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    January 18, 2006

    ICC and BCCI on warpath yet again

    The BCCI's bold announcement yesterday that the Indian team would not play in future editions of the ICC Champions Trophy, after this year's tournament in India, surely caught the entire cricketing world unprepared. The BCCI's argument is that the tournament is a great drain on the host country because there're minimal margins and the ICC gets to pocket the bulk of the revenue generated.

    There're any number of meaningless games in the tournament, regardless of what the ICC would have us believe. Of course, they did acknowledge some mess-ups later. In addition, it is the host board's responsibility to ensure that tax concessions are granted by the government.

    The new establishment in the BCCI is really bent on ensuring that the board is fiscally on a sound footing, as is evident from the team and apparel sponsorships announced last month. In such a situation, it was fairly obvious that given the lack of profits for the BCCI from the Champions Trophy, it would be against the concept. The fact that the Champions Trophy was a brainchild of Jagmohan Dalmiya, who was overthrown in the recent elections, also matters since this means his legacy gets eroded slowly.

    The ICC's stand on the tournament has changed in the six years since its inception. In 1998 and 2000, it was played in Bangladesh and Kenya, with the aim of getting the local population to get more interested in cricket and exposing them to higher standards of cricket. Those two editions were played on a knock-out basis. In 2002 and 2004, the tournament was held in Sri Lanka and England, with the aim of generating funds to support the ICC's development programme. These two editions had round-robin matches and then knock-out matches. The ICC needs to define what it really wants the tournament to do. What is the point of having this tournament in between two World Cups? In addition, the ICC also owns the not-so Super Series consisting of one test and three one-dayers. It's original vision was to hold a Super Series every year.

    My guess is that the ICC just wants to own as many tournaments as possible because sponsors have paid quite a large sum for bragging rights. So every year there'd be a Super Series. Every second year would see a Champions Trophy and every fourth year would be a World Cup year. In between all this sits their 'Future Tours Programme', which the BCCI opposes as well! I think there will be a quid-pro-quo. The ICC will agree to the BCCI's proposed modifications of the FTP to suit its own needs while the BCCI agrees to participate in one more edition of the Champions Trophy after which the concept will die a natural death.

    Update: The ICC uses a belligerent tone: Don't you dare! But surely the ICC should know this: Who dares, wins!

    Reports on this news item from BBC Sport, The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph (twice), The Sydney Morning Herald, NDTV Cricket and The New Zealand Herald.

    Related stories to the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy: It is a West Indies v England final but sensational batting from the lower order takes West Indies home!

    Related stories to BCCI v ICC battles: BCCI appealing against ICC's decision on Ganguly and friction between BCCI and ECB over Mike Denness' decisions in South Africa in November 2001.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:10 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    Great Post Dude. Agree completely. I would love to see India play more test cricket with the majors and bilateral one day series. Preferably in sets of four for the tests and three to five for the one dayers.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria (19-Jan-2006, 7:30:00 AM)  

    rishi: Thanks. So who're the 'majors'? Everyone excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh? What about West Indies? What about New Zealand?

    By Blogger Jagadish (19-Jan-2006, 3:33:00 PM)  


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