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BCCI writ runs again

BCCI writ runs again
Highlights

There seems to be some sort of magnetic hold every administrator from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has on those governing the International Cricket Council (ICC). In the latest victory for the Indian Board, the world governing body has succumbed to yet another BCCI diktat. 

There seems to be some sort of magnetic hold every administrator from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has on those governing the International Cricket Council (ICC). In the latest victory for the Indian Board, the world governing body has succumbed to yet another BCCI diktat.

Wilting under pressure, the ICC on Wednesday shelved the proposed two-tier system for Test cricket, which calls for a common television revenue pool. Even as world’s richest cricketing body has won the tacit support of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, the ‘elite’ group comprising England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has decided to create a pool when they play each other.

The contentious proposal had the potential to split the cricketing world. The sorry situation has been brought about by Anurag Thakur, who termed it a ‘retrograde’ step that could malign the image of the gentleman’s game. What is significant is that the BCCI has scored over every opponent after playing hard-ball with the latest coup coming in as another classic demonstration of the stranglehold the Big Brother enjoys.

It is rather ironical that the Indian Board took the workshop featuring all ten Chief Executives to score a point or two. After all, the Dubai meeting was also convened to bring about qualitative improvement in bilateral contests so as to bring the spectators to the grounds! That the ICC went in for a biennial Test Champion play-off is akin to taking a step forward and two backward.

ICC Chief Executive Officer David Richardson tried to set the ball rolling hoping that path-breaking changes could salvage Test cricket’s eroding fan base. The BCCI opposition beats logic, considering that the two-tier theory was being floated to create a structure whereupon all three formats of the game could become competitively healthier and financial rewarding.

The intention of ICC was pretty visionary in that it was mooted to breathe in fresh air into the prevailing Future Tours Program (FTP) that ends after the 2019-20 season. The image of BCCI is so overbearing that the agenda with regard to the two-tier Test system proposal was actually withdrawn from the discussion table at the eleventh hour.

One fails to understand why the word of BCCI should prevail every time it raises its voice. The strident opposition to DRS has been an instance where despite being the only member to be against the proposal, the BCCI law has prevailed. Apparently, money dictates the turn of events and BCCI, being in an envious position, merely bulldozes its way into the decision-making.

Of course, Thakur’s men are justified while castigating the ICC for the financial assistance promised to ECB for conducting the next Champion’s Trophy. Otherwise, the BCCI, which has stubbornly refused to ring in Lodha reforms, is behaving like a heartless spoilt-brat, who gives a damn to the promotion of cricket in its realistic sense. One wonders what is going through the mind of Shashank Manohar, the incumbent President of ICC, who has been reduced to the status of a by-stander.

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