CHENNAI: Though there is a certain amount of disappointment in the manner the International Cricket Council (ICC) has gone about framing the calendar for the 2023-2031 cycle, there is unusual calmness in the BCCI corridors. For a body that has often followed a confrontational approach when decisions don’t go its way, the BCCI believes recent engagements with some other member boards have given it the confidence that the proposal to have two new tournaments — Men’s T20 Champions Cup and Men’s ODI Champions Cup — will be shot down.
While the proposal sent by the ICC favours a majority of the boards other than the so called Big Three as it will generate more revenue for them through broadcast deals, BCCI’s counter-argument is, more global events will dilute showpiece events like the 50-over World Cup and T20 World Cup. “Why would you need a global event every year? The Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are big ticket events because they come once in four years. Just because they are successful, if they are re-branded in some other form and hosted more often, it will dilute these events. The BCCI is not the only board against it. Other boards are aware of it too. Even the players will not like it,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told this daily.
Since taking charge in October end, the new BCCI regime of president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, treasurer Dhumal and joint-secretary Jayesh George has had discussions with the boards of Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. They have made trips to England and New Zealand in an attempt to gather more support and efforts are being made to reconstitute the ICC board, where BCCI doesn’t have much of a say now. “In the last few months, there have been deliberations on how to go about the calendar going forward. Australia, England and New Zealand have similar thoughts and from the discussions we have had, it seems even South Africa want to continue with the current system where there is space for bilateral events. When there is no consensus, the ICC has to find an alternative. It is not about Big Three, everyone wants good cricket,” Dhumal added.
Though the ICC has asked the member boards to place bids if they wish to host any of the events in the 2023-31 cycle, it is unlikely to receive any interest from India, Australia and England, as of now. While hosting such events might be lucrative for New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the BCCI is prepared to play a waiting game, as this is the first time the ICC has introduced a bidding process. “When we have not finalised how the calendar will be, where is the question of showing interest? More or less, feelers from these boards are also the same. They want to make it into a bidding thing as against hosting. Since there is no clarity, we will wait,” Dhumal said. While the ICC meeting in March is supposed to finalise the details, as reported by this daily, the calendar is unlikely to be drawn anytime soon. There are chances of a revised calendar being presented during the annual meeting in June, as one expects a few changes in the ICC boardroom by that time.