BCCI's bait for BCB
When BCCI set out on its hunt to conquer the helm of the body that governs world Cricket, it used threat at both ECB and CA to make them a part of their conspiracy, and incentives to have the endorsement of the rest. When the visionary and ballsy Cricket Controlling boards of Sri Lanka and Pakistan defied the proposal, BCCI used inexplicit exaction. The possible marginalization of these cricket boards and the fear of becoming the pariahs of cricket, later forced these two cricket boards to support the perilous move of BCCI.
The FTP system was done away with by the new proposal. Hence the system that regulated the tours to countries and conferred the less strong teams with matches with the top level teams was made to breathe its last breath. Monetization of the sport gradually shifted power base of cricket towards India and soon India’s participation in tourneys was made compulsory for them to become a financial success. India’s prodigious population and their craze for cricket made it the biggest global market for Cricket. Merchandisers could use Cricket as a medium to reach out to the inhabitants of India to peddle their products.
This gave BCCI unparalleled power in world Cricket since financially bankrupted Cricket Boards were forced to close ranks with BCCI to prop their financial strengths. While whether or not the South Asians boards going penniless is an intrigue of BCCI as said by an ex President of PCB is still an uncertainty, there is no disputing the fact that this had made BCCI an indomitable organization.
Since a tournament against India can give a phenomenal financial boost to the boards, BCCI has mastered the art of utilizing this dispensation to extort favors for their own advantage. BCCI used the same ploy to make BCB endorse the lethal proposal. Several tournaments were offered to BCB with India for the next two years. In return all what BCB had to do was to nod to what BCCI said at the ICC meeting.
Though the existence of FTP would have made BCCI legally obliged to play matches against teams, the amity with BCCI meant that BCB could compensate for the lost incurred by the demise of FTP. In fact, BCB got more than what it could have got ,via FTP. Keeping to the promise BCCI offered Bangladesh a series 3 ODIs interposing IPL and India’s tour of England.
BCB was geared up to host India and most importantly was ready to reap the lucrative income that the series was expected to manufacture. But what happened was otherwise. BCCI wrapped an empty box in a lavish looking wrapping paper and consigned to Bangladesh. India named a second string team lead by Suresh Raina to travel to Bangladesh.
It would have done no harm to the financial aspirations of BCB, since it’s a game against India anyway. There will definitely be a dent in the quality of cricket and that is not what BCB would have expected when promised a tour by “India”.
Rubbing salt on wound, very recently news leaked that no broadcasters were interested in broadcasting the series in India. No broadcast in India would mean, no reach out to the Indian population, which would beget the lack of interests among sponsors. This would automatically lead to the shattering of BCB’s fantasies about their financial hopes.
In other words one could argue that BCCI has cheated BCB. BCCI, as it often does, has used its tactical ingenuity to create an ambiguity in its promise to BCB. BCCI promised to give Bangladesh matches with India but not with the full strength side. This is definitely a morally wicked act and this has come as a knell to the many boards that advocated the proposal of BCCI.
This is an ominous signal for the minnow boards since BCCI never signed a legal accord nor has it given any written record of its promises to the boards. The FTP legally obliged Teams to play against one another. BCCI ditched it and made just oral promises to play against the respective teams, which now seem spurious.
With the result of the Big Three proposal having already started to dish out ominous signs for the boards that supported the proposal, the only option for the cricket boards to retain its place in cricket is to prostrate in front of BCCI. Of course that comes at the expense of the image, esteem and prestige. But Cricket Boards have dug themselves a bottomless hole and the journey out of it seems implausible. An irreversible mistake has been committed by the cricketing world and the only way to survive would be to bootlick BCCI and wait for BCCI’s turn to implode. Looking at the proceedings SLC’s and PCB’s decision to not to fall into the trap set by BCCI should be commended. At least the two boards could hold their head high and live with dignity. God if you exist save cricket!