The BCCI Makes Me So Angry

There are two reasons I don’t like the BCCI: one, I don’t like that it’s a quasi-public body, making it vulnerable to political patronage and interference. Two, I just don’t know who runs it, why they were chosen, and why they can be so utterly stupid at times.

Take, for example, Gary Kirsten’s pleas that the BCCI give the Indian cricket team a fighting chance in South Africa. Fans know South Africa’s bouncy pitches have traditionally been difficult for Indian batsmen, and that Indian batsmen — always slow starters — need some time to acclimatise.

What does the BCCI do? It insists on scheduling a ridiculously long series against New Zealand (we’re playing three Tests and five ODIs, more than we just played against Australia) which ends only a week before the South Africa series. So, Kirsten and the BCCI then have to hit upon a novel scheme, whereas before, cricket administrators around the world understood that TOUR GAMES MATTER AND ARE IMPORTANT. This is the compromise:

The BCCI has approved the Indian team management’s request to send a group of Test players early to South Africa to get “acclimatised” to the conditions and make up for the absence of practice games before the three-Test series that begins on December 16. It is not yet clear who the concerned players are and how many will be part of the group which is expected to depart immediately after the third Test against New Zealand on November 24. India and New Zealand play a five-match ODI series that concludes on December 10, six days prior to the first Test in Centurion.

Sigh.

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9 thoughts on “The BCCI Makes Me So Angry

  1. Kartikeya says:

    Do you know who runs the Mumbai Indians? Do you know why they run it? Do you think it’s not a political choice for those who own/run it to own/run it?

  2. Kartikeya says:

    The BCCI’s decision seems perfectly reasonable to me. If the Test players weren’t playing in the ODIs, they would play Ranji Trophy between the end of the 3rd Test and the tour of South Africa.

    Besides, weren’t most of these players in South Africa just 6 weeks ago for that Champions Trophy thing? Acclimatization doesn’t mean what it used to mean 20 years ago, when a player might be leaving India for the first time in his life to go on tour somewhere.

    Besides, which Indian players are going to benefit from acclimatization? Tendulkar? Dravid? Laxman? Sehwag? Gambhir? Dhoni? Harbhajan Singh?

  3. Jonathan says:

    I agree that tour matches are important, but I don’t think you can blame the BCCI for insisting on the schedule, at least not recently. The NZ series is simply in line with the FTP – if anything caused a problem, it was trying to fit in all these Aus-Ind series and then also the CLT20.

  4. Mahek says:

    The series against New Zealand is not the problem. It’s the one against Australia that was completely needless. The Kiwis haven’t toured India since 2003 while the Aussies have played 8 tests, 13 ODIs and a T20 in India since then. So why did we have to play them over another 7 ODI series (Later changed to 2 tests 3 ODIs)? We complain about playing Sri Lanka all too often, it’s the same with Australia these days. So if you want to blame the BCCI atleast blame them for the series they should have never agreed to.

    Kartikeya, the Mumbai Indians is run by Mukesh Ambani and it’s because he won the rights for that franchise. It wasn’t a political decision but a business one. On the other hand, the BCCI is a body which comprises members who are elected from state associations. The head of the body is the President so if we were to look at the number one authority it would be the guy holding that position. We can debate the credentials of men like Shashank Manohar, N Srinivasan, Ratnakar Shetty, etc. but it doesn’t make any difference because the BCCI, and indeed every other sporting body in this country, has framed its constitution to ensure it is an Old Boys Club.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Mahek, agree with you on the latest Aus series, though the point is made less persuasive given the the quality of the games. Still, you’re right: India should play Kiwis and the Bangladeshis more, if not for cricket enjoyment, then for the betterment of cricket (a do-goodie point, but one worth making).

      K., the Test players compromise is fine, but I’d rather the BCCI didn’t schedule series so close to each other. I just think it’s silly. Sure, we live in a jet-setting age, but jets still cause jet-lag (I mean that both literally and symbolically): Dhoni will not be among those leaving early, I assume.

  5. Mahek says:

    We play Bangladesh often enough – 3 test series in less than 6 years to be precise. Most sides play the ones that will draw crowds more often than they’ll play others, but it doesn’t mean the balance is as skewed as it is right now. Just to put this into perspective, the Windies have toured India for a test series just twice in the last 22/23 years. It’s utterly ridiculous. Play Australia at home every 4 years by all means, but don’t play them every year and not play the others.

    • Mahek, Bangladesh needs to visit India for Tests… only then would it be often enough! All the 6 matches (3 series X 2 Tests per ‘series’) were held in Bangladesh.

      And with regard to the India – Australia series, one must not forget that on their last tour of India in 2008, they had 4 Tests and no ODIs. This tour was therefore meant to be just the ODIs. It was a similar pattern when they visited India in 2004 for Tests and then later again for just the ODIs in 2007. So it was just fulfillment of the 4-year cycle between India and Australia.

      But yes, amidst all this, a lot of BCCI decisions need to be questioned. BCCI could have negotiated with CSA to make this tour just a Test tour (with warm up games) and then visited South Africa sometime again in the next 2 years for the ODIs… like it is with Aus in India. As it is, our players visit South Africa every now and again for something or the other!

      • Mahek says:

        Bangladesh don’t visit India because BCB is happy with the arrangement proposed by the BCCI wherein India will play its “home” matches in Bangladesh. So it’s not a case of us not playing Bangladesh often enough.

        I remember Australia played only tests on their 2008 tour, but how can you say this tour was meant to be the ODI leg when Australia played 7 ODIs in India just last year?

        I don’t have a problem with us playing a full series in South Africa. If anything it should help us in a way because we’ll be playing 5 ODIs against a side I consider to be one of the favourites to win the World Cup. The problem was the Australia series but people don’t seem to mind CA and BCCI organising an ODI series in India every year.

  6. Oh yes, for a moment, I had forgotten about the 7 ODIs that Australia played in India in 2009. You do make a point here, Mahek!

    But I still don’t agree with India’s decision to play the “home” matches in Bangladesh. Why is India the only team to do so? Bangladesh has visited every other Test playing country for Tests… India is the only box remaining unticked.

    In fact, Bangladesh had toured every Test playing nation (except India) for Tests by 2005 itself… a mere 5 years after their admission. Given that we are their neighbours, we should have been one of the first ones who should have invited them. It would have given the BCCI a good chance to stage a couple of Tests at smaller centers (like Australia did with Cairns and Darwin). But then what am I thinking… I am trying to make sense of BCCI’s moves!

    And with respect to the South Africa series, I don’t think playing ODIs in South Africa is going to help either India or South Africa a lot. Had it been in the sub-continent, it would have helped. The conditions are going to be entirely different. The short stuff that can trouble are batsmen can be countered on Indian pitches… but it will be different in South Africa. That is why I feel that instead of 5 ODIs in South Africa, it should have been some rest to the guys before the World Cup to recuperate from any injuries that they might carry.

    It won’t augur well if someone like Raina or Dhoni (the 2 who have played maximum cricket for India over the year) gets injured just before the February. At this moment in time, it does not even look as if India will be playing a back-up wicketkeeper in it 15-member team for the World Cup.

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