What’s the similarity between BCCI & Paris Hilton? As you chew over that preposterous question and try to figure out something noteworthy, let me go on to some BCCI-bashing before giving you the answer.
Where do you start with the BCCI? Almost everything they do seem to be at odds with the rest of the world. And it starts right with their name; the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Phew! A few more words, and it would be a paragraph. The name itself sounds imperialistic, not to mention the trouble the poor fingers have to go through in typing the sentence of a name out. Why can’t they simply re-christen it Cricket India (CI). Short, and easy on the fingers too.
Coming on to more serious matters, their latest blood-curdling moment came when they continued to block the implementation of UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System); this time for the England series. A snap-poll on Cricinfo – the premier cricket website on the internet – showed more than 75% think it was erroneous on BCCI’s part. And it just might come back to haunt Team India. Remember Sydney? That was the test which triggered a chain of events that brought the UDRS into the picture in the first place. Ironic then that India is it’s most vocal critic now after being the victims of such poor umpiring in that series.
What’s more concerning is the reason BCCI keep blocking it in the first place. Some would argue that it’s the senior players in the team who’re opposed to it (which is true). But the real reason lies elsewhere. After all, the players are opposed to a lot of other things – the over-exhaustive fixture- list for starters; the contract payments; and a sundry other things. BCCI doesn’t toe the line if they don’t have to. Now when it suits them, they conveniently keep blocking it in every available forum. In this case, they simply want to let the ICC know who the boss is and that they can’t just shove anything down BCCI’s throats. You see, it’s more of an ego fight.
Mind you, this is the same BCCI which blocked the internationalization of T20 matches without even giving it as much as a try. Not many know that India were a reluctant participant in the inaugural T20 World Cup after the BCCI was out-voted 9-1 in the ICC Executive meeting on whether or not to hold a T20 World Cup. It’s an altogether different story that India went on to win the cup; and spawned off that little monster called the IPL. I’m waiting for the day when it turns Frankenstein and devours its own creator! It’s not as far-fetched as you might think folks.
I digress. MS Dhoni’s criticism that UDRS is not 100% accurate and so shouldn’t be implemented is really a little too naïve; and slightly unbecoming of a mature head like him. The system was never designed to be 100% accurate. Hell, cricket wasn’t designed to be accurate all the time. Once you start with that mindset, the next best logical target would be how do you minimize the mistakes. That is where UDRS comes in.
It is acknowledged universally that human eye can give you the right decision approximately 90% of the time in most cases. If with UDRS, you could move the needle from 90 to say, 98 or even 95% wouldn’t that be a whole lot better. Not if you are BCCI apparently. With their all-or-nothing mantra, they just keep increasing the margin of and for error.
For the uninitiated, BCCI pretty much runs the ICC. So if the ICC wants to implement something, it better have BCCI’s blessing. Else the screws will come off the wheels even before the vehicle can get going. And to take the analogy further what makes the BCCI chug along? We the billion-plus cricket crazy fanatics of this country, which the BCCI pretty much got on a platter. They didn't have to build up a fan base, nor even cultivate one; they just inherited us for our love of the sport. They were the custodians of the game and happily (for them), in the right place at the perfect time.
Which brings me back to the question I asked at the beginning? If you still haven’t figured it out + are not asleep + are still curious, the answer is this: it is in their inheritance of seemingly undeserved riches. This is how Wikipedia describes Paris Hilton: “She is an example of the modern phenomenon of the 'celebutante', the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth...” Replace Paris with BCCI and wealth with fans/followers/market (what have you), and you get the picture.
So what chances of the UDRS getting implemented in an India series any time soon? Not a jot. What should be a lot easier for the BCCI to do would be to remove the ‘Board’ and definitely the anachronistic ‘Control’ and call themselves CI. The BC at the beginning is no coincidence… move on to AD guys! If, nay when, that happens, this post can proudly say, “C I told you so!”