Howzat! Cricket, Law, Sports Betting & The Cricket World Cup for Lawyers

An interview with

Santhan Krishnan

Advocate, Litigator
Indian Advocates Cricket Association

Santhan Krishnan has been taking teams of Indian Advocates on tours for many years. In conversation in England he put forward the idea of holding a Lawyers Cricket World Cup. With the enthusiastic backing of an English Barrister, Santhan managed to get together 6 teams from England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Australia and, of course, India. Accordingly the first world Cup was held in Hyderabad in December/January 2008, each team playing each team and the top scorers playing a final game. India won, not perhaps too surprising bearing in mind the popularity of the game amongst the vast numbers of lawyers in India. The event was supported by leading Judges from each country and Santhan managed to get, so it seemed, almost everybody of note to support the event by contributing dinners, lodging, pitches etc. at minimal cost to the players. As expected in any gathering of lawyers, a set of rules had to be drafted. Thus, at the close of the first World Cup it was decided to make the competition a biennial event.

Advocate Santhan Krishnan
"In the process of marching ahead with the motto cricket for friendship, we would be reuniting in Delhi during October 2013". 

The 4th Lawyer's Cricket World Cup with be held in India this winter. 

TheLawMap met up with Advocate Santhan Krishnan at the start of summer to talk law & cricket. As it is inevitable in any Asian gathering, cups of tea overflowed as the conversation ranged from the silky cover drives of Sachin Tendulkar to who is the best wicketkeeper batsman in the world. We also managed to fit in a few serious law related questions focusing on aspects of the legal process in India. 

In keeping with the regular format of our Saturday Law Interview the conversation below covers strictly the legal process and law. For the fun part, details of the discussion on Tendulkar's silky cover drives and all other cricket related gossip, the reader would be pointed to the pages of our informal blog MetaLawIndex at a later date!

TheLawMap: What are the main areas of law you have a special interest in?
Numerically speaking I deal more with Employment related litigation in the Supreme Court. Of late I have also started doing Mediation and Arbitration.

TheLawMap: The founder of modern independent India Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer. In your opinion has the perception of the legal profession in the minds of the ordinary public changed since you became a lawyer? In other words, is there still a sense of reverence towards the profession?
Demoralisation that has crept in society and is seen in all walks of life. The legal profession is no exception. There could be a number of reasons. I am not dwelling on that. Reverence is still there in the judicial system. For the common man, the fact that the Court system exists creates hope, particularly when you are in despair.

TheLawMap: Bangalore is known throughout the world as the hub of India's information technology centre proving essential services to many western firms. How is India approaching in integrating modern technology within the legal and justice system?
Technological advancement has a definite impact in the Court system. Computerisation is there to be seen right from the Supreme Court onwards down below in the hierarchy. Thanks to technology today there is a system of efiling in the Supreme Court. Today one looks online for judgements of the Supreme Court and the High Courts across the country.

TheLawMap: What are your views on the legalisation of sports betting in India with special reference to cricket?
Any kind of betting on Sports is not legal in India. The point is when one can not think of a perfect mechanism wipe out betting, the best thing is to legalise the same and regulate it.

TheLawMap: Does 'the legal process as a mean to resolving conflict' has exactly the same meaning everywhere in the world?
In the entire world the responsibility of 'Conflict Resolution' is entrusted to the legal system.
Whether the system lives upto the expectation or not is a different aspect.

TheLawMap: What inspired you to become a lawyer?
The fact that you are independent without the rigours attached to employment was itself an inspiration. Added to that the fact that one could involve, both informally and formally, in the process of conflict resolution was also a factor that inspired me to join the legal profession.

With special thanks to Santhan Krishnan for his valuable time. Santhan Krishnan is a highly respected lawyer honing his craft in the Supreme Court of India. His passion for cricket instigated the Cricket World Cup for lawyers. The gathering of lawyers isn't merely a sporting occasion. Tucked between the matches are discussions and conferences on aspects of jurisprudence. The October gathering will coincide with the 'Sports Law Conference', starting on 13th October, 2013 with the topics for discussion being, match fixing, debate on sports betting as well as the need for a regulatory mechanism to counter issues related to match fixing. TheLawMap is hoping to provide match analysis and live tweets during the World Cup matches in October!