Mandela – Gandhi & the BCCI …

Call it the love of the underdog if you will. Or the sheer amazement that the superpower is the underdog. But I love it when the BCCI wins little battles. Even more when nobody acknowledges the victories.

Make no mistake about it. Its not like the BCCI is above reproach. I just think we sometimes rap them for things they don’t deserve to get slammed about. Particularly when we lose. Its like giving them credit for our victories.

Anyway, it turns out the nouveau riche BCCI which used to get slammed ever so often for their “offshore ODIs” may have won another battle. (And may become nouveau richer in the process.). A number of people criticised Lalit Modi and co for this money making venture. The one I remember most recently and vividly is the Mukul Kesavan – Andrew Miller spat a few days ago. (I am English – pro-Test cricket, anti-ODIs, and all the rest of it – and I am unapologetic about that fact….The BCCI is the most significant national board in the game, and yet it is the most dysfunctional by a distance… And it spends more time arranging abominable offshore ODIs than attending to the needs of the lesser lights in the world game.Take Bangladesh, for instance, who have yet to be invited for a Test tour of India, despite having been a senior nation for seven years now.) That was Andrew Miller. Abominable ODIs ?

Hmmm.

It turns out that South Africa played India in one of those abominable ODI series a couple of weeks ago. It lasted a week. 3 ODIs in Ireland . They reckon they will make more money off that than they will from the combined income of home series against Ne Zealand and West Indies later this year. The New Zealand series is 2 Tests, 1 Twenty/20 and 3 ODIs. West Indies will play South Africa for 3 Tests, 1 Twenty/20 and 5 ODIs. Combined, the South African season against these two sides will start on the 8th of Nov 2007 and they will play the last of the ODIs against the West Indies on the 3rd of Feb 2008. 3 months.

Ahead of those series, South Africa will host the next big thing in the game. The World Cup for Twenty/20. Last year, India had toured South Africa. As per Gerald Majola of Cricket South Africa, “Our major income source is international television money. Last season, when India toured here, we had a fantastic year. This year, however, things will not be as good.CSA had earned 140 million rand (approximately $20 million) from the sales of television rights during the past financial year and indications are that it would receive only 18 million rand (approximately $2.5 million) in the coming financial year.”

Solution ? Majola says negotiations are on for an annual ODI series.

Mandela-Gandhi trophy.

Hardly abominable that.

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6 thoughts on “Mandela – Gandhi & the BCCI …

  1. Sfx,

    The BCCI can go about making money for itself and the rest of the world. More power to them for that..

    But how about spending some of the monies they generate towards the betterment of the game back home?

    Like say, stadium infrastructure. Or maybe, ensuring a year long revenue stream for the many players who slog away in the domestic setup.

    Or maybe releasing the promised One crore to the Ranji Champions ( a proposal that has been lying dormant for over two years now).

    And while on that topic, why Mandela-Gandhi? Since both the BCCI and CSA are cricketing bodies, shouldn’t the trophy honor cricketers, past and present?

    I propose the Trophy be named the Cronje-Azharuddin Trophy.

    The additional revenue streams generated by name association should keep Modi and his ilk pretty happy.

    Cheers

  2. Homer ,

    There’s a revenue side and there’s an expense side. And as far as I know, Modi’s the marketing guy and his job’s the revenue side. And as far as I can tell the BCCI’s revenue has done a lot to keep cricket going – worldwide. They’ve kept the ICC and a bunch of Cricket boards worldwide from going bust. Its something we don’t give them enough credit for. But net, Modi and his marketing crew are doing their job well. Maybe its easy with the market they have – and maybe its just right place and right time, but somebody still has to do it.

    Qn then – why does the revenue not flow back to the expense side? I don’t know. I read once that they helped fund a stadium in Guyana. I see the stadium at Mohali and think its pretty awesome. Some of the stadia seem to improve each time one sees them (on tv, I hasten to add). And yet, some stadia – like Ferozeshah Kotla – under seemingly able people – seem to get worse. How much of that is BCCI ? How much of that is the State Associations ? The Bindra – Mohali example would suggest a lot can be done if the effort is there. And the clout.

    Once again though, the point I was trying to make was, we’re doing well selling the game. For the whole world. Some people still crib about it and they’re wrong.

    I’ll try and keep a straight face through the Mandela-Gandhi barb. Best guess though is that (marketing wise) once you set a series by that name in motion, it ensures permanence …

    Cheers.

  3. Homer,

    As far as I remember Azhar has never really been found guilty of youknowwhat.. Cronje admitted it in an open hearing.. Warne did too, Mark Waugh did too..
    Guess its a bit of slander when you mention Azhar in the same breath as Hansie..

  4. Sfx and Rahul,

    The Azhar-Cronje trophy was in jest.

    As regards Mr Modi, I do not dispute his acumen in generating revenues for the Board.

    But what kind of body picks and chooses when to hand out pensions to select players on a whim?

    And talking of in stadia facilities, it would be instructive to visit the Wankhede stadium – hope of the current President of the BCCI and the current Ranji champions.

    Of what use is the billion dollars when the Board cannot guarantee basic requirements to its paying spectators ( water, clean toilets etc).

    And ever checked the price of the tickets these days?

  5. Homer,

    Like I said, there are no answers (that I know of) for why some (most) stadia cannot manage what a Mohali can.

    But here’s the important part. The paying spectator for the BCCI (business, after all) sadly, is not the guy at the grounds. Its Homer who pays to watch Willow TV in the US of A and Sfx who will pay a separate Pay per View Channel in Singapore. And other such spectators… (I’ve checked those prices – and guess what – Modi and co are doing well there too !). They’re doing their utmost for those spectators. We can crib all we want about the quality of that – and Mandira and Charu and guys who mime – but thats a different realm.

    Again, all this post was – Was that offshore ODIs are not abominable ! They’re good for the game (lets look big picture for a bit)……

    Thank you BCCI ? No ?

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