen player from each team, be available to the press within 30 minutes of a game’s conclusion. When Dhoni finally appeared, there was not the slightest hint of an apology.

In any disciplined organization, with even a minimal commitment to ethical behaviour, Kohli would have at least faced a substantial fine, if not a match suspension. In May 2013, when David Warner launched a similarly abusive rant towards Australian journalist Robert Craddock, he faced disciplinary action from Cricket Australia. It also marked the end of any chances he may have had of succeeding Michael Clarke as captain; when Clarke was injured in the Test series against India, Steven Smith was chosen as his heir. It is an indictment of Indian cricket that Kohli’s repeated breaches have done nothing to derail his march towards the captaincy.

The fan back home should not expect to hear Indian cricket held to account from its rentier commentators. Earlier in the tournament, when Craddock—the same journalist at the end of Warner’s rant—questioned Harsha Bhogle during a show for Fox Sports about why the Indian team was not making players available to the press, Bhogle tied himself up in knots.

“I’m not trying to defend the team," Bhogle said, even as he went on to do just that. Bhogle and the rest of the commentariat are yet to utter a word of condemnation on the Kohli imbroglio. It would be surprising if they did; such is the totality of their submission to India’s cricketing establishment.

In 2008, writer Mukul Kesavan compared the BCCI with the Communist Party of China, describing it as a “seemingly paradoxical combination of Stalinism and successful capitalism". In the years since that statement, the BCCI, if anything, has embraced that role with even greater fervour. For the last decade or more, the BCCI’s arrogance has been taken for granted, but it now seems determined to become a law unto itself. It is accountable to nothing and no one, not its fans, not the press and all the other elements that have made Indian cricket what it is.

Kohli has yet to offer a direct apology to the journalist or to the press in general. The sad truth of Indian cricket is that—for an incident that would invite strong repercussions in any other culture—no one expects one either.

Mint and Hindustan Times are published by HT Media Ltd.