HomeEditorialsIndia cricket team must tour Zim

India cricket team must tour Zim

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IT makes sad reading that India — the most influential and richest cricketing nation in the world — is contemplating rescheduling its tour of Zimbabwe that was set for July to some other time due to “fatigue”’

Newsday Editorial

There is the ICC Champions Trophy next month and a tri-series in the West Indies between June 28 and July 11, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) believes their players need some time to rest before they can embark on a full tour. And to them a full tour has to include at least two Tests, five one-day internationals (ODIs) and some T20 matches.

So coming to Zimbabwe for three ODIs is really not an issue. The other alternative, a member of the board says, is to send a second-string side that will not really pull the finances that are required to pull Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) out of its financial quagmire.

Zimbabwe have just played two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s against Bangladesh and were looking at a good run of international cricket against India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka that will give new coach Andy Waller a starting point. A break between now and August is not what we need.

In recent times, according to Wikipedia, the BCCI has been at odds with the ICC on the Future Tours Programme. It has formed unilateral arrangements to allow more series between India, Australia and England to the neglect of the smaller teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and New Zealand.

Just like the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) in the past, the BCCI has been known to use its power to influence certain ICC decisions. These included scheduling of matches, player suspensions and ICC appointments.

As India is by far the biggest market in terms of international cricket revenue, the BCCI’s opinions tend to gain a large weighting within the ICC’s decision-making process, with other cricketing nations unwilling to oppose due to the potential loss of financial benefits associated with Indian cricket. Naturally, even though quite unfortunate, ZC will be willing to go along with India for any rescheduling of the series because the financial rewards will be immense when the games are finally played.

BCCI has the highest income of any national cricket board, with revenue of $160 million realised between 2010 and 2011. The global media rights for international cricket to be held in India between March 2010 and March 2014 were awarded to production house Nimbus for $612 million. Official kit sponsorship rights for five years from 2010 to 2013 inclusive were awarded to Nike for $43 million while Air Sahara became the official Indian cricket team sponsor for a period of four years at a cost of $70 million.

The media rights for 25 neutral venue one-day matches to be played over the next five years were awarded to Zee Telefilms for $219,15 million while a publication Business Standard reports that it will get another $450 million from the sale of other rights, including hotel, travel and ground sponsorship.

Zimbabwe needs to get something from these millions to keep running.

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