Cape Town – Have Cricket South Africa sold the South African paying public short by agreeing to the Indian cricket board’s demands?
That is the burning question that is emerging after CSA and the BCCI delivered a joint statement that India will tour South Africa at the end of the year – but only for two Tests and three ODIs, compared to the original schedule of three Tests, seven ODIs and three T20s.
Add in the fact CSA has also withdrawn its chief executive Haroon Lorgat “from having any involvement in any aspect of CSA’s relationship with the BCCI, including, but not limited, to the upcoming tour” pending an International Cricket Council inquiry, and it seems India’s big boss Narayanaswani Srinivasan has not only got his cake, but is eating it happily too.
Social networks and website forum comments are not always the most accurate method of conducting research, but it sure does reflect people’s emotions and feelings. On Tuesday, the overall consensus was one of outrage, citing India’s “bullying” tactics as the chief cause of distress.
There were even passionate calls for South Africans to boycott the impending series, leaving the Indians to face the Proteas in empty stadiums.
Personally, the BCCI’s brazen abuse of their power due to their uber-financial muscle does gall me down to the pit of my stomach, but to now suggest a boycott would just further entrench their influence on the game.
The cricket world – not unlike the real world – is ruled by dollars, pounds, and in this case, rupees. It is also a jungle inside those cricket boardrooms, and India – like England were in previous years – is the lion. CSA were simply left between a rock and very hard place, and did their utmost to find a balance between appeasing the BCCI’s requests, while not selling their soul in its entirety.
Where to now for CSA is the next question? My immediate response to this is for the game in this country to become self-sustainable and not be reliant on boards such as India. That again is naive in its thinking, because cricket’s main stream of revenue remains television deals from incoming international tours, with India, England and Australia the most marketable.
However, CSA, its affiliates and actually everybody involved in the game in this country, have a responsibility, now more than ever, to start putting the game first, and not simply be involved in it for their own gain. Cricket in South Africa now needs people who genuinely want to see it grow and prosper, and not only at international level, but right down to the grassroots. The responsibility lies with each and every one – and that includes the spectators – as domestic cricket (and not only international cricket) requires your feet through the turnstiles more than ever now.
Franchises have become dependent on the Champions League T20 – a BCCI initiative in conjunction with Cricket Australia and CSA – because of low attendances and the lack of corporate interest in the local game. The wheel is not going to turn itself ...
Cricketer of the Week
India’s board and their chief N Srinivasan may not be on many South Africans’ Christmas gift list this year, but the Indian cricket team still possesses some of the most talented players in the world today. And Virat Kohli – arguably the heir to Sachin Tendulkar’s throne – is playing superbly at the moment. He has accumulated 229 runs at 114.5 in three matches already in the current ODI series against Australia, with a breathtaking unbeaten century in the second game a truly remarkable innings.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Alternative Cricket @AltCricket : Hashim Amla will miss 2nd Test as his baby is yet to be delivered. If he’s like his dad, he’ll never get out.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@DaleSteyn62: Follow the world’s premier fast bowler on Twitter. He often tweets from far-flung places such as Los Angeles and Thailand.
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