In the end, common sense has prevailed. The way it was going, it seemed this was the most precious commodity missing in the Board of Control for Cricket in India. By deciding against pulling out of Champions Trophy, the beleaguered board at least sent a message that sanity has not become a completely redundant concept in its corridors.
Boycotting the event, instituted by late ICC and BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya in 1998 to help the world body generate revenue, would have meant that the Indian board couldn’t think beyond itself and could go to the extent of jeopardising international cricket, for what effectively was little more than a few dollars.
From the beginning of this episode in February, when the ICC Board voted for a change in the revenue structure that had the Big Three—India, England and Australia—at an elite level with the rest reduced to second class, a section of BCCI members had been strategically saying that the loss was going to be astronomical.It took the court-appointed panel of administrators to point out that what the BCCI is losing could be recovered by playing just three additional matches per year. It’s not possible that BCCI officials were not aware of this arithmetic, but they chose to oppose the new model because egos were getting hurt.
Ego is a historical appendage of BCCI—decisions are often taken based on ego and not on any rational chain of thoughts. These had been boosted by the hegemony the babus enjoyed for decades, which has now been stopped by the Supreme Court. The so-called battle for justice against ICC was in a way a natural outlet of frustration for these bruised egos.
Keeping everybody in suspense over a routine decision like whether to play the Champions Trophy was a manifestation of that. By letting sense have its way, the BCCI has shown it is at last trying to turn a new leaf.