Shah’s Playground

BJP’s Control of Cricket in India

31 August 2023
Jay Shah is the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He is also the son of the second most powerful man in India today, the union home minister, Amit Shah.
Amit Dave / Reuters
Jay Shah is the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He is also the son of the second most powerful man in India today, the union home minister, Amit Shah.
Amit Dave / Reuters

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HOURS BEFORE the fourth cricket Test match between India and Australia for the Border–Gavaskar Trophy, on 9 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Narendra Modi Stadium, in Ahmedabad, alongside his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese. Chants of “Modi, Modi” resounded through the stadium. The two took a lap around the ground in a golf cart fashioned into a golden chariot, waving to the half-full stands. They sat on a dais and watched a dance performance. They presented caps to their respective captains and shook hands with the players, but only of their own teams.

To many, the event resembled a political rally rather than the typical cricket match. “As the copious banners around the stadium make clear, the political leaders are a much bigger deal this day than the tiny cricketers assembled for their entertainment and positioning,” a commentator noted in the Sydney Morning Herald. “For the first time in living memory, the teams have been shunted to the nets for their warm-ups, in order to clear the stage for Modi and Albanese.” The Gujarati newspaper Divya Bhaskar reported that about eighty thousand tickets had been bought by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

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    Sharda Ugra has been a sports journalist for over three decades. She has worked at The Hindu, India Today, ESPN and Mid-Day.

    Keywords: Jay Shah Board of Control for Cricket in India BCCI Amit Shah Narendra Modi World Cup International Cricket Council BJP The Caravan Collection #20 Caravan 2023 Rewind: Reportage
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