Sunday, 25 January 2009

The VisibleHand

Unlike Adam Smith's 'invisible hand', the very visible hand of IPL money is disrupting the ICC's world. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needs to decide whether it wants to run cricket globally (which I think it does), or whether it is one member which must compromise with the requirements issued by the ICC.

However, it's not that simple, either.

Arguably, the BCCI is defending its turf against the Indian Cricket League, and needs the ICC's support in this. That's a decision that must be reached in conversations between the BCCI and the ICC. England and Australia, amongst others, should butt out, or at least do all their talking through the ICC, and not via the papers. This sort of press coverage is typically English, in that it stirs up a public controversy where there needn't be one, as a certain KP might attest.

If the BCCI needs to fend off the moneybags of the the Indian Cricket League, then it should fight them aggressively by running their competition at the same time.

If the ICC wants to control Twenty/20 cricket in the largest market (which it should), then it needs to work with the BCCI in accommodating its needs.

If England's cricket season clashes with the BCCI's IPL, then the England and Wales Cricket Board has a problem that ranks behind the ICC's, but is equivalent to the BCCI's. That becomes a money question, and the interest of the board with the bigger revenues must prevail.

So now you're left with the players' question of whether they prefer the money or the pride of competing for their 'country' (in quotes because of KP again). I'd be interested to see what an Australian cricketer would do faced with such a dilemma. That would tell you all you need to know.

Of course, if you employed a squad system for Tests, then the problem might well go away!

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