BCCI does as it pleases

Published: June 22, 2011
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BCCI can twist arms around as it likes and nobody can dare challenge its stance.

Lalit Modi, India’s Twitter savvy former Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner has painted an unflattering picture of the Board of Cricket Control of India’s (BCCI) power in the global cricket community with his

Here are a few excerpts from Modi’s Twitter handle:

“It just shows that mandarins at BCCI have no clue what is happening in the cricket world. They can’t see beyond their own shadow.”

“It seems best way to scuttle any plans is to say Lalit Modi is behind it. Good to know that just mentioning my name can send a shiver down their spines. Guess, they are a bunch of spineless people running the show. Who have no clue as to what to do. Not that they ever had. I had to do it for them. (modified)”

The tweets come against the backdrop of a feud between BCCI and the Sri Lankan Cricket Board concerning ownership rights of the Sri Lanka Premier League and participation of Indian players in it. In 25 tweets Modi tried to explain how the BCCI used its power to stop the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

ICL was a venture started by Zee Telefilms in 2007, which beat BCCI to the implementation of a league system of cricket in India, but this did not sit well with the establishment. According to Modi, BCCI had a mandate to scuttle ICL and set about it in a very systematic and aggressive fashion.

BCCI forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to change its constitution to outlaw ICL thereby bringing about the eventual demise of the league. Phone calls were made to each board member to make sure that they would help in changing the constitution. They were offered a slice from the earning of Champions League Twenty20 in return.

In India, BCCI exerted pressure on domestic players by telling them that they would be blacklisted and not selected to play for India if they took part in the ICL. State associations were told not to give their grounds for the league or they would lose hosting international matches. Advertisers, commentators and umpires were driven away from the ICL by similar tactics. All of this ensured that ICL did not have the money or the personnel to stay alive – it eventually succumbed at the end of 2008.

If these revelations are to be believed (and they do come from the person who at one time was probably the most powerful man in world cricket) they show how powerful the BCCI has become over the years and how it can boss around other groups.

This power is visible from the example of how India, being the only cricket playing nation that is not in favour of using Decision Review System (DRS), is not letting ICC implement the system across the board in the series. There was a huge uproar in England recently as India rejected the use of DRS in the England series, which will be starting shortly, although it was used successfully in the just concluded England-Sri Lanka Test series.

Most of the revenue and viewership in cricket comes from India and this gives the country unprecedented leadership in the game, not to mention the current president of the ICC is from India as well.

Hence, BCCI can twist arms and push buttons as it likes; nobody dare challenge its stance.

Dr Amyn Malyk

Dr Amyn Malik

The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik

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