Indian Premier League is Indian Paisa League for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. For the franchisees it can be ‘Pay and Play’. When you are paying so much, you can be allowed to play at your terms!
That seems to be the case as the BCCI has surrendered its supervision and control over the pitches to be used for the IPL 2019 games. The franchisees get absolute authority on preparing the strips for their home game. No BCCI supervision of interference whatsoever. So, stretch the rules to breakable limits.
The BCCI has decided to withdraw its empanelled curators who would oversee pitch preparations for IPL games at the venues where the pitches are prepared by local experts who are not on the board’s ground and pitch committee, national daily Times of India has reported. This means the franchisee-appointed curator will be in absolute control to prepare the pitch with no check from the BCCI.
“BCCI curators received instructions from the board on Thursday afternoon to leave their bases. There has been no reason given for the move,” a top BCCI official has reportedly told TOI.
The BCCI will not send its curators to check the pitches at the Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai grounds. The three franchisees have hired the local curators, who are not enrolled with the BCCI. Hitherto, the cricket board was supervising the pitches at these venues through its empanelled curators. The curators engaged by the other five venues were on the BCCI panel and hence their work would be assumed conforming to the board guidelines.
The move will ensure that all the home teams will now have the advantage to prepare the pitch to derive the proverbial home advantage with no interference from the authorities.
The BCCI decision is reportedly influenced by the franchisees, who have objected to the interference from BCCI’s curators. IPL venue management is home team’s responsibility thus preparation of the pitch also becomes their prerogative.
“Curators are always told that the paying public comes to an IPL expecting runs to be scored. Dull pitches can turn away crowds. After the first game, all the venues were reminded of that philosophy and cautioned against having very low-scoring games. Such games also don’t go down well with broadcaster as it cuts down live air-time,” TOI has quoted an official as saying.
The BCCI has started the assigning curators to supervise pitches since 2014 where the curators were not the board’s ground and pitches committee members.
“There has been some unrest over this neutral curator system. BCCI officials are in a fix. There is no clear consensus on this,” said an official.
So will the IPL fans get to see the pitches on two extremes – heavily favouring either the batsmen or the bowlers based upon the home team stumps. Are the fans going to see something like rank turners at Chennai or run-storms at Bengaluru?