Did The Bcci Pull Strings

Did The BCCI Pull Strings To Cancel T20 World Cup For IPL?

Earlier this week, the BCCI officially confirmed all of the rumours that had been circulating around. The 2020 IPL will take place in the United Arab Emirates but it will not commence from September 26 as some claimed.

The IPL will run from Sep 19 and finish on Nov 8 in order to give the Indian team sufficient time to travel to Australia and quarantine for 14 days before their tour down under begins. The 2020 IPL can take place during September and November because the ICC and Cricket Australia postponed the T20 World Cup which was scheduled to take place in October.

Cricket players are a tad disappointed that the T20 World Cup will not take place this year but they are more than happy to see the IPL rescheduled during this slot as all of the IPL players will pocket a nice chunk of cash which they would have missed out on had the IPL been cancelled this year.

Shoaib Akhtar Accuses BCCI of Manipulation

Pakistan will not be happy with the way things played out because their cricketers are not allowed to play in the IPL due to the on-going tensions between Pakistan and India. This literally means that Pakistani cricketers will be out of work.

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is not impressed with the way things have played out and he has alleged that the BCCI has used its financial clout once again to get its way. Akhtar believes that the BCCI pulled strings to put pressure on the ICC and Cricket Australia to not proceed with the T20 World Cup as the BCCI had to free up this cricketing window to reschedule the 2020 IPL.

The IPL is the cash cow for the BCCI and each edition brings in nearly $500 million in revenues. If the T20 World Cup was not cancelled, it would have been very difficult for the BCCI to have rescheduled the IPL this year because the tournament has to take place during a 45 to 50 day window when there is little to no international cricketing being played so that overseas players can participate in the IPL.

Akhtar said the BCCI not only used its power to cancel the T20 World Cup but did the same thing and got the Asia Cup cancelled as well. Pakistan was supposed to host the 2020 Asia Cup in September but it was cancelled earlier this month. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ lashed out at the BCCI and said that it was clear that they wanted to protect the IPL at all costs which is why they pulled strings behind the scenes to cancel the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.

Is There Any Truth To Akhtar’s Allegations?

Shoaib Akhtar was a fiery character on the field and always had a mouthful for the batsmen apart from his express pace. His character hasn’t changed as he often has these outbursts on social media and has a go at India and Indian cricketers.

It is quite easy to dismiss his allegations against the BCCI as baseless and label it as an emotional outburst. However, if we take out the emotion and have a closer look at his remarks – is there a shred of truth amongst his remarks or is everything baseless?

There is no doubt that the BCCI is the biggest hitter in world cricket because it brings in nearly 80 percent of revenue that the ICC generates. With so much financial clout, the BCCI has used its position to pressure other ICC members as well as the ICC in the past and get its way.

Akhtar might have a valid point when he says that the Asia Cup was postponed because the BCCI wasn’t very keen to be a part of it. If you take out India from the Asia Cup, you lose a billion fans and the tournament becomes rather lacklustre. If the Asia Cup had to take place as per plan in September, it would have made it difficult for the IPL to be scheduled from Sep 19. If the BCCI backed the Asia Cup, it would have taken place and hence Akhtar is correct in this regard.

However, to say that the BCCI managed to get its way and get the ICC and Cricket Australia to concede the T20 World Cup in favour of the IPL is a bit of a stretch. This is because Australia is battling COVID-19 cases and Victoria has been forced to go into another lockdown. This is something that the BCCI cannot be held responsible for.

It looks like the BCCI has pulled strings but also a number of other factors also fell into place to make the 2020 IPL possible!

United Arab Emirates Hosting 2020 Ipl

United Arab Emirates To Play Host To 2020 IPL In September

The BCCI has been waiting patiently for the ICC and Cricket Australia to confirm whether the T20 World Cup will take place in Australia in October. Since the 2020 IPL was postponed due to the corona virus pandemic, the BCCI has been looking for a potential window for the IPL to take place before the end of 2020 and the T20 World Cup cancellation would give them a perfect window of opportunity.

T20 World Cup Unofficially Cancelled

Just when it looked like Australia was in the process of getting things under control, the state of Victoria had to go back into a 6-week lockdown mode due to another outbreak of COVID. This news does not favour the chances of the T20 World Cup taking place as there are too many hurdles to address in too short a time. The BCCI certainly thinks so which is why they are now prepared to host the 2020 IPL from September to November.

It looks like it is just a matter of time before the ICC and Cricket Australia confirm the cancellation of the T20 World Cup.

Asia Cup Officially Cancelled

While we wait for official confirmation of the T20 World Cup cancellation, it is clear that the Asia Cup is cancelled. The Asia Cup was scheduled to take place in September but the BCCI was keen to scrap the tournament and get the IPL underway.

Given the financial clout that the BCCI has, all of the other Asian countries except Pakistan were okay with the cancellation of the Asia Cup. The BCCI stands to lose nearly 4 thousand crore rupees if the IPL does not take place this year.

The players will not be upset with the cancellation of the T20 World Cup or the Asia Cup as they know they will make a lot more money if they play in a full edition of the IPL.

2020 IPL Will Take Place In The UAE

The BCCI has been looking at alternative venues and has received proposals from South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to host the IPL.

The BCCI has decided to go with the UAE who will now play host to the 2020 IPL. As many as three venues are expected to be used for the IPL and these include Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Reports suggest that the 2020 IPL will start on September 26 and finish on November 8.

All IPL games will take place in front of empty seats as the IPL governing body will not put the players or the fans at risk. While the IPL will lose out on the gate for each match, they will be okay to absorb the loss and the bulk of the revenue is made from television.

This is not the first time that the UAE will be playing host to the IPL as the first leg of the 2014 IPL took place in the UAE. This time around, the entire 2020 IPL will be held in the UAE.

Indian Players Will Arrive Early

Indian cricketers have been confined to their homes for over 3 months as India continues to battle COVID-19. It looks highly unlikely that they will be able to have a proper training camp in India anytime soon.

The BCCI has worked out arrangements with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) that will allow Indian players to arrive nearly a month before the 2020 IPL starts. They will have full access to all training facilities in the UAE and go through a month long camp. A total of 35 Indian players are expected to show up to this training camp.

Overseas players will join the camp later as countries like England and the West Indies are currently playing international cricket and will be match ready. IPL franchises have a lot of work to do in the lead up to the tournament as they will have to take care of travel arrangements, hotel arrangements and player safety.

UAE Confident Of Hosting Successful IPL

Abu Dhabi welcomed the UFC – which is the number one MMA promotion in the world in July and helped them pull off three back to back fight cards in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The IPL is a much bigger tournament but the UAE is confident of hosting a successful IPL because has the infrastructure and resources to pull of this month and a half long mega event. The biggest concern for players will not be logistics or safety but being able to play in super-hot conditions. We will have to wait for a schedule of matches to be released.

Cricket Betting

Are The Selectors Biased When Selecting U-19 Players?

The only celebrities that are bigger than Bollywood celebrities in India are cricket players. They not only hog the limelight but also make loads of money once they start playing for India and get a good IPL contract.

This is one of the reasons why parents all over India encourage their sons and now even their daughters to play cricket when it comes to choosing a post. However, with over 1.3 billion people in the land, making it through the district level and representing your state team can be quite a daunting task.

A recent debate has surged on social media as to whether nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket. For many years there have been suggestions that nepotism is present in the Bollywood industry as certain families who have a famous last name appear to get preferential treatment. Their children seem to get more opportunities to break into the movie industry solely based on their last name rather than their acting abilities.

There is a large section of Indian cricket fans who feel that nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket as well, as the selectors are showing favoritism to young cricketers who have a famous last name.

Fans Question The Selection Of Arjun Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar changed the face of Indian cricket as he dominated the sport for nearly two decades. He was, and could still probably be, the best batsman that India produced and was worshipped by Indian cricket fans when he was at his peak.

Tendulkar, who was fondly referred to as the Master Blaster, has since retired and generally makes an appearance when the IPL is being played as he mentors the Mumbai Indians franchise. Sachin’s son Arjun Tendulkar also decided to play cricket but unlike his father who was a pure batsmen who could bowl a few overs, Arjun is primarily a bowler who can also bat.

Arjun Tendulkar’s selection for Mumbai has now come under close scrutiny, probably because there is no cricket action happening and journalists have the time to do some in-depth research. A debate has raged on social media over the past few days claiming that Arjun Tendulkar should not have been selected over other individuals who had performed and had better stats that Tendulkar.

The debate mentioned a young man named Pranav Dhanwade who was the son of an auto-rickshaw driver. Dhanwade created quite a few records when he notched up a massive 1009 runs in 327 balls as he took the opposition apart. However, he was ignored by the selectors even after such an impressive knock. On the other hand, Arjun, who does not have any outstanding stats, was selected.

This has given rise to the nepotism debate as fans have claimed that Arjun is getting special treatment because he the son of Sachin Tendulkar.

Aakash Chopra Plays Down Nepotism Angle

Former cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra played down the nepotism factor claiming that fans shouldn’t get emotional just by looking at a few stats but should take the big picture into consideration.

Chopra said that Arjun Tendulkar had a lot more exposure at international level as he has bowled to the England cricket team in the nets on a few occasions. He also bowled in the nets to the Indian women’s cricket team when they were preparing for the 2017 World Cup final.

Chopra pointed out that while Pranav Dhanwade’s knock on paper did look very impressive; it came against a very weak bowling attack. Chopra also pointed out that if nepotism was so prevalent in India cricket, then Rohan Gavaskar would have played a lot more for India as he was the son of the great Sunil Gavaskar.

Nepotism Angle Will Not Go Away Soon

Chopra makes a good argument but most Indian fans are not buying it as they realize how powerful the BCCI is and that big names do carry weight in the selection committee. There are some fans who believe that players like Rohan Gavaskar and Stuart Binny should not have represented India for as many games as they did but they got a few more chances because of their last name and what their father’s did for Indian cricket.

It will be interesting to see if Arjun Tendulkar secures as IPL contract in the next couple of years as that will certain ignite the nepotism debate in Indian cricket even further.