20/12/2008

The ICC Equation



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Now that the Government of India has disallowed the Indian cricket team’s tour of Pakistan, the relationship between the India and the Pakistan Cricket board will surely come under stress.

Obviously, the BCCI and the PCB considering the financial incentives would have liked to go ahead with the tour. However, the matter was out of their hands once the Mumbai Terror attacks caused a rupture in the relationship between the two nations. The Indian government with parliamentary elections around the corner had no wish to act oblivious of the public sentiment. As cricket holds such a hold over the psyche of the two nations, the GOI decided to act firmly. (Now cricket lovers may argue that they should show the firmness elsewhere.)

Leaving the merits and demerits of the GOI’s decision aside, it is germane to wonder what it will do to the relationship between the two cricketing nations. As the decision is too raw, it is guaranteed to generate venomous outpourings from Pakistan. Already personalities like Rashid Latif has made demands calculated to sour the relationship between PCB and the BCCI further. The politicians and the media are going to join in to aggravate the situation sooner then later.

Funnily enough both the PCB and the BCCI appear reconciled to this decision and left to themselves they would quietly waited for the situation between the two countries to resolve before taking any drastic decision. As said earlier the situation has gone out of their hands.

To add to the turmoil, Sri Lanka Cricket Board a known BCCI baiter suspected of conspiring with the ECB has swiftly stepped into the breach. Their willingness to tour when other nations had refused is going to make them close to the PCB. Their intimacy surely would have caused discomfort to the BCCI if not for the fact that the ECB who would have relished BCCI’s discomfort is itself on shaky grounds over Stanford and their own breed of EPL.

This brings us to the interesting conundrum of who is going to support whom in the ICC. Until now, PCB has been a firm supporter of the BCCI and CSL rumored to support ECB. From news reports, it appears CSA and CA the weather cocks of the ICC has quietly backed BCCI. They may not change their colours soon unless the ECB shows enough gumption to take on the BCCI again. Considering the present bonhomie between the ECB and the BCCI, it looks unlikely that the ECB will launch an attack head-on. However, with its vote bank suspect, the BCCI’s days of bulldozing the opposition may be over. It has to learn to be more openly accommodative and less self-centered.

Surely, this change in the power equation within the ICC is good for the development of cricket and hence welcome.



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2 Comments:

Blogger Ravindran said...

Cricket is turning into a game of chess. Induct Vis. Anand as the chief consultant. I am afraid the whole cricket set up is disintegrating slowly.Waning crowds in test matches in India will put all countries at par.
Incidentally he SA-Aus test is being played to good crowds.

20/12/2008, 14:38  
Anonymous scorpicity said...

Excellent post Otts,

My thoughts,

The PCB and the BCCI holding back away amidst pressure from the respective sides is quite appreciable.

However there is a growing call among their fans to move away from the BCCI and perhaps this might well be the ideal time if they wish to head in that direction. This is something which the PCB understandably are thinking well about.

To me the SL board has been 'comical' at its best. I had panned out this situation about a month back and it turned out this way, amidst pissing off their fans.

Sl has now come to the rescue of Pakistan but I doubt they will see too much of a larger picture in it. Hardly a month back, SL was pitchforking the PCB on playing in the ICC meetings and demanding exorbitant sums. So PCB will look at the SL board quite suspiciously but there is nothing they can do about it.

There is no denying the fact that today cricket is completely controlled not by boards but television broadcasters and sponsors. They run cricket. Every political move is a rundown of the aspirations of these forces.

Amidst all this, ECB in the last few days has got me totally puzzled. Hell, their chief even quoted "friends, India" and you got me wondering what in this world is cooking.

Much of this is maybe because almost many of the moves of the ECB have backfired. I suspect they might get close to a financial crunch in the next few years and it might well be the realization for a new structuring in world cricket.

Political restructuring in cricket in on and perhaps it is the best time and direction where things can now shape way.

It is time for re-alignments and a serious realization that in the way of making money, no board today is in control of cricket and its administrative policies. Advertisers and broadcasters are. It is a choice now of making substantially lesser money and keep a tab on their powers or go on with this policy and foster better relations with all boards to save them from being totally pawned by these forces.

Let's see.

22/12/2008, 01:20  

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