Posts Tagged Rahul dravid

Test Cricket should have seprate exclusive operations

As I write this piece, we have witnessed two recent test matches, that prove that when the contest between bat and ball is balanced; test cricket is the most pure form of cricketainment. So the big question, what has the apex body of world cricket ICC and its constituent national bodies, done to promote and propagate the oldest and purest form of cricket forward on the path of growth?. The answer sadly is nothing! All you find is wise administrators making the politically correct statement – test cricket is priority (sic). If test cricket was priority then why is the world championship of tests, postponed for another era!

My assumption is that the czars of cricket administration have never had the confidence that test cricket on its own steam can be a commercially successful product. Their inference is that test cricket is something that is important emotionally , but needs to be compensated by limited overs cricket to survive. The above scenario may not be true for countries like Australia and England, where test cricket still is big. However the financial fulcrum of world cricket , India and its constituent apex body BCCI, operate the test format on low priority. This is what ails test cricket’s growth and needs to be addressed with immediate effect.

I believe that the recent two tests , one featuring australia and south africa and other involving West Indies and India, have been eye openers. If wickets are sporting, the balance of the battle between bat and ball is maintained, we will get entertaining close encounters resulting in high spectator turnout and coinciding higher TV audiences.

If test cricket has to prosper then it should be a stand alone entity, commercially and more importantly in terms of operations. What this would do is remove the complacency from the present set up of cricket administrators , especially from India. There is no doubt in my mind that the present day revenues of Indian cricket establishment comes from IPL and ODIs; the BCCI mandarins treat tests as a honorary format that they need to compensate. There is no sense of initiative or focus as they generate revenue for the tests from the broadcaster, who too treat tests as a necessary evil they need to broadcast, while the bread and butter lies in the shorter formats. The same results in no initiative or mandate to produce sporting wickets, which is imperative to produce a good test cricket product. The present mentality involving test cricket in India, is to produce batting strips that would convert into spinning wonders, day 3 onward – resulting in a win for Indian expected to leave all satisfied. This is far from the truth and certainly not what the average fan wants- he wants a great competitive contest, with of course the emotive rider of India doing well! The proof of the same lies in the significantly higher interest generated in the 3rd test that India drew as compared to the first two tests of the series that India won!

Test cricket fans have to be more vocal in their demands for competitive test match cricket. For the format to take precedence over every other format, it is important for the connoisseur of test cricket to express the need to see competitive test matches. Their voice has to be heard by the top cricket administrators of the world, especially those in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. And this is only possible when test cricket lovers are not apologetic anymore of their preference and show their strength in terms of numbers . The basis of my write up lies in my belief that the base of test cricket supporters in especially the top 8 test cricket nations of the world, is large enough to play a significant voice in world cricket.

For test cricket to survive and exhibit itself at its best; is to be played on sporting wickets and run pro-actively as an independent operating body. It definitely does not deserve to operate as a subsidized product of the shorter format of the game,. Test cricket connoisseurs have to believe that the format has a big enough fan base to economically survive and prosper on its own. The same can be achieved only when. a separate body is made accountable for test cricket,its growth and success; much like how you have a separate IPL governing council.

What a separate body to govern the longer format of the game also will do is , it will prioritize domestic cricket structures in top nations like India. Look at the interest level amongst the general public for our Ranji trophy structure. Rather than a first class competition, it has languished as a upcoming cricketers development league. That is unfortunate if one considers its glorious past and stories of epic battles fought in its rich history. A separate body would imperatively allocate resources and focus in the promotion of the tournament, as it would the base of the longer format( international test cricket). Similar to what IPL governing council does for T20. More importantly it would be free from distraction of. Having to organize the shorter formats of cricket!

As always my views are based on personal assumptions and gut feelings. I would as always, love to get your feedback along with contrary views, to comprehend the topic better.

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BCCI needs to bring out the whip on erring franchisees

The Indian premiere league considered to be a revolutionary concept needs to draw the line before the term revolutionary reads imperialistic concept.

The BCCI should have been careful when they were outsourcing its league & more importantly players (assets) to organizations or individuals who have had little or no experience of managing sportsmen or sports products.

The inexperience is showing when some franchisees in their enthusiasm & deep pocket arrogance have crossed their brief while dealing with the players (especially domestic players) & are feeling the pressure of dealing with the unpredictability factor associated with a sporting product.

The IPL commissioner will have to maintain the dignity of his esteemed chair and will hopefully address the issue and take the erring franchisees to task. Already there are questions on his impartiality and autonomy as the commissioner of the league; arising from the fact that he is closely associated with at least 4 of the 8 franchisees. It is time Lalit Modi proves his credentials and restores the sanctity of the league. After all it is easy to punish a cricketer in Harbhajan or a umpire in Ameen Sahiba, but no action is taken against Farookh Engineer and franchisees who have got away with murder.

Issues the IPL commissioner should take to set the BCCI’ priority right:

The BCCI needs to get it across that as a non profit organization entertainment is not its priority and that cricket and development of its domestic talent is the priority with the IPL

  1. How could the Punjab franchisee ( Preity Zinta ) dare to ask the domestic players to leave the hotel to accommodate her page 3 friends. The Issue was widely reported in the media, but the IPL failed to take any action.
  1. The same Preity Zinta & her co owners decided to get into cost saving measures by axing some of the domestic players to trim the team size and save money. This is completely not acceptable & if the franchisee doesn’t see the long term vision of developing local talent then they have no business of running the franchisee.
  1. Now a similar strategy is being adopted by the Kolkata franchisee run by the chak de messiah, Shahrukh Khan. The latest report says that players including Indian pacer Randeb Bose . Who will claim responsibly for this insulting setback faced by these young domestic talents? (http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2008/may/13kolkata.htm)
  1. Vijay Mallaya is now questioning the cricketing wisdom of one of India’s modern cricket great in Rahul Dravid. Does Mr Mallya in his enthusiasm & influence of his friend circle overdosed with RC; have an idea of the contribution of one of India’s & more importantly Banaglore’s cricketing great ?

(http://www.prempanicker.com/index.php?/site/comments/senior_moments_in_the_ipl/)

Entertainment and hire & fire policy are not business practices associated with sports administration and that is a lesson that the inexperienced franchisees’ need to learn fast. Hopefully they understand Human resource management another management jargon and hopefully they put that into practice , because after all their millions come because of the great game of cricket & the men who play it at the highest level.

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