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The vexed South Africa-India series has given rise to a debate, between two of the game's better-known commentators, on the rights and wrongs. In his column for Star Sports website on September 20, Harsha Bhogle analyses the current predicament of the India-South Africa series and suggests that cricket boards around the world must create a financial system independent of India to ensure their economic stability.
South Africa, for example, can ask themselves why they got into a situation where their cricket economy was so dependent on an external power that is always more likely to do what suits itself first. It is just likely that one of the conclusions will be that it was the easy, lazy option to take. If an Indian tour guaranteed a lot of money, it also meant that you didn't need to create other parallel revenue sources to insure against untoward happenings. And it would seem to me, even if I am looking at it from afar, that other cricket playing countries too therefore need to create such a parallel economy. Again there is a similar situation affecting India. If the US decided they would halve all software and business process outsourcing to India (however unlikely that would be but this is meant to be an illustration), we would be similarly hit. It wouldn't help if Indian companies complained about the big bad bully who was taking away jobs, they would just have to develop other capabilities and find other revenue sources.
In his response to Bhogle's column, Gideon Haigh, writing in his blog in the Australian, retorts that the argument doesn't hold much sway, because the issue concerns cricket boards and the game of cricket itself is dependent on " some rough-and-ready idea of equality".
South Africa versus India was billed as one of the premier clashes of the 2013 calendar. Now, however, the tour is almost certain to be stunted from the original three Tests, if not abandoned altogether as the respective boards are locked in a power struggle. If the tour is scrapped, not only will the fans be deprived of some great cricket, Cricket South Africa's finances will also take a big hit. Every domestic cricketer could end up losing R160,000, writes Neil Manthorp in Business Day.
In South Africa the percentage of Cricket SA's (CSA's) gross revenue that comes the way of the players is a little under 20%. If India's tour of South Africa at the end of 2013 is severely curtailed, as it now has to be if it is not cancelled altogether, the likely loss of revenue to CSA will be in the region of R200m. Twenty percent of that is R40m, of which 40% goes directly to the domestic players in the six franchises, a sum of about R2.7m. Each franchise has a contracted squad of about 17 players, which breaks down to an average of R160,000 per player.
The schedule of all ICC events until 2023 was determined at the governing body's annual conference in London this June and Pakistan will not be hosting any during that period. Former ICC president Ehsan Mani, in the Express Tribune, criticises the PCB and its acceptance of this proposal, while urging the board to take the necessary steps to bring international cricket back to Pakistan
This development reflects the sad state of affairs within the PCB. The body has been dysfunctional and there has been no strategic planning or a roadmap to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. The bottomline is that no progress has been made since the tragic attack on the Sri Lankan team. They have basically adopted a hit-and-miss approach in asking various cricket boards to pity them and visit. This unprofessional attitude has put them in no-man's land.