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RIP Richie Benaud: ‘From our broadcast box you can’t see any grass at all, it is simply a carpet of humanity’

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By Shilpika Srivastava

Richie Benaud once said, ‘My Mantra is – Put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.’  Though, he lost the cancer battle, Benaud will always stay alive in the memories of cricket fanatics.

It was in November that he revealed that he was being treated for skin cancer.

Benaud, a pioneering leg-spin bowler, played in 63 tests, 28 as captain, before he called out for retirement in 1964 only to pursue a career in journalism & broadcasting.

First man to accomplish 2,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test matches, Benaud, in his entire cricket career, took 945 wickets in 259 first-class matches and made 11,719 runs, scoring 23 centuries at an average of 36.50.

‘Voice of Cricket’

Benaud, following the 1956 Ashes tour in England, completed a BBC course, which embarked his journey of a 40-year long association with the corporation.

With his first BBC radio commentary in 1960, he soon made an appearance on television. He also became the lead commentator on Australian television’s Channel Nine from 1977.

Benaud’s ground-breaking commentary, light delivery and striking appearance were affectionately parodied and imitated by cricket fans and comedians.

Remembered for one liners

Benaud’s witty, exceptionally sharp and perfectly-timed one-liners said during hundreds of One Day and Test cricket matches certainly make him much more than just a commentator. His few of the most famous one-liners are:

  •  ‘Marvellous…’ 
  •  ‘From our broadcast box you can’t see any grass at all, it is simply a carpet of humanity.’
  •  ‘The hallmark of a great captain is the ability to win the toss, at the right time.’
  •  His throw went absolutely nowhere near where it was going.
  •  That slow motion doesn’t show how fast the ball was traveling.

Indeed, Benaud’s legacy will live on in his quintessential one-liners. RIP Richie Benaud!

Next Story

Guidelines For Filing Conflict Complaints, BCCI Comes Up With Its List Of Ethics And Regulations

It raises some serious concerns with regard to matters of sexual harassment which may have been stalled over and above the limitation period laid down in the act. The only remedy within the organisation in such cases is the Ethics Officer and this procedure would only be prohibitive for the aggrieved women.

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Any complaint sent to any other address shall not be entertained and shall be deemed to have never been received. Pixabay

Even as the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) ignored the proposals of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office bearers with regards to guidelines for filing conflict complaints, BCCI Ombudsman and Ethics Officer D.K. Jain has independently laid down a procedure similar to the one deliberated by BCCI officials.

In the guidelines, accessed by IANS, Jain has said that it has become absolutely necessary to provide a framework so that genuine issues are not swept under the carpet. This after a recent rise in mails from all and sundry pulling up former cricketers on alleged conflict issues.

“It has been noticed that numerous emails are being received, which contain all kinds of allegations against past and present players, officials, functionaries of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, etc. This often results in delay in the processing of the genuine complaints or some of them, inadvertently, get ignored due to sheer number of emails received by the Office of the Ethics Officer.

“Therefore, it has become absolutely necessary to devise a mechanism to ensure that only genuine complaints are received and ultimately entertained by the Office of the Ethics Officer, BCCI, which shall also ensure that the same get taken up and decided expeditiously and no time is wasted in dealing with frivolous/non-genuine Complaints,” it read.

Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official rued how greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman could have been kept away from the recent cases of humiliation had the CoA in the first place accepted their proposal. Under a fix due to complaints against the stalwarts, the CoA has now called the issues of conflict against them as “tractable”. But the players have made it clear that the CoA is to blame for this.

“This should have been the first order of the office. We have always raised these concerns. I remember Ajay Shirke being very vocal about this in 2016 when the BCCI in its SGM had adopted 90 per cent of the Lodha recommendations. Just because this has come from the BCCI, it was looked at something evil. Now the ethics officer has issued the directions to that effect.

“It is about experience and intent. The suggestions and deliberations of the BCCI members was backed with practical experiences that got down to the brass tacks. An exposure to international players and the authority of a dictator can not replace experience. These directions from the ethics officer only underline the importance of experience and the balances approach that he has adopted,” the official said.

Another official though sounded the warning bell bringing to light the issue of alleged complaint of sexual harassment against CEO Rahul Johri.

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“When you have a scenario where even the report of the independent committee has not been made available to the aggrieved women, there is no way that they can even source the information that they wish to complain about,” the official pointed. Pixabay

“It raises some serious concerns with regard to matters of sexual harassment which may have been stalled over and above the limitation period laid down in the act. The only remedy within the organisation in such cases is the Ethics Officer and this procedure would only be prohibitive for the aggrieved women.

“When you have a scenario where even the report of the independent committee has not been made available to the aggrieved women, there is no way that they can even source the information that they wish to complain about,” the official pointed.

The guidelines that need to be followed to file a complaint with the ethics officer are:

1. Mode of filing:

a. Every Complaint before the Ethics Officer, BCCI shall be filed in physical form, comprising of 2 hard copies (first being the Original and the second being the photocopy thereof).

b. Such complaints shall be sent, either by post or by hand, to:

The Office of the Ethics Officer,

The Board of Control for Cricket in India Cricket Centre,

Wankhede Stadium, D-Road, Churchgate, Mumbai- 400 020

Any complaint sent to any other address shall not be entertained and shall be deemed to have never been received.

c. In addition to the above, a scanned copy of the complaint shall be sent to the office of the Ethics Officer at the email ID: ethics.officer@bcci.tv.

d. Complaints filed, only by way of an email or by way of whatsapp/sms or such like other electronic modes of communication, without first filing the hard copies thereof in terms of paragraph 1(a) above, or the personal email of either the Ethics Officer, BCCI or any of the officials of the BCCI shall not be entertained.

2. Necessary particulars

Every Complaint filed with the Office of the Ethics Officer, BCCI shall mandatorily contain the following details of the Complainant:

a. Full Name

b. Father’s/Husband’s/Mother’s Name

c. Age

d. Complete postal address along with pin code

e. Mobile No.

f. Email id

g. Telephone (Landline) No.

h. Identity and the address Proof of the Complainant (any one- Aadhaar Card, Driving License, Passport or Voter id)

The Complaint shall also contain the following details of the person complained against:

a. Full Name

b. Complete postal address along with pin code

c. Mobile No.

d. Email id

e. Telephone (Landline) No.

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It has been noticed that numerous emails are being received, which contain all kinds of allegations against past and present players, officials, functionaries of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Pixabay

3. Source of Information and authentication

a. Every complaint must indicate the source of information and/or exact conflict of interest if any alleged, as prescribed in the rules and regulations.

b. Such Complaint filed with the Office of the Ethics Officer, BCCI must be supported by an Affidavit, duly attested/notarized by Oath Commissioner/ Notary Public.

4. Consequence of non-compliance of the practice directions

Any Complaint filed without complying with the practice directions, shall be liable to be rejected summarily, without going into its merits.

5. Applicability of practice directions

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The complaints already filed by way of emails, in which, cognizance has so far not been taken, shall also be processed only after these practice directions are fully complied with.

Sadly, in case of the conflict complaints raised against the trio of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman, this process wasn’t followed and the first three former cricketers who took the plunge into BCCI administration under the CoA are now being made to justify their position after serving the nation over the years. (IANS)