Gideon Haigh recently wrote a strong and very important piece. In it, he said:
…these are cricket boards. They aren’t corporations. They aren’t governments. They are custodians of a game, a game based on the steady accumulation of historic endowments, strengthened by the deep love of its publics everywhere…
What happens when Boards become dictators though? More than 60 years ago, Anthony de Mello was a N. Srinivasan like figure who was outset by the Bengal faction.
A bit more than sixty years on, the boards are more powerful as they generate truckloads of money. The cricket audience is not a strong unified group which can speak as a voice. The past players aren’t powerful enough as they do not earn the money directly for the board. Even foreign teams, even if they are as strong as the number 1 test team in the world in South Africa, isn’t strong enough for the BCCI. They can afford to think to boycott such otherwise important tours in cricket perspectives, even though players like Virat Kohli would love to play in the series.
The only people who can stand up to the BCCI in the current environment are the current players. Why should they? As they are the true custodians of the game and they owe it to the future players. As they didn’t start playing cricket for money but because they loved game.
Stand up, you occupy the position of heroes.