Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Caste System in Cricket

I really could not believe this when I read it:
The Indian board faces an embarrassing situation after letting Sachin Tendulkar appear for a Masters Twenty20 match in Wellington on Friday where he will play alongside Hamish Marshall, the former New Zealand batsman who featured in the unauthorised ICL last year.

...

Niranjan Shah, the Indian team's manager in New Zealand, said the BCCI would take up the issue with Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive. "No Indian player will play for a team that has an ICL player," Shah said. About Marshall, Shah said that it "would not be a problem" if the batsman is no longer an ICL player.
[LINK]

For goodness sakes! This is an exhibition match with no official recognition! Are the ICL players classified as untouchables now? Grow up BCCI, seriously grow up. Start thinking slightly beyond the DLF maximums and Citi moments of success,* and realize that players are humans, not just contracts. The fact that this is even an issue is just reflective of the sad state of affairs in cricket, and indicative of the corporate shill that BCCI has become.

I know the BCCI is all-powerful at this point, but turning that power into arrogance is going to cost them dearly in the long run.


* Isn't it slightly ironic that Citi, a company that is so involved in the financial disaster, should sponsor "moments of success!" ;)

Make your pitch on this post...



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12 Pitched:

  1. Leg Break said...
     

    I see your point Q.

    But Hamish Marshall is a 2 faced carpet-bagging turncoat who got far too many opportunities to play for NZ, and thanked NZ by turning his back on his country, and registered as an Irishman so he could get a county contract.

    That was well before the ICL came along.

    Good excuse to drop the toad.

  2. Q said...
     

    LB that was Sledge, not me :-)

    I know what ur saying abt Marshall.. I wud never want a player like that to play for any team in my country...

    But that is besides the point that Sledge is making, which u c as well.

    The ICL players cannot be untouchables.

    Say a touring team to Pak or Eng play a domestic team that has ICL players, would the ICC / BCCI have a problem?

    Its a bit too much.

  3. Leg Break said...
     

    Sorry Sledge and Q,

    Well the long arm of the BCCI has squeezed the neck, and enforced the rule that you’re not only not allowed to play with an ICL player, but you’re not allowed to play against him either.

    Both Tendulkar and Kartik out at the last minute.

    Meaning all the Indian fans who got down to the stadium early can vent their pleasure at Hamish.

    And if you want further proof of the character of that man; check this bit out from the Press Release.

    ” NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills had earlier insisted that Marshall no longer was contracted to the ICL, but an official from the competition indicated that he was”

    He can’t lie straight in bed.

  4. SledgeHammer said...
     

    @LB: I'm not too concerned about Hamish Marshall's ethics in this situation. BCCI would have taken the same action for any ICL player, Shane Bond for example.

    BCCI is taking things way too far with this action. It's very bad for cricket.

  5. Homer said...
     

    Sledge,

    Last checked, Sachin and Karthik were both contracted by the BCCI and were in New Zealand on an official tour.

    And withdrawing Sachin and Karthik is their prerogative.

    As regards what the BCCI would do in hypothetical cases concerning teams other than India - the BCCI has not exactly asked Paksitan not to play ICL players in their domestic competitions, have they? Or asked Channel 9 to drop Tony Grieg and SABC to drop Daryl Cullinan?

    And if you want to talk untouchablity, look no further than Salim Malik, Paksitan's captain at one point of their cricketing history. Exonerated by the courts over the charges of match fixing after batting out for 8 years, the Pakistan establishment has not exactly embraced him, have they?

    What is bad for cricket is this unwarranted taking of shots at the BCCI for every transgression, real and imagined.

    Cheers,

  6. SledgeHammer said...
     

    @Homer: First, I have very little respect (if any) for PCB. Second, let's get the facts clear on Saleem Malik. He has been far from exonerated. The Lahore High Court determined that the life ban imposed on Malik was not in PCBs power, but did not challenge the findings of the original tribunal which found Malik guilty of match-fixing. So he's still guilty, but the sentence was considered unfair.

    PCB has decided not to appeal the court's ruling. Also Salim Malik has met with the PCB chairman on two occasions already. They want Salim Malik involved (as head of the National Academy I think), but they are waiting for ICC ratification of the court ruling before proceeding. PCB has shown quite a lot of flexibility toward someone who is guily of match-fixing. So not sure what you're getting at.

    Now, back to the topic. BCCI doesn't have to recognize ICL. I wish they would, but that's their choice. All ICC boards have followed this lead. Fine. But this action of withdrawing Tendulkar and Karthik in an unofficial match, serving nothing other than providing some good crowd entertainment, goes way too far.

    If Tendulkar and Karthik were asked to play against an ICL team, or something like that, I could understand. But just because one player out of 22 has played in the ICL, that taints the entire team??? This is a very bad direction for so many reasons.

    What's next? People who bought ICL match tickets are refused entry to BCCI-sanctioned India matches?

    For everything BCCI has going for it, and everything it has given to cricket, one would expect BCCI to be above this extreme pettiness.

  7. vmminerva said...
     

    BCCI are a disgrace to the rest of us Indians, Q. They've always been over the top, but this is just plain ridiculous. It's as though these players have ICL-cooties or worse, some incurable disease they want to protect their folk from. Shame on the BCCI and well said, Q.

  8. Homer said...
     

    Sledge,

    The ICC does not let in ground advertisements from non official sponsors during official tournaments.

    Nor are you allowed to drink "non sanctioned" beverages.

    CA does not allow images from matches it hosts to be disseminated without its say so. And claims IP over footage broadcast on youtube.

    The PCB swings from one extreme to the other vis a vis Salim Malik.

    Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka agree to postpone a previously scheduled series because of the broadcaster's say so.

    And yet, the BCCI's principled ( and consistent) antipathy towards the ICL marks the coming of the apocalypse.

    We live in a strange world!

    Cheers,

  9. SledgeHammer said...
     

    The ICC does not let in ground advertisements from non official sponsors during official tournaments. Nor are you allowed to drink "non sanctioned" beverages.

    Every event (sport or non-sport) has this requirement. It's called sponsorship. It's been around for decades, maybe even a century.

    CA does not allow images from matches it hosts to be disseminated without its say so. And claims IP over footage broadcast on youtube.

    I totally agree that they are a bit extreme with their policies, and very short-sighted.

    The PCB swings from one extreme to the other vis a vis Salim Malik.

    What are you talking about??? If you don't know much about the Salim Malik situation, don't keep bringing it up. It's not relevant at all in this discussion.

    And yet, the BCCI's principled ( and consistent) antipathy towards the ICL marks the coming of the apocalypse. We live in a strange world!

    "Coming of the apocalypse?" Damn, you really need to re-read what I wrote. IIRC, I did not talk about 40 days or rain and night, and other freakish events! ;)

    BCCI being against ICL - totally fine. Don't give them recognition. Don't give them your grounds. Don't allow them to play. Don't let your players play in ICL-sanctioned events. Whatever.

    But refusing to have two of your players play in a non-official match which features just one player from the ICL (or even if it was a handful of players, I'd say the same). The match has no association with ICL whatsoever. No one would have even thought about it had BCCI not brought it up.

    I do agree that BCCI has been consistent - I have to give them that. And it's probably to maintain this consistency that they took this action. But I can't see the wisdom of their principle.

  10. Q said...
     

    @VM, I agree with your sentiments :-) .. but it was Sledge who said it well, not me :-)

    @Sledge - I doubt Citi would sponsor the moments of success this season at the IPL :-) ..

    @Homer - I know u have been a strong supporter of BCCI in this whole ICL drama.. I respect ur views and also agree that even the other boards are not above blame for a number of things, but this whole thing about not playing in the same team or against one with an ICL player is taking it a bit too far..

  11. Homer said...
     

    Q and Sledge,

    The BCCI did stop Team India players from playing the county season because of the presence of ICL players.

    Also, counties playing ICL players were not invited for the inaugural Champions League.

    So, why should this be any different?

    Cheers,

  12. SledgeHammer said...
     

    @Homer: For county cricket, you are contracted to play for a team, so there's some legalese involved. And it is official first-class cricket. So even though I disagree with BCCI's approach, I can see what they are trying to achieve.

    Also, the Champions League is an ICC-sanctioned event. So that's why teams with ICL players weren't invited. I disagree with that approach as well, but I can see some logic there.

    This was an exhibition match. It's whole point was a curtain-raiser for the Ind-NZ match, and the purpose was to raise money for charity. No official records. No contract. Nothing. Just a light-hearted friendly game, filled with many retired cricketers.

    That's the difference.

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