Why is the England v India series a 7 ODI 2 test series?
Rob Steen's comment piece on Cricinfo a couple of days ago titled "The battle of the boards"
listed out multiple instances of the ECB and the BCCI being on opposite sides, determined to not concede an inch. He quoted the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers Association, Sean Morris, as claiming that the BCCI had devalued the forthcoming series
by making it a two-test series.
Now, I haven't been able to find any reference online to such a quote by Sean Morris. So I'll take it with a pinch of salt. Yet, I do foresee the possibility that several writers, especially from the English media, will harp on about how the BCCI had got its way with playing only 2 tests since it didn't care for test cricket.
Let's just go through a sequence of events, beginning from the early part of this century. The 1990s don't really matter, because Indian cricket was in a totally different shape then.
2001/2: When the scheduling for England's tour to India in 2001/02 and India's tour of England in 2002 was being worked out, the ECB wanted the Indian team to play 4 tests (originally a 3 test series) and the NatWest Series. In return, the BCCI requested for an extra 7th ODI, which was agreed to.
2002: India play 4 tests & 7 ODIs in the NatWest Series in England.
2004: The Indian team went to England to play in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy
. Before that, the ECB got the BCCI to agree to playing a 3 ODI NatWest Challenge
, with the obvious intention of capitalizing on the Indian diaspora turning up in droves to watch their favourite cricketers.
2006: The BCCI got the ECB to agree to a 3 test 7 ODI series obviously since the ECB had got its pound of flesh in 2004.
2007: BCCI returned the favour and India played 3 tests and 7 ODIs in England.
2008: The series would have been a 3 test 7 ODI series, since it appears to be the agreement that the BCCI and ECB have reached
. But England's players wanted to be home for Christmas. So the series became 2 tests.
What Sean Morris, and indeed anyone else who blames the BCCI for making it a 2 test series, is implying that it is ok for the ECB to make money when India tours, but the BCCI stands guilty of devaluing test cricket, when the fact is that England's players didn't want to stay on!
Labels: bcci, ecb, eng v ind 2008, england, scheduling