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    January 25, 2006

    Michael Atherton's rant

    In his Sunday Telegraph column, Michael Atherton had an extra-ordinary rant about the BCCI's decision to go ahead with its own scheduling and keep its home season intact.

    I found this bit a little rich coming from someone whose cricket board, while preventing its cricketers from touring Zimbabwe, had no qualms about hosting Zimbabwe because of the money involved!
    The nub of the matter, as always, is money. India want to maximise their earning potential and feel they can best do that by playing against Australia, England and Pakistan on a regular basis, rather than Bangladesh or the West Indies.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 5:40 PM |
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    6 sledge(s):

    Seems like England team is already "Guileless" ..Chickened out.. No wonder they will up the ante in some other way...

    By Anonymous Anonymous (25-Jan-2006, 7:21:00 PM)  

    I'm sorry, am I missing something? England did tour Zimbabwe, and India still have seemingly no intention of hosting Bangladesh. Michael Atherton's article - although I don't agree with his fervour - is about preserving the global game. The Zimbabwe controversies, on both sides, were about nothing of the sort.

    And claiming elsewhere that England refuse to budge their home season is a little harsh also, I feel. Which countries have been put out by England's home season? To my knowledge it barely, if at all, conflicts with that of other nations.

    By Anonymous Geoff (26-Jan-2006, 5:59:00 AM)  

    geoff: England did. For one-dayers. Nearly under protest. They didn't play tests in Zimbabwe. They haven't played tests in Zimbabwe since 1996/7 [the "We flippin' murdered 'em and they know it" series]. But the ECB has no qualms about hosting Zimbabwe [series in 2000 and 2003] because it brings in revenue. Tours to Zimbabwe don't. The Indian cricket board's refusal to host Bangladesh is pathetic. But that doesn't absolve the ECB of the double standards.

    My point was that if Athers felt that money was the crux of the matter, and that it was shameful of the BCCI to be so bothered about the revenue, the ECB were no better and I didn't see any column from him pointing that out. Money isn't a bad thing after all. I assume Athers gets paid a handsome sum for his good writing.

    England's season doesn't conflict with other seasons, so they have an inherent advantage. But that still didn't prevent them from postponing the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 till late September or something like that, the end of their cricket season. Evidently the ECB had that as _fourth_ priority - after test series against New Zealand, West Indies, NatWest Series (Eng, NZ, WI) and NatWest Challenge (Ind, Eng). I'm not even counting the one-off one-day international between Aus and Pak scheduled before the ICC Champions Trophy. Of course, the convenient arrangement between England and Australia to have series against each other every two years which was ratified by the ICC because of the history associated with the Ashes means that other countries are instantly at a disadvantage.

    I'm not for the BCCI withdrawing or going on a collision course with the ICC. But the ICC needs to realize that the BCCI has legitimate concerns, especially in terms of many ICC events conflicting with India's home season, which is what gets the BCCI its revenue.

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Jan-2006, 12:56:00 AM)  

    Oh and ... long time no see?!

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Jan-2006, 12:57:00 AM)  

    Zimbabwe were suspended from Tests at the time, which certainly wasn't the ECB's doing, or Mike Atherton's.

    The point is that the ECB is not Michael Atherton, and Michael Atherton is not the ECB. The ECB have no double standards (in this instance; they have plenty elsewhere) because Michael Atherton is nothing to do with them. As far as I'm aware, the ECB have not expressed any concern at India's ignoring of Bangladesh. Atherton has, because he's worried that the BCCI will look to muscle out the 'lesser' countries in favour of constantly playing Pakistan, Australia, etc. Zimbabwe have done a perfectly good job of muscling themselves out, even without any help from the ICC.

    It's interesting, though, that from a revenue perspective, England prefer to host Zimbabwe than tour, where it is the opposite for India and Bangladesh!

    I don't recall England postponing the Champions Trophy. In fact, I've just looked it up, and the 2002 Champions Trophy was also held in September, and that was in Sri Lanka.

    I'm not saying that the BCCI don't have legitimate concerns, but very few - if any - of these are the fault of the ECB or Michael Atherton, who were the focus of this post originally.

    And I didn't go away, I just had nothing to add.

    By Anonymous Geoff (28-Jan-2006, 2:57:00 AM)  

    geoff: Zimbabwe was suspended in 2004. England didn't tour for a long time before that. I'd say that the reason England prefer to host Zimbabwe while India'd prefer not to host Bangladesh is because the TV rights issue isn't sorted out in India yet, which is ridiculous and sad. England didn't postpone the Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka's home cricket season starts around end July. September is a better month to play cricket in Sri Lanka because it rains less frequently. In spite of that we had both scheduled finals washed off. In contrast, September is an extremely odd month for England to host an international series. Mind you, that tournament was played well until the end of September.

    By Blogger Jagadish (29-Jan-2006, 8:35:00 AM)  


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