Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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Nothing Official About It

Indian cricket's big daddy, BCCI, has a challenger. Can ICL change the rules? Updates

Nothing Official About It Nothing Official About It

The world is watching, fascinated by the mutinous goings-on in India's domestic cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, a crusty old body of colonial vintage and manners, had never been answerable to any authority outside of itself. But now it has to come up with answers—and fast—to an entirely unprecedented situation. For the first time, it has a challenger. The Zee group's Indian Cricket League (ICL) is taking on BCCI's archaic and monopolistic methods of running cricket in the country. It's nothing short of Packeresque in scope and ambition—and just like then, the circus might turn dead serious. For, it has the potential to dramatically change the face of Indian cricket, or even world cricket.

"Go to hell," BCCI president Sharad Pawar told reporters angrily, when he was pressed for a reaction to the ICL's announcement of a list of 51 players. Despite being around for nearly eight decades, the BCCI handled the situation badly—and predictably. Instead of either talking to ICL or ignoring it altogether, it reacted like a petulant lord. It sacked ICL's executive board chairman Kapil Dev, the prize catch, as National Cricket Academy (NCA) boss and also severed all relations with those who had signed up with ICL. That led Kapil, impulsive as ever, to threaten to go on a hunger strike to protest BCCI's injustice against the 'brave' young players.

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