Rethink move



The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in the last few years, has been accused of being a ‘big bully’ trying to impose its will and muscle power on the world cricket.

And now, in the company of two former titans, England and Australia, India is setting out on a course, which will destroy the game, which, in any case, is confined to a handful of countries, compared to a game like football. In the next two days, a proposal to give more governing powers to three cricket boards from these countries will come up for discussion at the International Cricket Council’s meeting in Dubai. The Position Paper -- as the draft proposal has been termed -- details the amount of money to be shared between member nations with the Big Three pushing for larger chunks, and the draft also outlines that all the key ICC posts will be controlled by them on a rotation basis. If approved, the bill will take us back to the days of colonial style ruling of the game when the norms were set according to the whims of a few.
But the proposal poses much graver dangers than just the financial aspect. It can lead to the stagnation of cricket in countries like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and even in some of the associate nations, trying to put their name on the world map. The proclaimed motto of the ICC is to spread the game world over, putting aside the monetary concerns for the time being. However, the new draft allows nations to chalk out their tours on bilateral basis, thus providing them a chance to completely ignore aforementioned ‘lesser’ nations. Even in the existing scenario where the ICC charts out tours under the Future Tours Programme (FTP), India has conveyed its inability to host countries like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

It is clear that the BCCI is in the forefront of this move to create a new world order. The Indian board is forcing the issue despite several respectable voices asking it to reconsider the move, and arm-twisted both England and Australia, dangling the carrot of larger income in front of them. Yes, these three cricket boards will be richer but the notion of developing cricket into a global game will recede alarmingly. Along with it, the idea of fair and principled rule too will fade away, leaving cricket in the hands of an immature super power and two old powerhouses weak in their foundations. The three boards should rethink their move.

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