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Can't disrupt world cricket for own interests - IPL COO

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 29, 2014

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Sundar Raman, chief executive of the IPL
Sundar Raman: "We're trying to reinvent the whole FTP." © Getty Images
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'If we admit to mistakes, we'll get better' - Gavaskar

  • Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI chief who is overseeing the IPL, wants the board to become more transparent in its workings through frequent interactions with the public via the media. The former India captain, who was asked by the Supreme Court to take over the position last month, said the process would help the board deal with its mistakes and bring in accountability.
  • "I am hoping the BCCI will become more open," Gavaskar told journalists on Monday. "Like, maybe at least for the IPL, we are trying to make it open and it will carry on for the rest of the BCCI where there will be healthy discussions where people can speak freely and fearlessly, and involve everyone in the decision making process. We will make mistakes, mistakes have been made, but if we admit to mistakes, then we'll get better.
  • "This is not only to inform people of what's been happening but also to get feedback on things that maybe we can do better. We are hoping to do this regularly for the next month and maybe beyond. It's something new for the BCCI but I hope it will be a regular feature so that you can form your own judgment and then do as you see fit.
  • "I very strongly feel that there are four major stakeholders - biggest is the fan, the players, the media and the administrators, and the sponsors as well. If all of us work together, we will be able to take the game forward. Not just Indian cricket, but world cricket."

Sundar Raman, the IPL's chief operating officer, has said India will have to accommodate the interests of other countries while planning its international schedule as the BCCI cannot "disrupt world cricket" to protect its own interests.

The scheduling of the international calendar has become an important issue after an ICC revamp proposed by the BCCI, ECB and Cricket Australia, suggested that the Future Tours Program (FTP) system be replaced with bilateral agreements between boards. Raman formed part of the "working group", along with officials from Cricket Australia and the ECB, behind the ICC's financial and administrative restructuring and he told a media gathering that the focus was on "reinventing" the FTP.

"If India say, 'forget everything, we will play at home December-January-February', my exaggerated view is that world cricket will collapse," Raman said. "Australia will not have a Boxing Day Test, South Africa will not have a season, Sri Lanka will not have a Test. So you are treading on a territory … India has to be accommodative.

"We can't disrupt world cricket so much at the cost of our own interest. Truth is, Australia don't tour for more than four weeks at a time except for the Ashes. India is happy to go on long tours. We want to have minimum two home seasons every year, but it's tough with the different weather conditions.

"We are trying to figure the best way out so that all 26 stadiums in India get a game. It's got to have Tests and one-dayers every year and we are planning in such a way that we prepare better for big events. Before the World T20, we'll play more T20s. Before the World Cup, we'll play more ODIs. We're trying to reinvent the whole FTP. And you know every year there's IPL and Champions League T20."

Raman also praised the "robust" IPL model despite the controversies surrounding the league. Brand IPL was hit last year after three Rajasthan Royals cricketers and Gurunath Meiyappen, the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings, were arrested on allegations of betting and spot-fixing.

A Supreme Court-ordered probe, conducted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel, stated that Meiyappan was found to have indulged in betting and passing on information, and in subsequent hearings, the court asked N Srinivasan to step down to ensure a free and fair investigation into corruption in the IPL. Srinivasan's reluctance to resign as BCCI president and act against Super Kings, a team owned by his company India Cements, had put the tournament under a cloud, especially when the first phase was moved to the United Arab Emirates.

The conduct of the event in the UAE has, however, led Sunil Gavaskar, the court-appointed BCCI interim president for the event, to reveal that the BCCI is considering hosting the Champions League T20 in UAE later this year.

"The success of the IPL here will make the BCCI look at this in a much different way than it has in the past," Gavaskar said. "Champions League here is definitely on the back of our minds."

Following the exit of the Sahara Pune Warriors franchise last year, the IPL returned to an eight-team format, which had been successful in the first three years of the tournament. Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, said the BCCI has decided not to add any more franchises at least until 2017. The 2011 edition of the IPL featured ten teams, with two franchises drafted in, while the last two editions saw nine teams competing in the league after the Kochi Tuskers franchise was ousted on technical grounds.

The IPL governing council will take stock of the UAE leg which ends on April 30, Gavaskar said, at a May 3 meeting in Mumbai. Deepak Parekh, a leading banker, was named advisor to the IPL and he is expected to give his feedback on the matches he has seen so far, and present his suggestions on improving the IPL brand.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by yoohoo on (April 30, 2014, 21:16 GMT)

@NP_NY - I dont think you understood what he said. He said, it could collapse if india doesn't tour in those 3 months, and instead just plays at home. Most boards plan their finances based on the india tours, so it is a very valid statement. If india toured as many days as australia did for example, then it would straight away cut down the finances of other boards by half.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 30, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

@ Mohan Konanoor believes "… we need to have 10 test teams from India. Having one team for a country of 1 billion fans makes no sense."

Mohan seems to be missing several important points.

1. According to Indian posters here, test cricket is dying, that no one has the time or interest for test cricket, & that T20 is the future. What's the point of having 10 Indian test teams that draw no audience or interest?

2. Why have 10 Indian test teams, when even the best Indian team can't beat New Zealand? Are 10 losing teams better than one?

3. If India had ten test teams, & 50 or 100 stadiums, who would play in them? All test playing countries would be permanently touring India. However, players from those nations would not want to spend their lives playing flat track bully cricket on rank turners.

Indians teams would have to play each other. They do already. It is called Ranji Trophy. Make those 5 day games, call them tests, & then test loving Indians can happily play with themselves!

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

The first statement tells the whole story T2o is the most lucrative sport in cricket and although most of the article was about FTP in insight the BBCI will be forced to relieve players so that they will be able to play in other T20 league worldwide. The indian market is very lucrative and other cricketing countries need their players to be relevant not in on-field performance but on marketing and economics. Whilst the IPL need internationals, a boycott by other countries board will lead to devastation which, will see players moving to other leagues and major financial players will move in like the american market and from what we have just witness the financial muscles of the emirates. This concern is real and if not realized by the BCCI will be a power struggle of big spenders lowering players in the international window that is granted to the BCCI to their tournament as i said before and reiterate T20 is the game of the future and more investors want to get involve in this pursuance

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

Even one game per year for the 26 centers is aiming too low. For India's size we should have at least 50 stadia, if not 100, and each of those should get a Test and an ODI every year. But for that to happen, we need to have 10 test teams from India. Having one team for a country of 1 billion fans makes no sense. http://www.espncricinfo.com/thestands/content/story/712445.html

Posted by vkumar_086 on (April 30, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

wah we have 26 grounds.....amazing and astonishing.....so without India, there is no cricket in the world....growth of world cricket is depends on planning of BCCI!!!!!!

Posted by NP_NY on (April 30, 2014, 5:23 GMT)

Whether cricket will or won't die without India's involvement in those three months (Dec, Jan, Feb) is a very hypothetical discussion anyway because with cricket being so big in India, I don't see how India won't play any matches in India/overseas during that three month period. Cricket like any sport needs money to survive and grow and let's face it, the money comes from India. So BCCI's policies in the near future are extremely important for cricket. Some of the statements here are "exaggerated" as Sundar Raman admits, so let's not scrutinize every line here.

Posted by DaredevilsUnlimited on (April 30, 2014, 2:25 GMT)

Do a sincere honest work as a a true cricket enthusiast Mr Raman

Posted by bobagorof on (April 30, 2014, 1:51 GMT)

Having just seen a very successful Ashes series in December-January-February, I think that suggesting 'world cricket would collapse' is probably taking things a little too far. There would be enough competition to have world cricket survive without India being involved over those three months - after all, India did not play in the Boxing Day Test in Australia this year and won't be touring South Africa next season. However, there's no doubt that India is a very popular team to host and that a lot of money is generated from their involvement. My concern is whether all teams will have a chance to play against each other regularly without an FTP - as it is, Zimbabwe cannot get a game and Australia has only played Bangladesh a handful of times. Where will the incentive be to play against lower ranked teams if each country is left to sort it out themselves?

Posted by David_Boon on (April 30, 2014, 0:44 GMT)

Play games in all 26 stadiums? Is he insane? 26 home games a year?! The Indian players will be burnt out in no time.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (April 29, 2014, 19:49 GMT)

As a devotee of the IPL, I am so very pleased at the tremendous and overwhelming support from the people of the UAE in making the first leg a great success. I would definitely like to see the IPL back in the UAE some time in the future for its entirety. Also, I would like to see the IPL increase from 8 to 10 teams in the near future as it will further boost the brand of the world's best T20 league. However, if that is to happen, the BCCI MUST allow Pakistani players to participate in the auction and ask franchises to BID for players based on skill rather than nationality. I would like to see MORE Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Zimbabweans, Afghans, Nepalese and Irish players play in the league. That way the IPL with 10 teams will have more balance and quality as well as renewed interest levels in all countries around the world. God bless the IPL.

Posted by thinkgood on (April 29, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

Watching this year's (2014) is like watching an Art film from the sixties by Mrinal Sen. If that's the kind of lackluster IPL Mr. Gavaskar can chrun out, imagine what would be the future of Cricket in India if he takes ove the BCCI - if that ever happens.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (April 29, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

Not sure how the BCCI can schedule the Champions Trophy in UAE, with Pakistan and Australia engaged in a test series in October. Any later than that, it'll clash with the schedules of other test playing nations.

Posted by mjrvasu on (April 29, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

CLT20 in UAE around September is a pipe dream. Temperatures would be 40-45 C, and near 100% humidity. No chance to play cricket during that time. Want to play cricket in UAE? Schedule events between Nov 20th till April 10th. Outside this window it is a baking oven. Sunil Gavaskar may have made the statement about CLT20 as a general encouragement to the Emirates Cricket Board and the ground staff, which is fair enough. But if BCCI or ICC want to seriously encourage international cricket in UAE, they have to accommodate the season as mentioned.

Posted by bala2rahul on (April 29, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Yea and we want an Onam ODI here in Kochi :P :P :P :P :P :P

Posted by   on (April 29, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

What about our Pongal Tests at Chepauk? Bring them back please.

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