King of cricket is at the receiving end now. The ruler is set to being ruled. Is Indian cricket really heading into that submission, where the others will dictate terms and India will plead or please! When India is rendered weak on the ICC floor, there are symbolic attempts to sabotage IPL.
The news of BCCI’s talks with Cricket Australia and English Cricket Board is being seen as India’s diminishing strength in global cricket. “On another day, BCCI would have worked on a feasible window for any series outside the FTP, informed the other participating boards and got their nod. There nothing unfair in that. That was an opportunity from India to those nations,” says a senior cricket administrator.
“If you enter into any conversations and submit to their designs, it will be a tacit approval for you being bullied forever. If you don’t understand this basic fundamental you have no business of taking calls on behalf of BCCI and Indian cricket,” says the worried administer. “You are the market power. You ruled the market. But now, you have allowed the other boards to try and catch up with you.”
The developments of past few weeks, ever since India was marginalized in the International Cricket Council Executive board on crucial revenue sharing and constitution revision votes, have witnessed the challenger being challenged from all quarters. The one who was in a position to dictate terms, is out to negotiate in its own defense.
The equation of global cricket has taken a 180° turn in a mere two weeks. When chips for BCCI are down, Pakistan comes up with a threat of legal action. Up next was Cricket South Africa, threatening to not to clear its players for IPL. Then Cricket Australia makes its senior players three-year ‘lucrative’ contracts to lure them away from IPL.
Seemingly on backfoot, the BCCI is exploring possibilities of a tri-series in Florida, USA, with CA and ECB. Media reports suggest that the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri is engaged in negotiations with CA’s James Sutherland and Tom Harrison from ECB to finalise a tri-series in Florida. This comes close on the heels of perceived threat to IPL from CA and CSA.
“The BCCI CEO and the CoA need to apply utter caution in negotiations with Cricket Australia and ECB. This certainly not the right time for India (BCCI) to negotiate with any of its international counterparts. Enough damage is inflicted to Indian interests in the ICC. If the forces grouping against you are allowed to dictate terms for now, it will become a strong norm forever,” said a senior BCCI administrator.
Another administrator laments: “It is not that India India’s power and cloud in the ICC is lost. It’s that you are not able to use that clout or you don’t know how to use that position to the advantage of Indian cricket. It is your irresponsible and amateur acts that will for sure dent India’s clout and power in global cricket.”
A group is the BCCI is in favour of an aggressive approach to deal with the situation. However, these isolated administrators for now are finding little support from the BCCI CEO and the CoA.