Harsha Bhogle
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Commentator, television presenter and writer

Is India a convenient bogeyman?

It's all too easy to lay the blame for all the game's ills at one door

Harsha Bhogle

June 29, 2012

Comments: 175 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor calls for a review after being given out against Peter Siddle, Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 1st day, December 9, 2011
If the objective of the DRS is to ensure fairer decision-making across the board, it must be allowed for every decision © AFP
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The interesting thing about Tony Greig's Colin Cowdrey lecture was not that he took off on India - he can be quite predictable that way - but that it took so long coming. It's a pity, because Greig, whose stature as a player, observer and thinker is not in question, has gone after the easy target. Increasingly India has become the decoy, diverting thoughts from deeper problems that affect the foundation of cricket and come without nationalities

Yes, many, including me, disagree with the BCCI's position on various issues, but those relate to domestic cricket, scheduling and preparation for international cricket, utilisation of funds by state bodies, aspects of corporate governance and so on. Those are problems of Indian cricket. If they make Indian cricket weaker, it shouldn't really matter to those looking in from the outside unless it is to express glee. The DRS and anti-doping issues are relatively minor.

There are bigger issues - for a start, due to demographic issues and changing lifestyles, Test cricket is gasping. In the home of Test cricket (and I say this with all respect and no sarcasm) a Test series between the world No. 1 and No. 2 will be played over three games and a cash rich five-match one-day series has been slotted in. Also in England, first-class cricket is increasingly being played in April and May to allow T20 to be played in the middle of summer. In Australia last year, home batsmen who were out of form had no four-day cricket to go back to because the Big Bash was on in the middle of the season. It is happening everywhere. The greater issue of concern, therefore, is whether the same changes that saw the death of inland letters and long-playing records, that are seeing dangerous shifts from living within your means to living off your debt, are now encircling Test cricket.

There again, India is the enemy. But India is one of ten countries that play Tests. Even if India is the big bad wolf, that still leaves 36 encounters not involving them. Surely those should be in the pink of health. They aren't. Looking at India is fast becoming the lazy solution; there is a far more critical global problem.

But didn't the BCCI scuttle the World Test Championship? Now that is an interesting, if inconvenient, one. The WTC was not part of the television rights deal and the rights holders, who have invested a lot of money, and are not in the business of losing it, suggested that they would recover more from the Champions Trophy than from the WTC. My information is that they asked the ICC if they could make the relevant deduction in rights payable, and if so, they would be happy to include the WTC. The ICC was unwilling to take that stance; in effect, they wanted their share of the rights but wanted someone else to take part of the losses. In business terms that is untenable. If the ICC, and member countries, were so deeply committed to the WTC, they could have put in the money.

As they can with countries that cannot afford the expensive equipment that is needed for the DRS. So on that count, we now have a situation, agreed to by all, where the richer countries have access to what most believe is better decision-making while the poorer nations have to make do with what they have. It was budgets that came in the way of DRS for Sri Lanka versus Pakistan. It is an old issue. The ICC wants television companies to pay for DRS equipment.

On the DRS itself, there is a deeper issue. If the objective is to ensure fairer decision-making, it should be allowed on every decision, not one or two. As it stands today, it doesn't eliminate the howler for No. 9 or 10 if the two reviews have been used up. The lesser batsmen effectively live in a non-DRS system. We have created a hierarchy - haves and have-nots.

If India is indeed wrong, the rest of the world can come together and alienate India. But they don't. Because they want Indian money but not an Indian point of view
I must admit, my own stance on the DRS is to look at it as a work in progress. I thought it was a good idea, but in the three series I saw the most, the World Cup and India v England and later Australia, the DRS wasn't in top form. If it had been a cricketer it would have been dropped. I can see the merits but I am yet to be convinced that it delivers too much more than line calls and pitch maps can. But my point of view is not the issue. The other countries can isolate India on this front but they choose not to vote. They too put commerce ahead of conviction.

And then there is the IPL, the plague and AIDS combined, Genghis Khan and Idi Amin reincarnated, the evil monster that raids countries and steals their players, and which has this stupid clause that requires players to get a no-objection certificate from their home boards. Again, if the IPL is so bad, unlike Packer's WSC, which was such a breath of fresh air and reinvigorated world cricket, surely the rest of the world can fence India out. The IPL needs overseas players and it will be substantially reduced in stature, might even die, if they don't play or are not allowed to play. Again, you need to act not just complain. And I presume asking the IPL to share its time and revenues with other countries was no more than a little aside - like the Premiership sharing its profits with Luxembourg, Belgium and Iceland, the NBA with Honduras, Costa Rica and Cuba.

The truth is, and Tony Greig is both intelligent and shrewd enough to know it, that independent of cultures, civilisations and people, organisations with power behave similarly. Forget the global political reality, even in our tiny little cricket world, Australia has behaved that way, England has, and South Africa has too. (India, for example, was wrong in supporting those who were then running Zimbabwe cricket, as were England and Australia in supporting cricket in apartheid South Africa.)

The accent that power speaks in is not Gujarati, Midlands or Afrikaans, it is universal. But across cultures and civilisations, people have stood up and fought what they perceive to be wrong. If India is indeed wrong, the rest of the world can come together and alienate India. But they don't. Because they want Indian money but not an Indian point of view. Are they guilty of complicity then?

I am writing this because I am disappointed by the ingratitude of world cricket towards the Indian fan who spends hard-earned money, braves difficult times, and whose enthusiasm for cricket survives many ordeals. He, and indeed she, plays a big role in keeping global cricket alive. If Namibia and Bermuda, and Japan and Italy, receive assistance, the Indian fan contributes to it. A little occasional thank you from brethren across the world might be gracious.

I hope Tony Greig, and some others blessed with equal experience and insight, use their skills to enrich the game as they have in the past. They waste it now by taking the lazy option attacking someone they believe is an opponent. We are too small a game to be caught up and driven astray by an us-and-them attitude.

Harsha Bhogle commentates on the IPL and other cricket, and is a television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by lgnandan on (July 6, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

Harsha, India seems to be neglecting Test cricket as never before. Why can't India go in balance with all formats? Of course world cricket completely depends on India. It's not a hidden thing. What if fans get fatigue about T20 like ODIs which were not started not too long before? We should believe that only Test cricket has survived since its inception. It's too early to say about T20. It's still a infant. We are already feeling bored about T20 if it gets too much. India should learn to cooperate with others without being arrogant as they have hell lot of Cricket's money!

Posted by kesri1234 on (July 2, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

Sounds too parochial for sure. This lecture seems to support only India and paints others as bad. As usual this is written by an Indian fan who is not happy when others have shown the bitter truth

Posted by salim on (July 2, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Excellent point, well made. Couldn't have said it any better. Thanks for covering a perspective that I (and I'm sure a lot of people) have thought about but struggled to put it into words. Secondly, thanks for reiterating a different view on the now-labored point about DRS and why it shouldn't be perceived to be the savior of cricket and everything wrong within it. Finally, thanks for clarifying what truly conspired in quashing of the WTC. Insightful and erudite, Harsha!

Posted by cric_follower on (July 2, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Master Stroke Harsha!! Brilliant dissertation of issues.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

Harsha, as usual, has supported cricket..nothing more, nothing less. I fail to see that why is it so that a person who has not played cricket understands and actually is more concerned about cricket than a person who took up the game and played it as a professional. Tony Greig was always a good cricketer and a good thinker of the game. What I don't understand is that even after so much experience, why can't such learned people stop playing the blame-game and actually start contributing to the game which has made him what he is.

Blaming people or game is certainly not going to help the cause. If you think that something is going wrong, try to justify your thoughts to yourself, and then put a point across to the ICC, which I'm sure that they won't ignore the words of a good cricketer.

Posted by nuru76 on (July 1, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

HB u have nicely and correctly taken words from our hearts . As for Mr grieg , he did wonderful and special things for cricket globally yes , but now his absence and alienation from shift of balance of power and a somewhat revolution in world ckt due to IPL has seemingly contributed significantly to brash irrate tweets and "lectures" by him , infact expect more .

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

Someone shoudl inform Grieg that IPL does not stand for Asian Premier League - maybe he should start one if he wants one

Posted by Rohit42 on (June 30, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Finally somebody said it

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

good piont harsha, ipl helps local players get good money everybody earns money it is cricket for us entertainment not heart surgery that it is so important.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

The UDRS debate should be framed as "what package of technologies and rules allows us to have the fewest howlers at a cost all boards can afford and without resulting in undue stoppages that irritate fans?". Looked at this way the call to make hotspot and hawkeye mandatory while limiting teams to just two challenges (to avoid undue delays and undermining umpires) appears daft. Surely a combination of third umpires reviewing all decisions on slowmo replays plus a pitch map would eliminate most howlers at little additional cost and delays. Make this mandatory and let those boards that want to pay for hawkeye and hotspot to do so.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

@Fahad: The WC is an ICC event, and it is a mandatory rule of the ICC that the DRS be implemented in all ICC events. No Full time, Associate or Affiliate member country can say anything in this regard. And only in Indian subcontinent watches cricket like Europe and the West watch football. So, if it is a series between the countries of the subcontinent, that too in India, then only your so called "whole cricketing world" watches the games.Don't just drop the gun and blame the BCCI at every opportunity.

Posted by Kunal-Talgeri on (June 30, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Harsha, your views are defensive of how the BCCI has managed its position of strength in the past four years. Greig has been consistent of BCCI's bully-tactics even before DRS. Let's not forget how it treated the ICL and those associated with the league. Greig spoke up even then. As for how Indian cricket is managed, I think the results of Tests in England and Australia are fair indicators of the BCCI's skewed priorities (0-8, lest you have forgotten). Its market-driven decisions have guided young cricketers (and even the Flintoffs, Malingas and Gayles) toward T20. While I can live with T20, let's see the larger view Greig espouses in the speech, rather than argue on the letter of it. (Don't forget, Greig was prescient about Sri Lanka's rise in world cricket in the mid '90s; he was neutral during Monkey Gate compared to the other Channel Nine commentators.) While he sparked off the Packer circus, his fairness as a global commentator doesn't need any more evidence.

Posted by jay57870 on (June 30, 2012, 13:50 GMT)

(Contd) Like the IPL-led Asian League (Ind-SL-BD-Pak), Greig envisions similar good-neighbourly leagues worldwide - Aussie Big Bash with NZ; Poms with Irish & WI; SA with Zim & Ken! You get the idea: warm & fuzzy! He dreams somehow lots of money will pour in with the boards in tow. A fool's paradise indeed: putting the final nails into Test cricket's coffin! As for DRS, ask his buddy Martin Crowe (a past Cowdrey Lecturer) who asserts: "Greig has yorked himself over DRS"! The system is flawed & disappointing, given that Ian Taylor, the creator of Virtual Eye, himself is not 100% sure. Crowe praises BCCI for its rightful & courageous stance, faults ICC for being wrong from day one and for not admitting it! Ditto for Greig: he's on the wrong side on most issues. Foot-in-the-mouth disease? He may have to eat his holy words. Remember his admission by "grovelling" on the ground to the crowd in that most humiliating game vs the mighty West Indians? Fire in Babylon! Remember it, Tony?

Posted by jay57870 on (June 30, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

(Contd) It's a joke that Greig, of all people, was chosen to deliver the prestigious Cowdrey Lecture. What moral standing does he have to sermonise on the "spirit of cricket"? Recall how he once proclaimed provocatively from his captain's bully pulpit that he would make the West Indies "grovel"? And now he unashamedly invokes the names of Mandela, King & Gandhi (3xOMG!). Yet "Moneybags" Greig had no qualms about deserting his country for WSC cash & power. To wit: WSC triggered the chaos in the cricketing world to start with - rebel South Africa tours (3xOMG!); meteoric rise of ODI, first real threat to Test cricket; and gross commercialism! Maybe it's "payback" or sour grapes, he's never forgiven BCCI/IPL for destroying his (other) rebel ICL money-venture. He complains IPL is too long, interferes with the international calendar. Yet he wants (yes) IPL, with a reduced schedule, to benevolently form an expanded "Asian League"! Surely a kiss of death for Test cricket! Wait, there's more.

Posted by jay57870 on (June 30, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

Let's be clear: Harsha's topic is about Tony Greig chastising "bogeyman" India for "all the game's ills" - money, power, IPL/T20, conflict of interest, neglect of Test cricket, DRS, etc - all because of India's "self-interest"! So what's wrong? Just that it's the same Greig who sold out to Kerry Packer for a "job for life" with his renegade WSC circus. Listen to (late) Tiger Pataudi's reflections in a 2010 speech: "When Kerry Packer arrived ... there was a huge shake-up in world-cricket administration. But at that time India and Indian cricket earned a huge amount of goodwill and gratitude." He pointed out "not a single Indian cricketer" joined WSC even as "the English captain (Greig) was surreptitiously recruiting for Kerry." In fact, BCCI hosted many "second-rate teams, but to full houses. A lot of money was made and shared between the countries and cricket survived"! Right on the money, Tiger! It's India & the Indian fan who bailed out cricket then! Yes, like it is now, Harsha!

Posted by Srini_Chennai on (June 30, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Wonderfully written, Harsha. Even if India agrees to DRS, only rich boards can afford it. Still, we have many low profile series with no DRS. Finding a sponsor for DRS is not feasible, tbh, who would sponsor an ultra-expensive DRS for PAK-SL series? This is just jealousy from all countries, don't try to bask on Indian money. If it wasn't for India, game of cricket would be burried and cricketers should find another profession :)

Posted by CricIndia208 on (June 30, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

Greatest article written on Cricinfo

Posted by rajattiwaari on (June 30, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

What people forget is the fact that first team to have agreed to use DRS was IND!! In 2008 series of IND vs SL in SL, DRS was in place. But the experience was pathetic.Those who watched that series would agree with me. Even after using DRS a lot of wrong decisions were made. And in ENG last year, dravid was given out twice,when clearly the decision should have been not out. So dont just keep slamming BCCI for every wrong thing going around in cricket. First, know the facts.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

what a fitting rebuttal from Harsha

i have a great respect for Grieg as an expert commentator - but for a player notorious for blatant gamesmanship thorughout his playing career ref his run out of kalli in 1974 , - its indeed ironical that MCC invites Greig of all people to deliver a Spirit of cricket lecture - . Grieg has some good points but its all drowned in his India baiting and how India is failing the spirit of cricket. Contrast this with the humility with which rahul dravid presented his lecture - this is truly not the spirit of india

Posted by indianpunter on (June 30, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

I have been saying this for a long time; take out predictive path, use the trajectory only till the point of impact and then let the on field umpire decide. Use pitch map and hot spot. I still feel that a batsman wont waste a review if he has actually edged the ball ( and therefore not risk hot spot not picking it). One of the major bugbears is the 'on field call", where a batsman can be both out or not out on the same ball depending on the on field umpire's call. This will be negated, if prediction by DRS is done away with.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

India is the major source of revenue for ICC. But that doesn't mean India should be the decision makers at every meeting. When all the other nations are for DRS, india should respect the views of other countries. Harsha's column is biased.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

An unlike harsha article.I have heard what tony greig had said in colin cowdrey lecture.I have no idea why you have taken it personally i mean it has nothing against the indian people or india as a country.Rather he pointed out BCCI's role in today's cricket and how this role is going shape future cricket.Even a five year boy won't believe that BCCI is against DRS just because it is not 100% accurate.If that's the case then why they allowed DRS in an event like WORLDCUP.There must be something else.Moreover will you deny the fact that BCCI bullies cricketing world.This is the most annoying of all.Do you have any explanation why BCCI is not giving NOC to their player who wants to play in franchised base 20-20 leagues abroad? Another offensive part was the way you dubbed the whole cricketing world as ungrateful!Don't forget that the million BCCI is earning from TV sponsorship is owed by cricket lover's from all over the world.

Posted by DPSH555 on (June 30, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

I think we shud find out who are the people who invented and are doing marketing of DRS. Obviously, it's simple case of monopoly to make money till the dooms day once DRS is accepted by all as they will keep receiving their share of fortune. time to investigate and find out the ACTUAL people who are going to benefit if DRS is accepted. Period.

Posted by vijaysun1 on (June 30, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Here is a compromise that someone at ICC should have been thinking of re: DRS. They should have proposed DRS without predictive technology to be adopted universally and this would have been accepted.I would argue that for lbws (where predictive tech is used) the BCCI is within it's rights to accept the on field umpire's call as was the case traditionally.No other game allows predictive technology to enter decision making and for good reason.DRS can be used for lbws as well without predictive tech to make sure the on field umpire was correct wrt 1) contact with bat 2) ball pitching outside leg 3) contact outside off stump and 4) even height if ball was already higher than stump height when it hit the batsman.

To all the people wanting predictive tech to decide a player's fate, how would you like it if a key decision affecting you financially was made on a machine's judgment without any human judgement?besides,players shd just play and not have to deal with intricacies of when to review

Posted by vijaysun1 on (June 30, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

I have not always agreed with Harsha but must commend him for this thoughtful response Greig. At the end of the day, nothing prevents the ICC from voting on the subject of DRS and have the majority impose it on India; maybe Greig should spend his time lobbying his contacts in Eng,SA,Aus,SL etc.so that they have the guts to vote next time.I anyway think the DRS issue is overblown;maybe it could have been adopted by everyone without predictive tech by now but the ICC chooses to lump the non predictive parts with the predictive ones which is another ICC mistake,not BCCI's.As for India's superstars being the reason why it was not adopted,I am not sure what the point of a trial was if one could not express concerns; everyone is blaming India for preventing progress (read DRS) but miss the point that the part that India opposes is the predictive tech (which is not used even in tennis where the decision is based on actual trajectory) especially for lbw.pretty undemocratic to not allow dissent

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Till very recently ie the England and West Indies Test Series I was a strong advocate for the DRS. Three decisions in the first test changed my opinion. In the first innings Chandra Paul was given out LBW but on referral it was a terrible decision and it was changed. IN the second innings ChanderPaul was again given LBW, this time the decision was close and it stayed. In other words if the umpire had given not out that would also have stayed. Thereafter in the England second innings Jonthan Trot was give not out on a LBW appeal first ball he faced. The decision was referred and it was too close to change. Here also if the decision was given out in the first instance it would not have changed. I gues only when DRS becomes fool proof on these type of decisions it can be implemented

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

I have a very simple question : Who pays the umpires officiating a cricket match, is the ICC or the cricketing boards of the playing nations ? If it is ICC then why does it expect the cricketing boards to bear the cost of UDRS, it should be the sole responsibility of the ICC. And as Harsha rightly pointed out, one must act not complain, every board has the option to go against BCCI and it takes only 7 members to agree on a resolution to pass it, Tony himself made this point.

Posted by allrounder_96 on (June 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

The fact is just because India is the most financially powerful nation in the ICC, everything is being blamed on them. Hardly anyone including Greig appreciates the contribution but only worries about the contradictory decisions that they make. I mean, why dont they realisethat India is the one that has to actually provide funds and pay for most of the expensive DRS features.!

Posted by RohithMedisetty on (June 30, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

@programmingdrone, read the article carefully . He never said he is against DRS. he said srilanka couldn't afford DRS so why not ICC help them out. This is what he is talking about. Blame us for everything.

Posted by maverick_ind on (June 30, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

India should be open to the DRS!!! It will evolve more as we use it. All the other issues are extremely valid. Very well said Harsha.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

DRS has its flaws as technology is always a work in progress. But there are tools available that do not call for any additional investment and would eliminate most erroneous decisions. There is the mat which tells one that the ball is pitched outside the leg stump or replay that tells you if there is an inside edge, even without the hotspot. Why not make use of these for referrals? And do it for every decision. In due course decide if you want things like hotspot or hawkeye for decision referrals, once they are made much better.

Posted by programmingdrone on (June 30, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

I completely disagree with Harsha. DRS should become mandatory in light of so many wrong decisions in the Sri Lanka vs Pakistan test series. All that needs to happen is for india to be on the wrong side of decisions.

Posted by Keshav21 on (June 30, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

If DRS is not 100% how can any one accept it, India VS England series was best example about it. If cricket survived over the years with umpires like Dicky bired, David Shepherd, Simon Taufel etc.. Why not for future? Or else it can have only TV umpires on more standing umpires. And about IPL again why so blame on single tournament for universal problems, I was just wondering what IPL has given to cricket. Australia has got finest test openers after Hayden. West Indies got their best batsmen and mysterious spinner and so many. Just needs to be look at it in a positive way.

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 30, 2012, 2:01 GMT)

@pereirapet: Thats a very valid point there, how do we know there were 17 howlers when there was no DRS in the that PAK-SL match? Simple TV replays can show if there was an inside edge involved in LBW and bat pad caught decisions. If you remember there was a form of DRS used in Eng Ind series that had hotspot for catches but it didn't apply to inside edges in LBW decisions. But the system was dumped because it failed to pick one or two marginal decisions that hotspot could not conclusively show if there was an edge or not. Why was that system dumped? Marginal decisions will always be marginal, marginal decisions are not howlers. BCCI got rid of it because they had the excuse of one or two marginal decisions not being conclusive, when you are looking for excuses you will find many because at the end of the day nothing is perfect!

Posted by squidhead on (June 30, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

In some respects - not all - I thought Tony Grieg had made a pretty good case. Partly, I suspect, because I tend to be suspicious of power and naturally resentful of those who would wield it in their own interests at the expense of others. So I approached this article with a jaded spirit expecting to be disappointed by a fairly transparent attempt by the author to ingratiate himself with his primary base. Thank you, Harsha, for proving me wrong, and for once again showing yourself to be a wise and sympathetic observer of the game. Of course, I never really had any reason to expect anything different. Keep up the very fine work you're doing, and thanks for giving me more than a few things to ponder.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

Harsha face it. who is against UDRS? BCCI only

Posted by High_on_Cricket on (June 30, 2012, 0:23 GMT)

A briliant piece Harsha !! Couldn't have said it better... conveyed the true emotions of so many cricket fans !!

Posted by S_Pras on (June 29, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

I agree that the DRS is WIP, but the question really is, even if the DRS really made better, will India be willing to adopt it? Why doesnt India express what it needs to be implemented in the DRS to ensure that it begins to use the technolgy available. I think the main goal of the DRS is to prevent any obvious howlers. Was Harsha not watching the latest Srilanka vs.Pakistan test match? The scoreline may have been very different if DRS had been available. I understand that economics is at play here, but the onus should be on ICC to make it avaialble for all series and it should take up the cost.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

What an artical Harsha.. thats called writing at its best. You Nailed it...

Posted by yogi.s on (June 29, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

Ii do not understand why ex-players and icc are not thinking of finding a middle path with regards to drs. It is agreed that drs itself is not 100% right , even the supposedly accurate hot spot failed twice during the england v india series. So if your aim is to eliminate the howlers why not just use the pitch mat , slow motion and snickometer? Sometimes I wonder if some of the ex-players are genuinely concerned for the game or just want to impose their thoughts. I feel drs is not the biggest problem in world cricket right now. It is how the icc and involved countries are going to make sure test cricket still remains THE dream for aspiring cricketers and at same time make sure it makes enough money for it to sustain itself. So as ex-players it would be better if they used their expertise in this aspect rather than take the easy route of blaming india, which certainly is to be blamed but not for everything.

Posted by PPD123 on (June 29, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Thats a very practical article Harsha! Really love your point around the objective of DRS. If it is to eliminate howlers and have a more fairer decision manking process, then why limit the it to only 2 challenges. Completely agree, if the top 6 batsmen have used the 2 reviews, we will still have a situation where 5 batsmen will play non DRS and we will still have a lot of hue and cry if there are obvious errors that are made. So I think, if ICC is really serious of implementing the DRS then it should 1) not leave the boards to decide and make it mandatory 2) provide financial assistance to whichever board that cannot afford 3) increase the number of reviews to 5, doesnt matter if it slows down the test match by 1 over a day 4) ensure all aspects of DRS are used everywhere to ensure there is uniformity in decision making.

Posted by pereirapet on (June 29, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

I have a logic problem. To argue the case for DRS people have said that because of a lack of DRS there were 17 howlers in the recent Pak/SL series. So....without DRS how do we know this .Were TV replays sufficent to demonstrate these howlers. ...... There is an obvious inference....the arguenent supports the psition that we don't need DRS to identify howlers.

Posted by Cric_Is_Fun on (June 29, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

Thanks Harsha for this article. In my opinion the real problem with DRS is its implementation. If ICC is serious about DRS then it should pay for it and not pass the buck around. Moreover, DRS is useless without HOTSPOT. But HOTSPOT is not available in any other country except Aus, Eng and SA. Remember there was no HOTSPOT in the ICC world cup which was an ICC organised event and took place in the subcontinent. Unless these things are sorted out I do not see DRS being implemented globally. The SL, Pak and Bang boards are simply hiding behind BCCI instead of voicing these concerns themselves.

Posted by yogi.s on (June 29, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

I disagree with harsha on one count here, the first is that drs and doping laws are a smaller issue compared to issues in indian domestic circuit because any cricket body has two different roles 1. to manage domestic system 2. to play their part in shaping the way the game is played globally and especially the bcci with its financial clout has to play the leadership role so its wrong to prioritize the two different responsibilities of the bcci, both are equally important.

Posted by Penny on (June 29, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

Excellent article Harsha. The best article on the subject so far.

Posted by NaniIndCri on (June 29, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

Nicely said Harsha, I do not understand why umpiring should be part of game strategy. In its current form DRS allows itself to be used as a strategy and guess work from teams. The reviews must not be 1 or 2. This is causing the team loosing reviews early pay price for it later even though Teams are not supposed to be guessing decisions. Second is the cost, in current system boards have to pay for it. And poorer boards cannot as we saw in recent SL vs Pak series. Why does not ICC take the tab instead of blaming BCCI. Tony Grieg's has an absurd idea of including other countries in IPL. There is a reason it is called 'Indian' PL. Why should Indian cricket fans pay for other boards? Why not share the profits of ECB or CA with other boards?

Posted by krishna_j on (June 29, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

what a great rebuttal from Harsha - hats off

Posted by Sakthiivel on (June 29, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

@ athem79 : When SL and Pak dont have money for DRS thats a big issue. Not using is the minor issue.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (June 29, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

Nail on the head. Tony Greig was crying hoarse I thought. Righto Harsha, take a bow! Terse and to the point.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Excellent article and a fitting riposte to an unusually bad judgement call made by Tony Grieg

Posted by bigdhonifan on (June 29, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

I dont understand why BCCI is involved in for not using DRS in Pak Vs SL test.... Its Pak and SL need to pay right? PAk used it against Eng, but not using now.

Posted by Kaze on (June 29, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

DRS with hotspot and snicko is excellent I see no reason not to use it.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (June 29, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

If Pakistan and Lankans is still playing Cricket, because we Indians are still watching it!!!

Posted by gdalvi on (June 29, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

Simple TV replays - just like ones used for run-outs for long time now - will take care of howlers without additional cost. DRS supports say technology does not have to 100% correct - any improvement is better than none. Agreed - but by same reasoning, using FREE TV replays does exactly same thing and its FREE!!! DRS-Sup accuse BCCI of 'burying head in sand' - while they do the same thing by insisting on expensive technology - as long they don't have to foot the bill. If DRS goal is to eliminate howler, we should first define what a "Howler" is. I don't know if ICC has a formal definition for it - but simply speaking it is when an unbiased observer could see right away with NAKED EYE that mistake has been made. For this - a simple slow motion TV replay is more than sufficient to identify and rule out howlers. If a decision NEEDS hot-spot and other extra-sensory gadgets to make a decision - it CANNOT be classified as an howler. FREE TV REPLAYS are all that is needed for DRS to work.

Posted by sameer111111 on (June 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

I hate the IPL more than I ever hated any person, but have to agree with the wonderful article. Accusing IPL for spoiling cricket is like blaming Munaf Patel for India's batting collapse.

Posted by kh1902 on (June 29, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

I'm amazed that so many people support the DRS without understanding how it actually works. How can people be such passionate advocates for a system, without seeing how it works and properly considering the issues. The whole DRS debate has been hijacked by laypeople with no scientific background. To make an impartial and intelligent assessment of the system's merits, it is insufficient to just be a cricket fan. One has to understand the intricacies of the system, from a scientific perspective.

Posted by chaitanya1219 on (June 29, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

completely agree with HARSHA superb article and yeah fantastic reply to all who are crying BCCI oppose dis DRS dey think dey are bigger den ICC blah blah stuff why dunn u alienate us??? cum on ur 9 nations and we r 1 nation u can surely alienate us but u wont as HARSHA explained why aftr all itz money if u remove us frm ur cricket ur cricket is finished and yeah many wise people like tony know all dis dere own players quit dere national duties to play our IPL why dunn dis wise people tell dere respective boards to stop dere players playing our IPL and ask dere boards 2 vote against us or cancel all dere series which wud be played against us.. but yeah hell again itz aftr all money and if ur so money minded folks den stop dis crying and try 2 address issues instead of poking against us

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (June 29, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

I think what ever is happening to cricket is because of ICC rules and they are more money hungry than BCCI or any other board in the world. First ICC changed all rules in cricket to make it batsmen friendly and then when fast bowlers are not there because of those ICC rules , no body is interested in test cricket all. On the other hand ICC and england started T2020 cricket not India , then because of demographics India started IPL and it was success, looking at Indian fast bowlers , i think T2020 is perfect for India because fast bowlers don't have any hope in those conditions at all. So test cricket is dead in sub continent. ICC is culprit here not BCCI , ICC changed the cricket from a warrior game to a cowardly looking game.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

A befitting reply to Tony Greig who has raised the mundane rhetoric against BCCI, ignoring more root problems that world cricket faces today. If ICC has the spine, they can implement the DRS, even if India is against it. Then why don't they? Why did they not put it to vote? ICC wants a cake without paying for it. They want rights but shy away from responsibilities. I agree with Harsha that BCCI is more subject to criticism towards the manner in which they are contributing (or rather lack of) to domestic indian cricket and its development rather than the stances it takes at ICC. Thank you Harsha for speaking up for the millions of Indian cricket fans!

Posted by Dev_Anand on (June 29, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

@getsetgopak - did you read the article. All Harsha is saying is DRS is an minor issue to BCCI compared to other issues that it needs to address.

Posted by outback_storm on (June 29, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

The problem with DRS is not the referral system but the use of predictive technology. Unless someone separates the two, the confusion will continue.

DRS will be a success if used only with compelling factual evidence based on video / audio. It simply cannot be used with predictive technology such as hawkeye: there are so many variable factors in predicting if a ball will hit the stumps - bounce is different, wind factor is different, every bowler is different, every pitch is different! And hawkeye computes 80% of trajectory based on 20% of evidence after the ball pitches - not reasonable!

DRS can be used to check if a catch was clean, bowler overstepped, ball pitched outside leg or in-line, whether there was something audible as ball passed the bat - but unless direct footage is available to verify these 100%, it cannot be used to overturn any ruling on the field. No sport that uses referral system, uses predictive technology to overturn umpire's call - it is simply counter intuitive

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

best article by Harsha, If the other boards and players dont like IPL they can just restrict their players from participating from it! India got its own problems to settle, if others got issues they have to settle it with everyone else not just blaming BCCI.

Posted by InsideHedge on (June 29, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

It's become a popular game now to blame India for everything in cricket. For that, we can also view it as a back hand compliment. There are some ppl who cannot comment on a cricket article without dragging India (and often Tendulkar) into the discussion. Their jealousies permeate through these pages.

Posted by Ajay02 on (June 29, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Whats a beautiful Article , Harsha. Its a fitting response to all those who keep on having a go at India. India can very well employ DRS and even will make money out of it but what about our neighbours, WI, NZL and Zimb.Anyway, I am sure somebody and somewhere in India someone is formulating a new version of DRS, much cheaper and better suited. Go India

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

@ Terry Wise If correct decisions were so much important for survival and health of a game the soccer would have become extinct by now. DRS looks good on TV but in reality it has its own flaws and improves the decision making only marginally, which does not justify the huge amount of money spent on it. So either get a more efficient or a more cost effective system in place or let it be open to the boards to decide if they want to use the system in its current form.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

@alikhan224....whatever you are saying is not a DRS. LBW decisions if felt were wrong were checked again even before DRS had born. So, this comes to third umpire decision. Each and every legal delivery is monitored by 3 umpires and support staff and every one gets replays in fraction of minute. So, if batsman feels he is judged wrong , he can ask umpire, can you check it again. Bowler can also ask for it; and even if no one appeals and any of three umpire feels their was nick and not-noticed they can check it once. The major cause of 17 howlers in that game of SL-PAK was that no umpire has over ruled a bad decision taken by another umpire. It doesn't need a magic band to do it. A small pause and rectification can do.

Posted by Natesan333 on (June 29, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

@getsetgopak I guess you country thought drs is a minor issue too!! Or else they would have insisted on having it for the series with sl. Wouldn't you say money is the bigger issue here? So why is it ok for PCB and SLC to consider money, but not BCCI?

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

I generally dont agree with harsha and his fawning of stars to the detriment of hard working cricketers (Rohit Sharma as against Pujara, Bhajji instead of Ojha), but he does make some relevant points.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (June 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

So, Harsha the issues u have with BCCI are the Scheduling and Preparation for International matches, domestic cricket and distribution of funds to state associations. But your concern doesn't extend to the Important issue of Pathetic, Docile, Knee high bouncing Pitches prepared for Test cricket in India or does it extend to the use of UDRS which will yield to far more exciting Test cricket, not only in India but all over the world. But as you have admitted, these are RELATIVELY MINOR issues. Solving these minor issues will lead to a revival of the "gasping" Test Cricket and how can India let that happen.

Posted by eZoha on (June 29, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

I have grown up appreciating Harsha's insightful words during cricket matches. Very disappointed to read this article though. It seems there is a gradual shift in his line of thinking. ### DRS issue >>> Harsha along with many others here are harping on the fact that a few countries cannot afford it, so the blame should not be on BCCI alone. Here is the fact from cricinfo report - "It is understood that an appeal by a majority of the Full Member nations to the ICC for the sale of centralised rights to the DRS to a single sponsor was also not likely to gain traction due to the BCCI's opposition to the technology itself." It means the cost, however large, could have been easily paid by sponsors, but when the richest and most powerful board refuses to use it, that solution is out of question. ### IPL issue >>> Really Harsha? You think it is that easy for boards to not allow players in the IPL? Have you forgot Malinga issue, when he resigned from Tests? Or the whole Gayle saga?

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 11:58 GMT)


If non-Indian cricketing bodies believes IPL want help development of cricket as a whole, why ICC (or rest of the cricketing bodies) cannot organize a WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE(WCL).Rules could be similar 2 IPL apart from no of teams could be increased up to 16 & each playing 11 could have maximum of 2 players from each country.Unlike IPL, since most of the players in a team are international players matches would be more interesting and able 2 attract wide audience from many countries. Wealth gain from the league can distribute equally according to a pre-agreed agreement among individual cricket boards.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

@ Terry Wise ...you call that review as DRS?? Come on, it is what third umpire duty is to check whether there was a nick. Even before DRS came this was there. Batsman used to check with umpires again and third umpires used to check replays. . These days we have to put our hands in right angled manner(i don't know why ICC even makes asking replays as DRS 0_0).YOu should call them replays not DRS. Mate, if any important suggestion make it..but dig the tunnel which is waste.

Posted by indianpunter on (June 29, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

With great power, comes great responsibility. BCCI should learn that nothing last forever, and magnanimity in the time of prosperity only augments her standing. It is very disappointing for Harsha to champion India's cause with little alacrity or poise. You need my money.. either you are with us or against us..the world knows how it viewed the person who said that last. BCCI ( and India) have to be inclusive and aim for consensus. Rhetoric and dictatorial attitude breeds resentment. As an Indian, i am deeply disappointed, as much with Harsha as i am with the BCCI.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

@ getsetgopk ... Hope you had understood the whole article to the core and its real meaning before you come to a conclusion. Harsha saying DRS a minor issue is not that he cares. See the lines, he mentions that test cricket is dying and no body cares and all boards are only eager on how to get money. He slammed each and every board. On comparing with many bigger issues he said it as minor, and you should read it again i feel. DRS issue is not a big one. Howlers could have been rectified if the thrid umpire checked every decision after field umpire takes it, it doesn't even take a minute for it, and all howlers would have been eliminated. Instead wasting so much on DRS which is very costly and imperfect is rubbish and when it becomes cheaper and PERFECT then we can adore it!!

Posted by Leggie on (June 29, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

After a long time, a well written article by Harsha. Harsha is right in that if at all there are people to worry about IPL, it should the hardcore Indian Test cricket fans. IPL certainly affects Indian Test cricket, but to say that IPL is the evil for all of world cricket, its absolute nonsense. I only wish Harsha voices such strong opions on IPL and it's effect on Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Hah, why don't I see objective comments here. Why does everything get coloured by the nationality of the poster. Harsha's article is fairly good in that respect, though he does write about his own country. Oh yeah, now I remember, I am reading comments on the internet :)

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

i want to know just one thing : who will certify that drs is 100% foolproof. and did india wait for technology to be 100% correct before accepting third umpire , etc. simply put india didnt hv money or muscle power then. so harsha i disagree wt u

Posted by screamingeagle on (June 29, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

@Dyer. Nice view. But then do enlighten us why the World cup was only eld outside asia for so long? Maybe coz they wanted the UK profits to be done first? Please do not make up such silly arguments showing everything being perfect till BCCI showed up.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Come on Harsha, you're an intelligent man. Changing the subject of the article (and I assume DRS was the subject) from your so called 'minor' points to others doesn't wash. I am watching the first ODI between England and Oz and Bell would have been out if he wasn't allowed a referal a few minutes ago. Mark Richardson has just said he didn't want to drag India "kicking and screaming" into being made to use DRS. Why not? No doubt now the point of playing test cricket at night was brought up India will love it and will be playing it as soon as they can lean on every other member to follow suit. So like a bullying child perhaps "kicking and screaming" is the best way to treat the BCCI. Keep up the good work otherwise.

Posted by alikhan224 on (June 29, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark..dear just a simple question from u and i hope i will get the simplest answer , a yes or a no..if lbw decisions from DRS are removed and nicks and inside edges, specially when lbws are given despite being an inside adge, or a batsmen is given not out when he has actually adged to the close in fielders off a spinner....so what do u think about using DRS for these decisions coz DRS is 100% correct for these decisions..so will u go for DRS minus Lbw decision?

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 29, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

@NP_NY: Ok, I thought that was self explanatory but obviously I was wrong, I was questioning Harshas (and now yours too) insight on the game when he thinks DRS is a 'minor' issue, when you think 17 howlers are minor issue your article is not worth reading. Now what it has got to do with BCCI part, agreed that SL cant afford it, ICC should look for a sponsor but if one board is rejecting it how can that be possible? BCCI's stance is that there should be one version of the game in one country and another version in another country, what kind of cricket is that? Like they say, first things first, where does your priorities lie? If you believe test cricket to be the ultimate format and its gasping like Harsha admits, why not use a universal DRS for fair play and decisions? And lastly you need to read into cricketing issues more before you post a comment trust me its not easy explaining every ABC of cricket to you!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

Well said Harsha. Although I agreed with many of the points Tony Greig made I think it's important to put it in the perspective that you did: the BCCI is not alone in making bad/wrong/myopic decisions that are driven by financial greed. Perhaps the scale of the greed is different but if the rest of the cricketing world feels so strongly about the matter then like you said, they should take a stand, organise themselves together and do something about it. Otherwise it is just cheap and lazy shouting from the parapet. Empty criticism.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

@ Philip_Gnana....Well well well, may i ask you simple question now?? Do you go to shop and buy a product which is broken, or even small damage, or say with sratch. NO. You expect the shop person to give perfect product and answer to all your questions then you take it. And after u take it, after some days may get damaged and the the effectiveness will come to 90%......here same with DRS. After all the thing which is to be purchased from inventor should be 100%..later even if goes down by 5-10% is also ok. So, just understand it mate, before blaming a board and check your boards faults and commitments before you point others..

Posted by himanshu.team on (June 29, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

Very well said Harsha. Even Martin Crowe wrote that only India had the courage to stand up against Aus-Eng-SA brigade. If all other countries truly support the view, ICC would have adopted it regardless of what BCCI said. Point is that there is a valid reason for objecting to DRS. if you want to remove howlers, you can do so much more easily and without incurring any extra cost. ICC wants DRS only to assert its supremacy, and BCCI opposes it just to show that it cannot be bullied anymore. Sadly, no one is actually thinking of it from cricket's point of view and that is sad.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (June 29, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

@getsetgopk...BCCI didn't tell SL and Pak boards not to use DRS. They did it all by themselves. Take off your coloured glasses and you will see atleast equal fault with your own board....

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (June 29, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

India and the BCCI do not make things easier for themselves by totally opposing the DRS Systems. There parts of the Systems that helps to minimise the "Howlers". These are not taken. To bury their heads in the sands like an Ostrich and not even consider any form until it is PERFECT is beggars belief. NOTHING is perfect in this world, which also includes travel (air/sea or road). There is that element of risk. It is the minimising of "risks" or errors that needs to be considered. All things need not be laid at the door of BCCI. When the rest of the nations are agreeable on this issue, why is it that the BCCI does not want to shift it stance or consider? Are the rest of us so foolish that we cannot see what the BCCI sees or is it just their arrogance? The BCCI has not even considered the the calls to be made by the third umpire which is another option mooted over the year. Instead, their stubborness and arrogance rules. Philip Gnana,

Posted by shillingsworth on (June 29, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Perhaps Greig did choose the wrong subject for his lecture. Maybe he should have focused on more important matters. However, it was his lecture and he was surely entitled to choose the subject. If you want to take issue with Greig, how about addressing the specific issues he raised, rather than changing the subject? @Reg_Dyer - excellent point, very well made.

Posted by bonaku on (June 29, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

I hope some wise men sit together and fine the solutions for the problems instead of blaming each other. It is a nice opportunity to set things right.

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (June 29, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

Harsha, reason BCCI (not INDIA, note) is being singled out is because it is not exercising the responsibility that its position of power demands. Nothing wrong with generating money and the game definitely needs that, but not to the detriment of all else. From where I sit BCCI looks shorts-sighted, selfish, stubborn and exceptionally foolish. Contemplate the future of international cricket with no Tendulkars, Dravids or Laxmans, who forged their reputations in adversity against great bowlers in hostile and alien conditions. Consider instead a cricketing landscape dotted with hundreds of flaky 'stars' who will burn bright for a year or two in the blue of their country and then disappear. That is the blueprint for cricket that BCCI is promoting, wittingly or unwittingly, whereas majority of real cricket fans want a test match- based structure that can create true legends that we can tell our kids about. By all means have IPL and other T20s but realise that this is just froth.

Posted by Haleos on (June 29, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

@testcricfan24 - well said. Also as Harsha points out lot of boards can not afford it. Most of the anti-india fans are forgetting their lovely countries currently playing each other dont have DRS.

Posted by Haleos on (June 29, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

Great article harsha. But the fact remains most non-Indian fans and ex-cricketers wants to blame India/BCCI/IPL for everything. I wont be surprised if people start blaming India and BCCI for floods/drought etc in their countries. Players playing in the IPL would never complain. Its the wannabe's who missed out.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

I so very much agree with Harsha. When England & Australia were doing it ; there were no questions asked. Because it was looked upon as ; they are the boss ; they are running the show. But as soon as India took over ; they just cannot digest it. Then suddenly the moral issues are raised. Mind you I do not support each & every stance taken by BCCI but I don't blame them if they bully the others around a bit. It's good to see the world taking extra note of India's position.

Posted by Fan1969 on (June 29, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

Good Harsha but not hardhitting 1) Cricket is for entertainment. Indian masses like T20, IPL and ODIs while Test cricket is too long and often boring. BCCI must support what the masses want. Often T20, ODIs are edge of the seat excitement while rarely Test matches are so close. BCCI's first duty is to Indian public that wants ODIs, T20s and IPL. I do not see any "spirit" of cricket in seeing one sided test Matches (India getting smashed by England, Aus on fast & swinging pitches while England got thrashed in spinning conditions by Pakistan) IPL is here to stay and the T20 format can gradually, over 20-30 years, become popular in non cricket nations (USA, China, Europe) as it is a 3 hour game (similar to other sports though still a bit longer). 2) India is way behind in soccer. Let England include 2 Indian teams in the English Premier League to improve Indian soccer and I am sure BCCI (and India) will listen to suggestions of helping SL, Pak, NZ, Ireland, WI and the likes in cricket

Posted by amitgarg78 on (June 29, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

@getsetgopk So will you enlighten us on why the Lanka and Pak boards chose not to use DRS in a bilateral series ? If I had to be disrespectful, I would've said they forgot to beg and kneel, but the truth is DRS in whichever form it is introduced, will always be criticized when decisions go against a player. So just get on with the tools that are at disposal in any game and don't complain on what might have been.

Posted by NP_NY on (June 29, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

@getsetgopk: For the millionth time, what has a SL-Pak not using DRS in their bilateral series, got to do with India/BCCI? It is very chilidish to blame BCCI for something they had no involvement in!

Posted by Aaryabhatta on (June 29, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

Different perception..great writing

Posted by Ramesh_Joseph on (June 29, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

@getsetgopk, So there were 17 howlers in the series between Pakistan and Srilanka. Who stopped Pakistan and Sri Lanka from using DRS? How is it the fault of BCCI? If any country wants DRS let them pay for it themselves or ICC pay for it.

Posted by mazhar1 on (June 29, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Any criticism of india is either , because india is an easy target or convenient .. great defence Harsha..

Posted by letsputasmileonthatface on (June 29, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

There was Christopher Hitchens who had the best wit and foresight. Now there is Harsha! Respect :)

Posted by Gillyyyy on (June 29, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

Harsha has much more to say.....may be other version of these issues but again the money that matters...he too does not want to loose the money and BCCI blessing over himself. but shame on other cricketing nation as well for "YES BOSS, YOU MAY BE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT" stance.

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 29, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Let me say it again, there were 17 howlers in first Test Match between PAK and SL, a dozen of those going against Pak. There is no point in reading your article when you say DRS is a 'minor' issue but I read it anyways, Tony, like you admit was right to join WSC but he's wrong when its India at fault, but yes, you admit that India might be at fault and then went on to suggest why are other countries not opposing India, its a failed attempt once again by Harsha to defend something thats not defendable in the first place, and please dont be a cyber hero for Indian fans, they like cricket not because someone in WI, Eng, Pak or Aus told them so, its the sport they love and yes they definitely deserve better but you can not equate an average Indian fan with those in charge of BCCI, most of BCCI guys are either politicians or corporate tycons.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Phew, good to see Harsha taking a strong stand instead of his usual diplomatic narrative. The anti-India stance taken by so many ex-cricketers was at first baffling, but not any more. It isn't just cricket either. Negative press about India has become fashionable -- one of the worst is probably Soutik Biswas on BBC, who manages to fish out irrelevant negatives on India and recycle them to portray India in bad light. It might be motivated by jealousy, shortsightedness, or naivete but these vitriolic attacks on India are meaningless and should be ignored and treated as drivel.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Absolutely amazing... Who on earth would watch Namibia vs Zimbabwe or for that matter Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe test match apart from an Indian Cricket Fan... Loved this bit from Harsha .. This is what is exactly in my mind "I am writing this because I am disappointed by the ingratitude of world cricket towards the Indian fan who spends hard-earned money, braves difficult times, and whose enthusiasm for cricket survives many ordeals. He, and indeed she, plays a big role in keeping global cricket alive."

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Brilliant article Harsha.......expect nothing less than this from you!

Posted by testcricfan24 on (June 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

The bottom line is that if all countries except India want DRS, then it's simple, just outvote BCCI. If you chose not to do that then you don't have any right to whine about it either, just live with it. Many people want to see DRS being used, but for that to happen, other countries must grow a pair each. Don't blame BCCI, they are entitled to have a stand.

Posted by SatyajitM on (June 29, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Great piece Harsha! The high moral ground taken by Tony Greig makes me laugh. He was the agent for packer to rope in good players from various countries (obviously against the country board's wish). Now Packer and Greig are hailed by some as messiahs to bring money to the game of cricket. Now what? India (and Indian Board) is pure evil to bring more money to the same game. Perfect hypocrisy. I am not a big fan of BCCI and T20 cricket (I do think Test cricket is pinnacle and even 50 over game better test of skill) but without doubt T20 cricket has made it possible for many domestic players to continue cricket as a profession. Yes, India (and other countries) need to play more 3 and 4 day matches to hone player skills. On DRS I believe it should be taken out of player's hand and a specilist TV umpire should be responsible for removing all howlers, all such howlers regardless of their numbers (unlike current DRS system).

Posted by Sumeet.Gupta on (June 29, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Well....India is playing more than 10 tests for last 3 years. They've even scheduled 2 tests against NZ in August(probably for the first time ever). They could have easily scheduled a 5 match ODI series or a 3 match each ODI and T20 series (they even had a good excuse of preparing for T20 WC). But they didn't. Doesn't that say enough about their "priority" to test cricket? Yes, they can do the scheduling better. 1 FC game before a tour of England is a joke. But I digress. The statement about India being non-serious about test cricket is faulty.

Posted by NP_NY on (June 29, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

@Tauhidul Islam Khan Rashique: Oh, don't you worry there my friend. Harsha still have the respect of a billion people and with this article, probably another 100 million more.

Posted by informed on (June 29, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

To make the equipment and software more affordable, how about reducing overheads in a game. Two on field umpires, a TV umpire a reserve umpire, match referee, etc. Just tink hotel bills, transportation costs, meals, etc. don't come cheap. The game has got too fat!

Posted by rofl on (June 29, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

India should exit ICC and create its own domestic and international leagues. Let us see what happens!

If the international boards/team/fans think it is their entitlement to get money from India and then abuse it, they can stop playing/watching cricket with India!

Posted by amitgarg78 on (June 29, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Harsha, I am sure you knew the typical responses to this article, before you wrote it. This is a brilliantly written piece if only it expresses the feelings of a lot of Indian fans. The truth unrecognized by many in other nations is that since 1987, when the world cup was held in India, the TV rights business has really contributed to money in the game and Ipl has obviously taken it to different level. If the other boards can't provide to their players what BCCI does, it is certainly not their fault. Cricketers can afford a different lifestyle now, thanks to the same money! Anyone who says money is not important for cricketers is either being dishonest or just a hypocrite. For those who believe the game can survive without Indian money, I say stop dreaming. The quality of coverage, of life for those associated with the game can no longer survive on austerity. If only we had another sport as popular, we wouldn't even be having this debate.

Posted by bestbuddy on (June 29, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

A mostly well written article, pointing out correctly that other boards are also in it for the money and by not taking a stand against India are as much responsible for the current state of cricket as India are. However, I feel Harsha is defending some aspects of cricket where there is no defence; On the DRS issue, it has been proven that the DRS is more accurate than any umpire has or ever will be. Human beings are at least as fallible as the technology. And by taking the stance that the DRS cannot be used until it is 100% accurate, they are effectively stating that it will never be condoned, as nothing can ever be perfect. Added to this Harsha's assertion that problems within India's cricketing structure are bigger than issues relating international cricket is laughable, and merely confirms that India and its cricketing authorities think they are bigger than the game. Perhaps instead of defending India's archaic thinking Harsha should be offering more solutions to these issues.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

I don't think Tony was "attacking" India in any way. I think we know enough about Tony Greig that he loves traveling to the subcontinent and that he loves India, given the number of times he's spoken positively about India -- for heaven's sake he defended Harbhajan Singh in the whole Symonds controversy a few years ago. I think the "jealous Englishman" is not a problem. It's the "touchy Indian" that's the problem. And this is coming from an Indian.

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (June 29, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

I found this article useful and interesting. Sound arguments. It nicely balances out Greig's views. The bigger issue facing our game is the erosion of the traditional formats of the game due to changing tastes of audiences. ICC needs to concentrate on developing its own USP, which would require it to pick the issues it wants to address and thinks it can successfully resolve. Backing a DRS only to get it pushed back by a strong influenceris plain bad influence management. May be the new CEO and Chair will be better leaders for the ICC

Posted by Hammond on (June 29, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

Harsha, just one question- if the BCCI actually prioritised test cricket and supported DRS, then would we even be having this debate?

Posted by howardroark_fh on (June 29, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

@ryanharrisgreatcricketer- will u please elaborate how bcci is responsible for the lack of drs in sl-pak test series? why didnt they implement it if both the boards are so convinced of it? thanku

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (June 29, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

Presenting the impending and unwanted England-Australia one day series as some kind of desperate money grab is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. It is the result of a scheduling agreement between the boards to accomodate the (in my opinion needless) rejigging of the schedules to shift Ashes series to avoid clashing with the World Cup. If there were a fourth Test between England and SA, which I and every other English cricket fan I know wishes there were, it would be as sold out as the other three are, that is to say completely. English cricket fans still go to Test matches, over the last couple of years I have seen empty seats from time to time but if you ask people to pay £70 for the West Indies in miserable May you should expect that, but by and large Tests here are still popular. To imply English fans need to be fed ODIs to get them through the gates is a calumny. I hope it was a genuine error as I would like to think you're above twisting the facts to defend the BCCI.

Posted by emverce on (June 29, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Harsha I'd been taken aback by the pettiness of Greg. However, your defense of Indian cricket, so articulate and accurate, has warmed my heart. Thank You - on behalf of the Indian fan!

Posted by Adoh on (June 29, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

Who really cares. Test matches against India are boring anyway, just like the politics. I watch cricket for the contest.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

Now the daily telegraph is creating drama in UK. Some one in India needs to put facts out like Harsha but in newspapers. Every one should read not only here but in news papers( Indian owned) and websites where we can explain BCCI work and also ourselves there...India Rules!!

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (June 29, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Posted by sl_blood on (June 29 2012, 05:49 AM GMT),I guess Indian fans not asking for special reservation,but atleast the neighbours should understand the fault lies with their cricket board as well by keeping mum for whatever BCCI does ,so that they get money from BCCI.You can't just blame it on BCCI when your own board didnt use DRS for Pakistan series when they used for England series.You are among the majority who easily blames BCCI for evrything and fails to see why other 9 boards are sitting ducks in front of BCCI?

Posted by jasonpete on (June 29, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

A well written article even though I don't belong to India.Harsha not protecting BCCI or IPL,he is just stating that blaming solely on one cricket board BCCI is not fair,when other 9 boards are just getting money from BCCI and doing nothing just watching like a spectator.Other boards should come together to alienate Indian board,but they don't do so as they need money from Indian cricket board.Regarding DRS,something needs to be done.Make it uniform across all playing nations and keep the equipments less in cost.Try to remove the umpire errors not just for two reviews,but it should leave it up to umpire to verify for all the howlers made in the entire innings.

Posted by D_Vinod_Kumar on (June 29, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Just to add to my last comment: if BCCI is running the show. instead of finding faults, people should accept that (with speech like Tony Greg) ICC is incapable of handling the situation. So, instead of blaming BCCI, help ICC fix the problem and get out of the hole.

Posted by RussDegnan on (June 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

The money argument in Harsha's second last paragraph makes no logical sense. Indian fans aren't gifting money to other nations. They purchase a product, from the ICC - not even the BCCI, except indirectly - and that money is invested in other nations, to further the game's development. Harsha is so keen to tell us cricket is a business (and it is), and then makes out like development funding is some sort of charity run by benevolent Indian millionaires. If the ICC wants money from Indian fans, or English, or Australian, or American, or Chinese fans, it needs to create good products, and it needs to be given the scope to create good products. And if those fans are telling the ICC Board (and more importantly its full members) that they are sick of the in-fighting, greed, elitism and meaningless cricket, they ought to listen. There are many other good sports in the world.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (June 29, 2012, 6:42 GMT)

Excellent article.Your right for the last 20 years especially and certainly before that.The Indian cricket fan has been carrying the game.It is the reason that ESPN for example has joined up with cricinfo amongst other things. Your right Tony Grieg is wrong to lay the problems of the sport at India. He didn't have a problem joining kerry packers circus even though cricket has and never was as popular in Australia or England as it is in India.The Indian fan and India deserves enormous credit for keeping the sport alive and showing still enormous enthusiasm for it. It is the only country where it is genuinely the number one sport along with Sri Lanka. The reason the sport hasn't gone totally bankrupt in the current global economic depression is because of India.Only a few countries play this sport called cricket. India makes up 60 to 70 percent of the fans of the sport and the finances. I am for one am glad India is there to help cricket else the sport will be dead in the water by now.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

Fantastic !!!! Guess some people ( Read Greig ) take their 'authority on matters' for granted. Well done !!

Posted by anuradha_d on (June 29, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

why does Harsha need to dilute and sugar coat his writings so much

Posted by busbybabe on (June 29, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Great article, Harsha!!! Absolutely true!

Posted by dsig3 on (June 29, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

I respect India for its passion for the game, but we dont need your money to survive thank you very much. No one of us are bigger than the game, test cricket will survive, maybe not in India, but it will in the west.

Posted by Vernacular_Press on (June 29, 2012, 6:10 GMT)

@cricketeria.... read the rest as well.It is insightfull compared to Tony's lecture, which to me was unrealistic in regards to the asian league which would lead the other asian countries to be dependent forever.

Posted by v_singh on (June 29, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

very well written article !! Its all about economics.. If ECB messed up in "Stanford affair" and could not put up a worthy IPL rival, then they should at least not work overtime trying to defame IPL and balme it as the main villain in reducing T20s popularity. SA recently shifted Boxing Day Test to accomodate a T20 - because of more revenues.. same with the Aussies.. and rest of the world. DRS is something which has often been called into question (look at some recent series in NZ and elsewhere).. Though the idea is good, cost associated with it is very high. Who would "foot the bill" is the source of the problem. Tech. can improve with time and use.. But money and revenue is that matters (and it is the way it should be in sports so that the model sustains itself)...

Posted by m0se on (June 29, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Typical Indian thinking. Cricket is the only game in India but it's among many in other countries. Mismanagement will kill cricket in other countries even though in India nothing can touch cricket. Secondly, the money going to Namibia, Bermuda and Japan are investments not charity - the money is there to convert the people there into cricket consumers.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (June 29, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Even if the drs is not 100% it is definitely going to improve the game. Even its staaunchest opposer will agree that it could have mattered in the recent pak-sl test in galle.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (June 29, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

I for once, totally agree with Harsha. If India is so selfish and unconcerned about the welfare of the game(which I believe we are) why don't the other nations, keep India out. As Harsha has said, all organisations or nations possessing absolute power behave in a similar dictatorial way safeguarding only their own interests, like the BCCI has been doing. It is time for England, Australia and others to walk the talk on every cricket issue like UDRS, prominence of Tests, scheduling etc. and look after the overall welfare of the game.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

This is a completely biased article. My respect for Harsha is gone.

Posted by Kaare on (June 29, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

Not convincing Harsha. Just the use of the argument that other countries should alienate India if they feel strongly about it shows that there really is no argument at all.

Posted by pratn on (June 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

"The other countries can isolate India on this front but they choose not to vote. "

The other countries choose not to vote because they cannot vote against India without suffering financially.

"Because they want Indian money but not an Indian point of view. "

This is like saying that it's okay for a monopoly to abuse its position of power because the people are free to not buy from them.

Posted by skkh on (June 29, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Sorry Harsha this is how you see it through jaundiced eyes. Or probably you say thus because you wouldn't dare contradict the mighty BCCI and risk losing all that dough that comes your way.

Posted by sl_blood on (June 29, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

Indian fans maybe the majority but that doesnt mean that they deserve any special preference than all other cricket fans or as such.The BCCI have a selfish mindset and continue to jeapordize the values and improvement of cricket for their own gains..Harsha Bhogle - written as an Indian - not as a cricket analyst

Posted by CricFan78 on (June 29, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

If you have any sense of credibility Awad you would try to debate the subject rather than assasinate bhogle's character

Posted by Samas1972 on (June 29, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

I always liked Harsha's honest comments but the way this article is written is like he is defending a really abusive mother who in reply to every criticism says " ohh by the way .. a simple thankyou for carrying you for nine months in my belly, would be gracioius" .. :)

Posted by JohnnyRook on (June 29, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

I challenge any reader to answer this question. If BCCI was opposing DRS only to help Indian cricket team, why would it let 2 new balls rule and 2 bouncer rule pass which helps only the fast bowlers. It hurts batsmen, spinners and reverse swingers i.e. India. Lets get this straight. BCCI opposes DRS because of the money involved. For $10,000 a day, they want a better performance than hotspot/hawkeye give currently and for once I agree with BCCI on something.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

The whole article is like " if person A does murder its fine bcoz person B did it and he was fled from law" Its ridiculous to see that a person of Harsha's stature is protecting wrong deeds of BCCI and IPL.

Posted by kamran.afzal on (June 29, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

When I read the subject, I thought it was another of those pieces where the Indian commentators are toeing BCCI's line while trying to appear unbiased; but I have to say that I agree with a lot of what Harsha has said. Kudos. While I wouldn't deny that the T20 is hurting cricket as we know it, IPL is not to be blamed. If it were such a bad thing, every country wouldn't be trying to emulate it. Where I don't agree with Harsha though is around the use of the DRS. Ever since the beginning of the debate, I have not seen ONE sensible argument coming from India against the DRS. If BCCI were to stop opposing DRS, I think people will stop criticizing it.

Posted by Akshay_mehta1 on (June 29, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

BRAVO...BRAVO.... Now this is what we call "hit it so hard that receiver can't even scream ............. !!!!! well done

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (June 29, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

I salute you sir for saying that from our Indians behalf. May the world have time to listen to us and have ears open with open mind(necessarily) to understand it and also check your boards and administrators faults and if you really like cricket change them good.

Posted by rahulcricindia on (June 29, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

What an intriguing piece of article Harsha, you are being so gracious in your words and yet you have conveyed a strong message to Indian Cricket bashers and those who think India is killing world cricket. Australia and Eng are more or less doing the same with the T20 tournaments as India is doing(IPL), its just that they can't earn that much as India is earning and the reason is undoubtedly India's population and the games' popularity here..

Posted by Titan123 on (June 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Harsha -

Amen. Absolutely outstanding article, and a perfect riposte for Mr. Greig and his sour sour grapes. No one could have echoed the sentiments of the true fan better than you have (they CANNOT be qualified as Indian sentiments after reading your article)!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

Brilliant analysis by Haesha, i believe that for all the problems in World Cricket, India is being made the scapegoat. World cricket needs India's help& support because of its financial clout but at the same time there needs to be a sense of unanimity for using DRS whichis not 100% full proof.

Posted by athem79 on (June 29, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Why DRS and anti doping issues minor ? ? . . can you please elaborate . .

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Yes, all the indians out here will say this is a brilliant article or whatever, i didn't even cared to read this after the first two para's. Harsha you "were" a great analyst but now you are trying to defend someone who is not worth defending for. We could go on days on arguing about DRS and who is wrong and who is right, but at the end of the day not a single board other than BCCI has objected to it. BCCI is a disgrace to cricket, and people who indirectly support them like harsha(which is a pity) is disgrace to cricket as well. Tony greig is the voice for thousands of "true" cricket fans, and most of the international cricketers/officials have been silenced by BCCI's money and threats. My only wish is that modern day players take some stance against this injustice caused to other nations by BCCI.

Posted by YS_USA on (June 29, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

This reminds of how and why the USA is blamed for all the problems in the world.

Posted by Dev_Anand on (June 29, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

Well said, Harsha. I sick and tired of all this finger pointing at India for everything that is perceived as bad in cricket. It seems like you feel the same.

Posted by srinivasvijai on (June 29, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Outstanding article. Thank you Harsha and Cricinfo. Since Tony's lecture, I was waiting for a fitting riposte and unsurprisingly, it has come on Cricinfo and a good one at that. As Harsha says, most Indians won't agree with many things done by the BCCI but to blame it for all cricket's evils is just plain stupid and lazy. What is stopping all the other boards from ganging up on India? They all want the money but do not want to say it.

Posted by agam99 on (June 29, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

"If India is indeed wrong, the rest of the world can come together and alienate India. But they don't. Because they want Indian money but not an Indian point of view"....that was below the belt Harsha but indeed was bitter truth. Greig and co simply can't tolerate India(BCCI) dominating the way they used to do earlier. And very rightly said that our game is too small to be caught by us & them attitude.

Posted by Sakthiivel on (June 29, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

Thats bang on . All wants Indian money but not Indians view..

Posted by 1MAK7 on (June 29, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Thank you Harsha. Excellent piece. Hopefully all those concerned will take a hard look at reality and let common-sense prevail. Totally agree with "...want Indian money but not an Indian viewpoint". Thanks once again!!!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (June 29, 2012, 4:28 GMT)


Posted by bharat.agr on (June 29, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

wow....what an article....hands down the best one you have written Harsha....The last two paragraphs brought tears in my eys....I certainly believe that BCCI have issues and they do put money before test cricket....but anybody in power behaves similarly....be it england or australia...they did mold the game as per their best interest in previous generations...However I dont want to play accusing game here...the solution is as harsha said is to look issues globally and not to do a lazy practice of pointing all wrong to India. The DRS is still evolving and for sure it doesnt give equal opportunity of overturning the decision to tail-end batsmen. ICC is not a saint and people do need to understand that....so please stop pointing fingers to BCCI and start looking at things more radically...

Posted by bobagorof on (June 29, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

If the DRS is used in the way it is intended, to overturn decisions that are obviously wrong, then there should still be reviews left in hand by the time the No 9 and No 10 batsman are at the crease. After all, if the review is successful then there is no penalty to the reviewing side - they only lose a review if they are wrong. Too often players (and captains) choose to use them on marginal calls, and end up wasting the review. The same complaint would be used if, as you suggest, only 'line calls and pitch maps' were used - players have (and would still) call for a review when plumb or nearly so, simply because they cannot accept that they are out.

Posted by 9ST9 on (June 29, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

Harsha Bhogle is after all an Indian, and here he is standing up for his board. These views if expressed by a neutral, would have been more credible.

Posted by Aganthakudu on (June 29, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Woww ... a really great article by Harsha. I do not know till now that Harsha has this fire within him. I totally agree with his following views ... "... it [DRS] should be allowed on every decision, not on one or two." and "... disappointed by the ingratitude of world cricket towards the Indian fan who spends hard-earned money, braves difficult times, and whose enthusiasm for cricket survives many ordeals...."

thank you very much Harsha for the last line .... much appreciated ... Keep up your good work.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

There is a problem with BCCI and this is "Communication". Why can't BCCI have a press release where they put forward their point and explain to people like Tony Greig, Nasser Hussain and other commentators and writers why DRS doesn't make sense.

Posted by wagon_wheel on (June 29, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

can't agree more Harsha, you hit the nail right on its head and of course your comments would hit Tony and ilk where it would hurt most...

Posted by CricFan78 on (June 29, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

Bravo Mr. Bhogle .... Bravo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Great article, after reading this what comes to mind is finalllyyyyyyyyyyyyyy my voice is represented and understood. I just want to thank you Harsha not for the usual great article but for taking my feelings and putting them into words.

Posted by SoupOrSalad on (June 29, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

All arguments were spot on! nobody could have said it better!!

Posted by kh1902 on (June 29, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Outstanding article Harsha. It's nice to see a balanced view which provides an insight into the relevant issues. The only point I don't entirely agree with, relates to the BCCI's deficiencies in dealing with domestic issues. I think that should be of concern to people outside India, since I think that Test cricket can only enjoy a renaissance if India emerges as a powerful Test playing country. India has a large enough pool of players for some exceptional talent to be identified, talent which truly captures the imagination of the public. However I guess your point is that other countries wouldn't really care about that, since it suits them to play a weak India.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 3:54 GMT)

While I agree with the big picture here that Greig has taken the easier route and blamed India for all the evils in Cricket today, I do not agree when Harsha says in the 2nd paragraph that scheduling and preparation for international cricket is a domestic issue. Basically BCCI is conveying the message that we do not care about Test Cricket much. The last 2 tours to England and Australia which were a disaster saw pathetic scheduling and even that got better only after some actions taken after the initial itinerary was drawn up with 1 practice game. Allowing people like Sehwag to come back in England directly to a test match without any preparation or any proper fitness test just tells us how serious BCCI is about test cricket. Such attitude will only hasten the demise of test cricket especially if it comes from the most powerful force in Cricket.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Excellent analysis Harsha, India is often accused of destroying the sanctity of the game, while there are certain problems in Indian cricket, it seems like every problem here or there or everywhere is somehow due to BCCI, good point you made about the friends life T20 in England and the Big Bash in Australia, I am not antagonistic about any countries, and my opinion has minimal bias, but if England and Australia are really concerned about test cricket, then as you said, why are first class matches in England scheduled in the early spring ( winter like weather) when the conditions are hardly ideal to run let alone play cricket? The friends life t20 championship is bloated and every year the fixtures have been increasing ( just like the IPL), the fact of the matter is running cricket is not too dissimilar from running a business, and the BCCI and ECB and CA are doing what every shrewd administrator would do, prioritize the product that yields the most revenue.

Posted by kk777 on (June 29, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

"I am writing this because I am disappointed by the ingratitude of world cricket towards the Indian fan who spends hard-earned money, braves difficult times, and whose enthusiasm for cricket survives many ordeals. He, and indeed she, plays a big role in keeping global cricket alive. If Namibia and Bermuda, and Japan and Italy, receive assistance, the Indian fan contributes to it. A little occasional thank you from brethren across the world might be gracious. "... hmm thank Harsha for stating this.

Posted by prashnottz on (June 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT)

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant piece. Thanks Harsha.

Posted by Aubm on (June 29, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

There was one suggestion that Greig made about the IPL that I recon not many people would disagree with though, that WI, NZ, SL & Bang shouldn't schedule any international cricket to clash with it. Just makes sense.

Posted by Awad on (June 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Sad to see a once frank observer like Harsha, now pandering to his paymasters and defending their excesses. What a disgrace.

Posted by cricketeria on (June 29, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

I stopped reading after you said "the DRS and anti-doping issues are relatively minor". It's a sign of how inward looking India has really become.

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Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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