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The Board of Control for Cricket

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BCCI_India_CricketIn 2007, Zee Entertainment Enterprises began the Indian Cricket League (ICL). A former World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev was associated with it. Unfortunately, this league did not receive the blessing of the almighty Board of CONTROL for Cricket in India. The BCCI's rage boiled over and spilt in the form of bans from representing Team India on players playing in the league. Fear spread and the league eventually collapsed and its corpse became the foundation for the Indian Premier League, the BCCI's behemoth. In 2009, no longer threatened, BCCI lifted the ban on the ICL players. However, Kapil Dev continued to be shunned. He wasn't granted the Rs 1.5 crore benefit doled out to former Test players nor was he the recepient of pension while he was part of the league. It was only after he apologized in 2012 was he considered by the BCCI as an Indian cricketer.

Today, the BCCI is changing schedules to allow Sachin Tendulkar to play his 200th Test in India. Though Sachin merits such rescheduling, wouldn't a cricketer of his stature want to play a milestone game against a strong South African team than a dwindling West Indian side? What piques the most is the fact that this love for the little master seems to have risen after the appointment of Haroon Lorgat as the Cricket South Africa chief executive. As fans we want to see Sachin play his 200th Test. But we also want to see good cricket. And by using Sachin to cover up this power struggle, the BCCI have shown once again how much they respect players. Sachin is one of the most venerated cricketers in the world. BCCI, we do not appreciate him being dragged into this fiasco.

The ICC's Future Tours Programme states a 3 Test series, 7 ODIs and 2 T20s to be played between India and South Africa from November 21, 2013 to Jan 19, 2014. This schedule was apparently arrived upon after a few disagreements by the BCCI and a bending over of by CSA. As is BCCI's defense today, they never 'agreed' to play SA. The series rested upon the foolish belief that the BCCI would abide by the ICC's FTP.

Now that the BCCI are hinting at a series against West Indies about the same time as India was supposed to play SA, CSA stands to lose around an estimated 150-170 million rand. Not expecting the nefarious BCCI to act in bad faith, CSA have their next tournament in February of 2014 against Australia. Naive, it must be said. Especially since the BCCI had apparently warned CSA of repurcussions if Haroon Lorgat were appointed as chief.

Lorgat had disagreed with BCCI on many ocassions while he was the chief executive for the ICC. Little did he know that the Tour, Programme and Fixtures Committee headed by Arun Jaitley and including one member each from the 5 zones would exact concealed revenge by gashing cricket itself.

It would also be interesting to know exactly how much of a say this committee has in the final decision. A Test series between the No.1 and No.3 ranked Test teams is an eagerly awaited contest. Fans from around the world, not just India and South Africa look forward to good cricket. The predictability of an India-Sri Lanka series, the drab monotony of an India-Zimbabwe series and the cheerleaders-less CLT20 are tolerated in the hope of upcoming fantastic cricket. Wouldn't it be astute of a committee to take that into consideration or are the fans of cricket not worth considering?

It's not the BCCI that brings money in cricket. It's the Indian fans. The BCCI is not Indian cricket. The fans are. Few of these fans go on to become players and eventually part of Team India. As long as the BCCI remembers that, it will remain the Board of CONTROL for Cricket in India. 

The BCCI is the richest board. Established. The BCCI is run by power hungry politicians and businessmen. Evident. It is also the only board with the word control in its name. As a consequence of being at the top, the BCCI does not like feeling threatened. In its effort to remain secure, the BCCI are trying to become a monopoly. They hold cricket in their palms in India. Any attempts to form a parallel body are squashed. The Sports Ministry bows before the BCCI. Without actually being a representative body for India, they run cricket in India. There have been countless debates about whether or not the team sent by the BCCI can be called India. In the end, it hardly matters. It still remains a non-profit organization that now, seeks to rule world cricket. They shouldn't be allowed to become the Board of CONTROL for cricket.



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