Samir Chopra August 13, 2008

Whose line-up is it anyway?

Team India might be the team we call the "Indian team" but really it's just the "BCCI India XI", just like the English team at one time was the MCC XI (before the TCCB and then the ECB took over)
24

In response to my previous post on the alleged linkages between national character and cricket, reader Ajax wrote (in part): "Who exactly are the 'national boards'? This is the greatest marketing gimmick in the Commonwealth. Is a player unpatriotic for joining the ICL?" If I've understood Ajax correctly, he is asking, "What makes the national teams playing today the 'official ones'?" In return, I'm going to be self-indulgent, and quote myself from a post I wrote on 'Eye on Cricket' a few months ago. Talk about subversion.

I'm watching the ICL India XI get their caps from Kapil Dev as I write this. This moment is one of those that philosophers love; it shows something we took to be a conceptual given, is actually a matter of convention or arrangement. For as long as we've known cricket in India, it was assumed there was only one 'Indian' team. And the BCCI was its lord and master. This India XI, for trademark reasons, I'm sure, is called the "ICL India XI" and not just the "India XI", but it's an India XI as much as the BCCI's XI is. Team India might be the team we call the "Indian team" but really it's just the "BCCI India XI", just like the English team at one time was the MCC XI (before the TCCB and then the ECB took over).

The point I was trying to make (slighly loosely) in response to watching a bunch of players taking the field calling themselves an India XI, is that when people say "That's my country's team", they are referring to the group put together by the organisation 'in charge'. And the 'in charge' just means "doing it for long enough in a situation where they are (or have become) the only ones". And over that period of time, the entities in question, both the organisation in charge and their selected group become identified with the game in the 'national representative' sense. But that is a matter of established convention, not some otherworldly linkage, and they remain 'official' only so long as they don't face competition.

Had Kerry Packer's WSC stuck around long enough to fully permeate the consciousness of a generation of spectators, the confusion over which team was the 'real Australia' would have been pronounced and genuine. Indeed, by the time the WSC Australian XI went to the West Indies in 1979 for the Supertests, I had become seriously confused myself. What I seemed to be reading about in the papers sure as hell sounded like Test cricket to me. (And I still consider Greg Chappell's batting in the series one of the finest performances against the "West Indies team".) This thought experiment is well worth playing out.

Imagine the Packer dispute had not been settled. How long would it have been before fans would have started wondering which side- the Packer XI or the ACB XI -made claims on their allegiance and support? Perhaps they would have supported both but the intensity of their nationalist ardour might have been dimmed somewhat. The raising of the question of which team was the 'real' one would have brought the awkwardness of the answer to the fore. There is no 'real' 'official' Australian XI. But to expect one is to expect that anything could be more 'official' than what is already at hand: a bunch of players selected by the (hopefully only) organisation in charge of the game.

The moment there is more than one organisation in charge, the confusion begins. Witness the situation in boxing, where it is not clear who the 'world champion' really is. Surely there must an 'official' world championship (or there must have been one in the glory days of Ali, Frazier et al). But there wasn't. There was just the championship of the dominant boxing council (Good Lord, what was that alphabet soup again? IBF, WBC, WBA?) When it lost its dominance, we had the spectacle of multiple world champions and the urge to find unification champions. The chess world championship underwent similar confusion.

The existence of the ICL India XI served to remind me of the origin of the Indian National Team[tm], the BCCI and the linkages between the two. The BCCI is not identical with some mystical entity called "Indian cricket"; the 'Indian team' just happens to be their team. And I sure as hell support it like a good Indian fan. Why wouldn't I? But still, it's worth acknowledging the convention at hand. (And conventional arrangements are nothing to sneeze at; think of how languages got to be the way they are!)

The ICL might not survive but hopefully, it will have reminded people of how things got to be the way the things are, and how things could change in response. Because when organisations act like monopolies, they have the bad habit of displaying laziness, complacency and greed.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • abhishek on August 17, 2008, 7:24 GMT

    Why can't BCCI have a IPL like tournament in collabration with ICL this would improve the quality of cricket played in this country.

  • Ravi Kumar Putcha on August 15, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    Sameer Chopra digs up yet another hoary old shibboleth which makes little sense.

    Just as the BCCI is a private, non-governmental (?) body, so too are bodies like the IHF and the AITA, and for Ashish Bajaj to "get mad" when the Indian cricket team wears the tricolour is weird. Going by the rather simplistic argument that Bajaj provides, it is like saying that only teams that are selected by the SAI are truly representative of Indian sport.

    It just so happens that the BCCI is the most convenient whipping boy around, and hence that sudden discovery of patriotism. I guess the result of the SL series does not help matters much either.

  • Sharath on August 15, 2008, 2:52 GMT

    Though I don't think the article is nonsense, I agree with Sundar in all the other points he makes. The BCCI has not done anything wrong apart from flexing its financial muscle - and everyone who has muscles flexes them. That's life. If the BCCI decides it will not employ anyone who is playing for the ICL, I say it is their organisation and it's up to them to decide who works for them.

    As for the point Samir was making in the article, can't the same question be asked of every sport in every country? Since it's olympic season, who made the IOC the "official" Olympic Committee? The answer is its members. And who made the members the official committees in their countries?

    Besides, what is official, anyway? In business, whoever has the most dough is "official" (think of official sponsors), so going by that criteria, I think the BCCI has earned the right to be "official".

    Maybe we're just philosophizing too much :-)

  • Sundar on August 14, 2008, 23:46 GMT

    There has been enough talk about ICL. There is nothing wrong in not selecting players frm the ICL. Banning the ICL will be restrictive trade practice. The BCCI has not done that. It only says that it will not select players under its setup if they are with the ICL, which is perfectly legitimate as they have the prerogative in selecting the players thay want. Kapil dev says if mercedes and bmw can co-exist, so can the ICL and BCCI. Right kapil, but an employee of mercedes cannot be an employee of bmw at the same time and vice versa. So how can a cricketer play for two setups simulataneously. Similarly, you cannot take BMW or mercedes to court if they do not select you in an interview for any post. It is their prerogative. So is the BCCI's. The question is not of patriotism here at all. The question is whether ICL players can play under BCCI or not and the answer is a BIG NO. Anyway the ICL is not about cricket. If itg was they would have played 3 or 4 day cricket and not T20.

  • Sundar on August 14, 2008, 23:37 GMT

    Nonsense aricle. There is only one way to settle this. ICC is the governing body of international cricket. The ICC authorized body to run indian cricket is the BCCI. So the BCCI selected team will be the 'Indian' team. If it loses that authorization from the ICC and ICL gets it someday(hopefully not!! I will stop watching cricket then), then the ICL selected team will be the 'Indian' team.

  • Vinícius on August 14, 2008, 16:27 GMT

    Perfect.But this is also happening in Olympics nowadays...an example?Brazil Football NT had to take out their crest from t-shirts since COB (Brazilian Olympic Comitee) wanted, since Brazil made a bid to host 2016 Olympics. This almost started a fight between COB and CBF. It's all a matter of $$$.

  • R.Narayan on August 14, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    Well said. It is ridiculous that a team that purports to represent India arbitrarily excludes ICL players.Are they not Indian? Whatever happened to that law suit against the BCCi for restraint of trade and breach of Restrictive Trade practices laws? Surely,if the BCCI is a private club, and won't pick 'non-members', it cannot claim to represent the country. Disgusting as the BCCI's behavior is, I suppose it is better than Indian cricket being run by the babus of the IOA!

  • Marcus on August 14, 2008, 9:38 GMT

    Regarding the Olympics, I wonder if the boards will allow their best teams to go to the Games. I knows that in the soccer, the Australian Ollyroos team is made up of players who've never been capped by the "Socceroos" team which represents Australia everywhere else. If that were to happen with cricket, then residency may not even be a requirement. It wouldn't be without precedent, would it? Ivory Coast's goalscorer in the Ivory Coast-Ollyroos match plays for Manchester. Zimbabwean swimming star Kirsty Coventry lives, trains and works in Texas. So what would stop the South Africans from recruiting their olympic cricket team from the Kolpakers in the English Counties, thus giving their Test regulars a break?

    One way or the other, if cricket makes it to the Games it'll be very interesting to see what happens.

  • selim sidva on August 14, 2008, 8:58 GMT

    Hang on! I have a vague notion that there is something called the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) that is the uber force that can empower ICC to sanction tours and tournaments, and also give bodies like Cricket Australia and BCCI a trademark right over the names "Australia" and "India". Therefore, ICL cannot have the names of cities or states in India without qualifying them with a "Tigers" or whatever. Does anybody know?

  • Devendra on August 14, 2008, 5:51 GMT

    Only someone who hates Indian cricket can think about the possibility of the Union Sports Ministry taking over the sport. There is no point in even referring to our fantastic performances at the Olympics down the decades. It is amazing and amusing as to how the BCCI is used by one and all as a punching bag. Tiger Pataudi recently appealed to all the sporting bodies in the country to regard the BCCI as a 'yardstick,' but most of them opted for the easier, 'punching bag' option. Nobody seems to have taken note of the fact that the BCCI has joined hands with the Union Sports Ministry to set up a corpus of Rs. 50 crores, to help train sportspersons in five disciplines - Swimming and weightlifting being two of them - for the next three years.

  • abhishek on August 17, 2008, 7:24 GMT

    Why can't BCCI have a IPL like tournament in collabration with ICL this would improve the quality of cricket played in this country.

  • Ravi Kumar Putcha on August 15, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    Sameer Chopra digs up yet another hoary old shibboleth which makes little sense.

    Just as the BCCI is a private, non-governmental (?) body, so too are bodies like the IHF and the AITA, and for Ashish Bajaj to "get mad" when the Indian cricket team wears the tricolour is weird. Going by the rather simplistic argument that Bajaj provides, it is like saying that only teams that are selected by the SAI are truly representative of Indian sport.

    It just so happens that the BCCI is the most convenient whipping boy around, and hence that sudden discovery of patriotism. I guess the result of the SL series does not help matters much either.

  • Sharath on August 15, 2008, 2:52 GMT

    Though I don't think the article is nonsense, I agree with Sundar in all the other points he makes. The BCCI has not done anything wrong apart from flexing its financial muscle - and everyone who has muscles flexes them. That's life. If the BCCI decides it will not employ anyone who is playing for the ICL, I say it is their organisation and it's up to them to decide who works for them.

    As for the point Samir was making in the article, can't the same question be asked of every sport in every country? Since it's olympic season, who made the IOC the "official" Olympic Committee? The answer is its members. And who made the members the official committees in their countries?

    Besides, what is official, anyway? In business, whoever has the most dough is "official" (think of official sponsors), so going by that criteria, I think the BCCI has earned the right to be "official".

    Maybe we're just philosophizing too much :-)

  • Sundar on August 14, 2008, 23:46 GMT

    There has been enough talk about ICL. There is nothing wrong in not selecting players frm the ICL. Banning the ICL will be restrictive trade practice. The BCCI has not done that. It only says that it will not select players under its setup if they are with the ICL, which is perfectly legitimate as they have the prerogative in selecting the players thay want. Kapil dev says if mercedes and bmw can co-exist, so can the ICL and BCCI. Right kapil, but an employee of mercedes cannot be an employee of bmw at the same time and vice versa. So how can a cricketer play for two setups simulataneously. Similarly, you cannot take BMW or mercedes to court if they do not select you in an interview for any post. It is their prerogative. So is the BCCI's. The question is not of patriotism here at all. The question is whether ICL players can play under BCCI or not and the answer is a BIG NO. Anyway the ICL is not about cricket. If itg was they would have played 3 or 4 day cricket and not T20.

  • Sundar on August 14, 2008, 23:37 GMT

    Nonsense aricle. There is only one way to settle this. ICC is the governing body of international cricket. The ICC authorized body to run indian cricket is the BCCI. So the BCCI selected team will be the 'Indian' team. If it loses that authorization from the ICC and ICL gets it someday(hopefully not!! I will stop watching cricket then), then the ICL selected team will be the 'Indian' team.

  • Vinícius on August 14, 2008, 16:27 GMT

    Perfect.But this is also happening in Olympics nowadays...an example?Brazil Football NT had to take out their crest from t-shirts since COB (Brazilian Olympic Comitee) wanted, since Brazil made a bid to host 2016 Olympics. This almost started a fight between COB and CBF. It's all a matter of $$$.

  • R.Narayan on August 14, 2008, 10:20 GMT

    Well said. It is ridiculous that a team that purports to represent India arbitrarily excludes ICL players.Are they not Indian? Whatever happened to that law suit against the BCCi for restraint of trade and breach of Restrictive Trade practices laws? Surely,if the BCCI is a private club, and won't pick 'non-members', it cannot claim to represent the country. Disgusting as the BCCI's behavior is, I suppose it is better than Indian cricket being run by the babus of the IOA!

  • Marcus on August 14, 2008, 9:38 GMT

    Regarding the Olympics, I wonder if the boards will allow their best teams to go to the Games. I knows that in the soccer, the Australian Ollyroos team is made up of players who've never been capped by the "Socceroos" team which represents Australia everywhere else. If that were to happen with cricket, then residency may not even be a requirement. It wouldn't be without precedent, would it? Ivory Coast's goalscorer in the Ivory Coast-Ollyroos match plays for Manchester. Zimbabwean swimming star Kirsty Coventry lives, trains and works in Texas. So what would stop the South Africans from recruiting their olympic cricket team from the Kolpakers in the English Counties, thus giving their Test regulars a break?

    One way or the other, if cricket makes it to the Games it'll be very interesting to see what happens.

  • selim sidva on August 14, 2008, 8:58 GMT

    Hang on! I have a vague notion that there is something called the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) that is the uber force that can empower ICC to sanction tours and tournaments, and also give bodies like Cricket Australia and BCCI a trademark right over the names "Australia" and "India". Therefore, ICL cannot have the names of cities or states in India without qualifying them with a "Tigers" or whatever. Does anybody know?

  • Devendra on August 14, 2008, 5:51 GMT

    Only someone who hates Indian cricket can think about the possibility of the Union Sports Ministry taking over the sport. There is no point in even referring to our fantastic performances at the Olympics down the decades. It is amazing and amusing as to how the BCCI is used by one and all as a punching bag. Tiger Pataudi recently appealed to all the sporting bodies in the country to regard the BCCI as a 'yardstick,' but most of them opted for the easier, 'punching bag' option. Nobody seems to have taken note of the fact that the BCCI has joined hands with the Union Sports Ministry to set up a corpus of Rs. 50 crores, to help train sportspersons in five disciplines - Swimming and weightlifting being two of them - for the next three years.

  • Soulberry on August 13, 2008, 23:42 GMT

    I welcome ICL for the changes it forced in an existing structure, just like India's economy was opened up by a certain gentleman more than a decade ago. However, I'd be sorry to see the structure done away with...just as I'd have hated to see India done away with for the sake of a different economic philosophy.

    Rebellion has served its purpose if it has ensured change...a course correction or a necessary impetus in a much-needed direction. Prolonging the rebellion following the achievement of goals is self defeating. However, what are the goals, one may ask. What defines the success end-point of a revolution, one may ask. Answers to these could be disastrously subjective.

  • Venkat on August 13, 2008, 20:26 GMT

    I agree but from a different perspective. The BCCI has assumed that it owns all cricketing activities in India and its vengeance on ICL-related matters is sad particularly where varsity players have been banned for ICL participation. The ICL came about primarily because of the shabby treatment of first class players by the BCCI. Rapacious greed is making the BCCI chase money wherever possible - This may soon extend to galli cricket where the BCCI may see a commercial interest that it may want to dip into. It's current acts benefit only 3 individuals, Pawar, Modi and Bindra; losers include the players, associations that are not friendly with the above mafia, the paying public, and soon, corporate sponsors. India lost a test series not due to Murali or Mendis but more due to Pawar and Modi - this can be rectified only a higher authority who represents the country's interests i.e., the government -cannot get worse than status quo.

  • John on August 13, 2008, 17:24 GMT

    A very valid point infact. May be ICL should bring teams from outside india and conduct some tournounts in india and it will really fire up the scene and bring some valid solution to the issue. A board(BCCI) has no right to say who has to play for India and who should not play for India.

  • Vidyadhar Akkaraju on August 13, 2008, 16:01 GMT

    In a country as large as India it is possible to field not just two but several "Indian" teams. Given proper support and training each state could come up with a team worthy of international recognition. ICL maybe a start. But in reality the prospects are limitless. BCCI may control the lives of 200-300 players but in India I am sure there are ten times the number of real talented individuals.

  • Srinivas on August 13, 2008, 15:03 GMT

    Great point. Now I wonder what can stop a parallel body to ICC (let's call it the International Cricket League) being established with private enterprises running parallel boards in all countries affliated to the new International body? It would be great to see that happen because the monopolies of the current boards will be broken and fans can chose which team they want to support. Here is to that great new hope.

  • RG on August 13, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    Be careful about handing power to the government. It is not necessarily better than a corrupt private body! What is needed here is not more oversight but true competition. Allow the ICL to thrive and provide true competition to the BCCI and the country will be better off.

    On the issue of a team for representing India, it should be selected from the best available players regardless of affiliation to BCCI or ICL much like the US does for the Olympic teams.

    RG

  • Aditya Kumar Pidaparthy on August 13, 2008, 11:30 GMT

    A rare article, which maintains philosophical consistency. This very thought experiment which you speak of, applies to institutions/authorities all around us. Which brings us to the crux of the matter, that nothing is sacrosanct that it may not be challenged, with sufficient reason.

  • Hemant Kaul on August 13, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    One thing that this article clearly brings out is the dichotomy India faces over the so called "identity" of their National cricket team vis a vis the "Money" involved in the game itself. That day is not too far when commercialization would have seeped so much into cricket that Govt of India would invite bids for declaring rights of announcing, managing and earning revenues out of "official Indian Cricket Team". In that case the party giving maximum assured revenue to the Govt, be it BCCI or ICL or XYZ, will get the right to run this game in this country.Lord save the day...

  • prashanth on August 13, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    didn't the same happen during the commonwealth games in 1998 in KL? Around the same time, the BCCI had arranged for the Sahara Cup in Toronto. It had to send two squads and I distinctly remember it sent the weaker squad to the Commonwealth Games (albeit with Tendulkar in it). The BCCI went to great lengths to argue that it was not obligated to send its best XI to KL and that the team which was sent to Toronto was a BCCI XI and not an Indian XI.

    Lets face it BCCI is our creation. It was borne out of interest in the game. Its bloated and filled with money minded individuals because of our collective apathy to not demand any better.

    www.sportsnob.net

  • Ashutosh Sinha on August 13, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    So why not ask the government to recognize one of the bodies to choose the India XI? The power to ban or call a league "unofficial" should be vested with the government-recognized body and not any organization which has been blinded by a huge influx of money. Its high time the Ministry of Sports steps forward, takes a stand and puts an end to this issue.

  • Mustafa Rangwala on August 13, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    Can't wait, rather, would love to see what might happen if cricket via the 20/20 format was made an Olympic sport. The Indian team would then be representing the country under the auspices of the IOA and not BCCI. That would automatically make all ICL players also eligible for selection. Even if the IOA deputised the BCCI to select a team, the ICL i'm sure will then have some legal recourse to try and prevent that from happening.

  • Stephen Gelb on August 13, 2008, 7:04 GMT

    Nice piece, Samir. The difference between boxing & cricket is the national representative team issue. Where this does not apply, it is possible to sustain different federations, though there is still a tendency to monopoly - as in unified boxing champion, or the eventual merger of rival leagues in baseball & American football. National representation is a pure public good, and therefore a 'natural monopoly'. I raised this issue in one of my first pieces on Different Strokes: "To BEE or not to BEE", where I made the point you make at the end here - that the problem becomes one of accountability - of the monopoly national organisation (BCCI or CSA) to 'the public' (the fans), who have no effective means of influencing the organisation's behaviour - neither exit (shifting support to a rival organisation) nor voice (having the power to effect change from within) options are available. Sometimes governments intervene, as public representatives, but this often doesn't work out well either!

  • HN on August 13, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    Fair point.. And one that I think was once raised by the Supreme Court of India. I think this was around 1989 , when BCCI banned several Indian players for playing in an "unauthorised " event. If memory serves, Kapil Dev was one of them. Someone went to court. BCCI argued that it was a private body, no state funding and could choose whichever players it wanted.. The court ruled that in that case, the team shd be called BCCI XI, not india.. All the players were brought back. What I cant understand is why no ICL player is banging the law.

  • Ashish Bajaj on August 13, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    Samir, I can't agree more with your article. what you wrote is completely true. The team they are sending out to represent India for official test/odi's/T20's is BCCI XI. I really get mad on seeing Indian flag colors on their shirts. Who has given them the right to represent the tricolor. The whole thing really sux and ICL XI is as much Indian XI as BCCI XI.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ashish Bajaj on August 13, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    Samir, I can't agree more with your article. what you wrote is completely true. The team they are sending out to represent India for official test/odi's/T20's is BCCI XI. I really get mad on seeing Indian flag colors on their shirts. Who has given them the right to represent the tricolor. The whole thing really sux and ICL XI is as much Indian XI as BCCI XI.

  • HN on August 13, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    Fair point.. And one that I think was once raised by the Supreme Court of India. I think this was around 1989 , when BCCI banned several Indian players for playing in an "unauthorised " event. If memory serves, Kapil Dev was one of them. Someone went to court. BCCI argued that it was a private body, no state funding and could choose whichever players it wanted.. The court ruled that in that case, the team shd be called BCCI XI, not india.. All the players were brought back. What I cant understand is why no ICL player is banging the law.

  • Stephen Gelb on August 13, 2008, 7:04 GMT

    Nice piece, Samir. The difference between boxing & cricket is the national representative team issue. Where this does not apply, it is possible to sustain different federations, though there is still a tendency to monopoly - as in unified boxing champion, or the eventual merger of rival leagues in baseball & American football. National representation is a pure public good, and therefore a 'natural monopoly'. I raised this issue in one of my first pieces on Different Strokes: "To BEE or not to BEE", where I made the point you make at the end here - that the problem becomes one of accountability - of the monopoly national organisation (BCCI or CSA) to 'the public' (the fans), who have no effective means of influencing the organisation's behaviour - neither exit (shifting support to a rival organisation) nor voice (having the power to effect change from within) options are available. Sometimes governments intervene, as public representatives, but this often doesn't work out well either!

  • Mustafa Rangwala on August 13, 2008, 8:07 GMT

    Can't wait, rather, would love to see what might happen if cricket via the 20/20 format was made an Olympic sport. The Indian team would then be representing the country under the auspices of the IOA and not BCCI. That would automatically make all ICL players also eligible for selection. Even if the IOA deputised the BCCI to select a team, the ICL i'm sure will then have some legal recourse to try and prevent that from happening.

  • Ashutosh Sinha on August 13, 2008, 8:09 GMT

    So why not ask the government to recognize one of the bodies to choose the India XI? The power to ban or call a league "unofficial" should be vested with the government-recognized body and not any organization which has been blinded by a huge influx of money. Its high time the Ministry of Sports steps forward, takes a stand and puts an end to this issue.

  • prashanth on August 13, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    didn't the same happen during the commonwealth games in 1998 in KL? Around the same time, the BCCI had arranged for the Sahara Cup in Toronto. It had to send two squads and I distinctly remember it sent the weaker squad to the Commonwealth Games (albeit with Tendulkar in it). The BCCI went to great lengths to argue that it was not obligated to send its best XI to KL and that the team which was sent to Toronto was a BCCI XI and not an Indian XI.

    Lets face it BCCI is our creation. It was borne out of interest in the game. Its bloated and filled with money minded individuals because of our collective apathy to not demand any better.

    www.sportsnob.net

  • Hemant Kaul on August 13, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    One thing that this article clearly brings out is the dichotomy India faces over the so called "identity" of their National cricket team vis a vis the "Money" involved in the game itself. That day is not too far when commercialization would have seeped so much into cricket that Govt of India would invite bids for declaring rights of announcing, managing and earning revenues out of "official Indian Cricket Team". In that case the party giving maximum assured revenue to the Govt, be it BCCI or ICL or XYZ, will get the right to run this game in this country.Lord save the day...

  • Aditya Kumar Pidaparthy on August 13, 2008, 11:30 GMT

    A rare article, which maintains philosophical consistency. This very thought experiment which you speak of, applies to institutions/authorities all around us. Which brings us to the crux of the matter, that nothing is sacrosanct that it may not be challenged, with sufficient reason.

  • RG on August 13, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    Be careful about handing power to the government. It is not necessarily better than a corrupt private body! What is needed here is not more oversight but true competition. Allow the ICL to thrive and provide true competition to the BCCI and the country will be better off.

    On the issue of a team for representing India, it should be selected from the best available players regardless of affiliation to BCCI or ICL much like the US does for the Olympic teams.

    RG

  • Srinivas on August 13, 2008, 15:03 GMT

    Great point. Now I wonder what can stop a parallel body to ICC (let's call it the International Cricket League) being established with private enterprises running parallel boards in all countries affliated to the new International body? It would be great to see that happen because the monopolies of the current boards will be broken and fans can chose which team they want to support. Here is to that great new hope.