If ever you needed proof that the BCCI cares most about money and revenues, and not, as its mandate requires, the betterment of Indian cricket, look at the schedule for the upcoming India-New Zealand series. When I last checked, the Indian board, eager to make up for lost revenues from yet another unnecessary series against Pakistan, added another Test in the New Zealand series (and the Kiwi board, always starved for cash, couldn’t resist).
Here’s the problem: in adding another 5 days to the schedule, the boards agreed to remove a practice match. Now, the board has done this before, like before the India-Australia series of 2007. Had India been more warmed up before the Melbourne Test, I doubt they would have lost it as badly as they did, and I doubt they wouldn’t have won the Sydney Test outright either. (That’s rampant speculation, of course, but not completely unfounded.) Given that India has always fared less than well in New Zealand, why wouldn’t you want some warming up before the real thing?
Well, it’s easy enough answer from the BCCI’s point of view: first, even if India loses to New Zealand in a Test match, the board has three assumptions to back it up: A. No one in India cares abour NZ; B. No one in India really cares about Tests; C. Where are India’s fans really going to go? Football? Kabbadi? They’ll still stick around.
So, it’s a win-win for them, even if it’s lose-lose for the team. The BCCI pockets the extra money from the added Test, and it suffers no consequences from an Indian loss (provided, of course, that India not lose too badly, if they do lose at all).