INDIAN OBDURACY & ARROGANCE SUFFOCATING INT'L CRICKET

ANISUDDIN KHAN
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

July 2 - 8, 20
12

Former CEO Pakistan Cricket Board, Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, coined the word "cricket powerhouse" and used it when Pakistan successfully bid shifting of the world cricket cup from England to the subcontinent in mid eighties.

While announcing that the world cup would be held in the subcontinent with India being a major partner, Arif Ali Khan who with his mentor Air Marshal Nur Khan had made the successful bid for the cup, had said that the subcontinent, the home of three test playing countries Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka later on joined by Bangladesh would be the future powerhouse of world cricket.

At that time, he had said that no other part of the world could match the passion for watching, playing, and organizing the game like the subcontinent. But, he had never thought that a time would come when India would become the bully boy of international cricket.

He knew that without India, which had the huge financial recourses and huge following and market for the game, nothing could move. That was why he had launched Asian Cricket Council on the advice of air marshal Nur Khan and offered India to be the first head of the organisation.

However, he never had in mind that India would use his financial stick in such an ugly manner and try to totally dominate the International Cricket Council, which has become a Dasi or slave of the Indian designs.

Recently, former English captain Tony Greig used the word financial powerhouse to describe Indian dominance in world cricket. While delivering annual Colin Cowdrey lecture in London recently the gangly Greig lambasted India for dictating his terms on very matter and refused to play the game according to the interest of the game.

Tony Greig is the cricketer who helped the Australian media Mogul Kerry Packer launch the World Series that changed the face of cricket for good.

However, once Kerry Packer had settled his account with the Australian Cricket Board, he withdrew and let the game prosper unlike India, which instead of being gracious is going for its pound of flesh.

Tony Greig was harsh and rightly so in criticising after India refused to accept the majority verdict of making DRS a mandatory rule for all the boards. In his lecture, he has urged the board of control for cricket in India (BCCI) to abandon self-interest and embrace the spirit of cricket and govern in the best interests of world cricket, not just for India and its business partners.

Greig insisted the BCCI was sacrificing the spirit of cricket for financial gain. He said the longest format of the game was being marginalized because India was monopolizing on the success of Twenty20 competitions -the Indian Premier League and Champions League.

"Unfortunately, India is preoccupied with money and T20 cricket, and sees its IPL and Champions League 'as more important than a proper international calendar'," Greig said.

"To compound the problems, India has pot only sold part of the game to private interests but some of her administrators are seen to have a conflict of interest, which makes it more difficult for it to act in the spirit of the game. The South African- born former all-rounder also criticised the BCCI for not embracing Decision Review System (DRS). India is against the implementation of technology in cricket and refused to use it in last summer's Test series against England.

Greig said: "It can't be good for the game when the media devotes so many words and so much ink to bad decisions, which ultimately undermines the integrity of some results.

The DRS is not perfect, but it does err in favor of the umpires' decisions and according to the ICC, fewer mistakes are made with its use. And furthermore, there is less conflict on the ground.

India has two reasons for opposing it: One, because its superstars had such an embarrassing experience with it in the early days. Two, the BCCI argues that the DRS is too inexact. Ironically, the spirit of cricket, is batting on both sides in this one.

If one compares the success of IPL with world series of Kerry Packer, the ideas of the Australian had done wonders and made cricket a profitable business both for the organizers and the players without compromising on the spirit of the game.

No doubt, the IPL had also given money not heard of before to the players but doing so it has totally compromised on the spirit of the game. Betting and fancy fixing has entered the IPL and players with little return has spoken about selling their shots and wickets to earn more money.

World Series Cricket (WSC) was a breakaway professional cricket competition staged between 1977 and 1979 and organized by Kerry Packer his Australian television network, Nine Network. The matches ran in opposition to established international cricket. World Series Cricket drastically changed the nature of cricket, and its influence continues to be felt today.

The series originated due to two main factors-the widespread view that players were not paid sufficient amounts to make a living from cricket, and that Packer wished to secure the exclusive broadcasting rights to Australian cricket, then held by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

After the ABC refused to accept Channel Nine's bid to gain exclusive television rights to Australia's Test matches in 1976, Packer set up his own series by secretly signing agreements with leading Australian, English, Pakistani, South African and West Indian players, most notably England captain Tony Greig, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd,

Australian captain Greg Chappell, future Pakistani captain Imran Khan and former Australian Captain Ian Chappell. Packer was aided by businessmen John Cornell and Austin Robertson, both of whom were involved with the initial setup and administration of the series.

The IPL is money spinning idea .It is expected to bring the BCCI an income of approximately US$1.6 billion over a period of five to ten years. All of these revenues are directed to a central pool, 40 per cent of which will go to IPL itself, 54 per cent to franchisees and 6 per cent as prize money.

The money will be distributed in these proportions until 2017, after which the share of IPL will be 50 per cent, franchisees 45 per cent and prize money five per cent.

The IPL signed up Kingfisher Airlines as the official umpire partner for the series US$21.15 million (approximately 15 million) deal. Through TV rights, the BCCI in ten years ending around 2015 will earn US$1.26 billion.

With so much money at stake the proper cricket boards around the world could do nothing against India and would be driven as slaves by India, which can hang a juicy carrot before them to accept whatever India want. Even Pakistan is at the mercy of India, which is dictating its terms in resuming test series and even allowing Pakistanis to play in the IPL.