Chennai. After the recent drubbing received by the Indian Cricket team in South Africa both in the one-dayers and tests, an emergency meeting of the BCCI working committee was convened yesterday at the Connemara Hotel in Chennai. The meeting was convened to discuss ways and means to be adopted to improve the team performance.
Addressing a crowded press conference after the meeting concluded, Mr. N. Srinivasan, President of the BCCI announced that as a first and immediate measure, from now onwards India will play all its matches only at Indian venues.
“As we have all the facilities, administrative capacities and the pitches to suit our skills why should we go elsewhere. Let them all come here and play if they want money to run their cricket in their countries” said Mr. Srinivasan. “If we have to bear the burden of generating revenues for South Africa, England and Australia to let them pay their cricketers, we can’t go there to get beaten and go down the rankings list. They cannot have the cake and eat it too.”
“We are accustomed to being the no 1 in all the three forms of cricket at some point of time or the other. The paying Indian fan wants value for his money, and that is getting to see a top ranked indian team. Why should we subsidize SA or England to beat us?” asked Mr. Srinivasan.
Also on the anvil is a new Against India Performance Tracking Index exclusively for players of other Countries when they play India. This will be used to fine-tune the IPL auctions so that foreign players with low AIPTI are rewarded financially.
Pitch and other playing conditions for all international matches in India will be monitored and vetted by a committee of currently active Indian players headed by the captain.
When asked about the implications on the FTP of the ICC, Mr. Srinivasan said “Of course we will honor the FTP and nothing else will change except for the venues which will have to be in India”.
What is unclear is whether India will stick to their position with regard to the World championships also. Though the BCCI chose to remain silent on this issue, sources close to BCCI decision makers say that board members are divided, and it was decided to see the response from ICC and other countries before firing the next salvo.
M.S. Dhoni welcomed the development saying that he is willing to go along with everything that is good for Indian cricket. Responses from other cricketers current and past seem to be mixed.