A cursory analysis of the decisions taken by the BCCI at the end of its two-day meeting demonstrates that little concrete has been achieved. Here's a review:
With a view to strengthening domestic cricket, efforts will be made to ensure that all Test/ODI Cricketers play Irani, Duleep, Challenger and some Ranji Trophy Matches.
This has been said for years now and the Board has, under the stewardship of Lalit Modi, in complete ignorance, gone on to create more off shore opportunities, matches that will bring in increased revenue. If the Board is indeed serious why is it that the Ireland set of three ODI's against Australia aren't being scrapped? Even the most ardent of cricket fans will agree that these matches are of absolutely no purpose.
Every Association will be directed to prepare fast and lively wickets for domestic tournaments.
Once again, being said for years. With every away series loss against Australia or South Africa this refrain is repeated. With sporting/lively wickets, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will never have an average of 99 at home, which will in turn affect his star billing. So there's a huge gap between a thing proposed and a thing implemented.
The BCCI will do away with home and away rotation and allot venues for Irani Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Ranji Trophy semi-finals and finals and one-day all-India knockout.
If all affiliate associations are asked to prepare lively tracks what logic does the above have except that it will help in winning some votes before the next BCCI election?
It was decided that all affiliated units should start their own state academies by April 2009. These academies would be linked to the National Cricket Academy for the purpose of uniformity in coaching.
Yet another way of keeping the affiliates happy. Give them plenty of monies on the academy account and you are assured of their vote. An age old strategy of Indian cricket.
It was decided to scrap the present zonal representation in the senior and junior selection committees. BCCI will appoint selectors on a full time basis based upon the eligibility criteria which would include stature as a player, selection experience etc. They will be remunerated suitably and appointed for a two-year term. The BCCI will take steps to propose necessary amendments to the Constitution to give effect to the above decision.
Indeed a welcome decision. A time frame however has been left unannounced. It needs to be seen if this is done before the next BCCI election.
Regular and frequent Under-19 and India A tours to Australia / England / New Zealand / South Africa / West Indies will be undertaken.
Being said for years. Question is why hasn't this been done earlier? Is a world cup debacle needed to prompt this rather obvious thing?
The Working Committee has directed the Selection Committee to send a young team to Bangladesh under an experienced captain. Rahul Dravid has been appointed captain for India's tour to Bangladesh, Ireland and England.
With the working committee picking on a captain and directing the selection committee, is there any need of a selection committee? Is this what we will see once the zonal process is scrapped? If so, this is an even bigger evil in the making. What role has Dilip Vengsarkar and co now have with the working committee dictating what to do?
BCCI will appoint a permanent manager for the Indian team for a two-year term. The Board will also appoint a permanent Media Manager for a two- year term.
Being said for years. Each time this issue has come up, each time the BCCI has reneged. Time to see who are appointed. Appointment of BCCI henchmen will serve absolutely no purpose. Vote politics should not dictate appointments.
Notice will be issued to Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh under Rule 38 of the Memorandum and the Rules and Regulations of the Board asking for an explanation for their comments made to the media.
Excellent ploy to silence critics and pave the way for the future when, if need be, Tendulkar can be dumped.
Working Committee approved the Performance-based Payment to the players and decided to do away with the present gradation for Retainership. Match fees have been revised. Apart from the payment, the following points would form a part of the contract.
- A player will endorse not more than 3 sponsors / products
- No Sponsor can contract more than 2 players.
- The players will not be allowed to do any sponsor-related events 15 days before the tour and also during the tour.
- No player shall have exclusive contracts with electronic or print media. Only the captain can write a column or talk to the media but not exclusively.
- The players shall take prior approval of the Board before signing any endorsement contract and will submit a copy of the agreement to the Board. All the players shall submit a copy of the existing contracts with sponsors to the Board.
- All the players will have to play a stipulated number of domestic matches when not playing for India.
The players have been reduced to domestic help. Often, servants are penalized for breaking something valuable at home. The patriarch (BCCI) too has penalized the players for playing badly. The players can surely be dropped for poor performance but there's little logic in reducing their match fees. And in a free enterprise has the BCCI studied the legal repercussions? It may well be that they are forced to chew their words soon.
The Working Committee decided to form a Cricket Advisory committee consisting of the following ex - captains: Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, MAK Pataudi, Chandu Borde, Ravi Shastri, Krish Srikkanth and S Venkataraghavan under the Chairmanship of President [Sharad Pawar] and will include all the Office Bearers.
A nice diplomatic move aimed at reducing the number of critics. Interestingly, nothing concrete has been suggested about improving the standard of cricket at the grass roots, spreading cricket to new regions like the North East and nothing again on how to nurture young talent. Indian cricket thus post the BCCI charade is on a precarious footing. Chances are it will slide down even further in the days to come.