A few things don’t jive well with me on the recent announcement and Cricinfo’s report that the Champions’ league T-20 tournament for 2012 is likely to be moved to South Africa from India. While the reports only said this was a proposal, this looks like a done deal to me. I anticipate an announcement in a week’s time reiterating everything reported by Cricinfo. The reasons mentioned for the possible move range from the unbelievable to the frivolous. Also Cricinfo’s ‘reporting’ here is not that much more than being a mouthpiece for the decision makers.
First, there was the fishy one-off T20 game between India and South Africa organized hastily in March. Here’s the reasons why I am skeptical of the motivation for the move and why I believe the move is nothing more than one more step in the BCCI-CSA quid pro quo.
1) Monsoons in India? – Cricinfo boldly reports that the organizers are worried about the monsoons wreaking havoc on cricket in India between October 10 and 28. A casual glance thru the excellently compiled archives on Cricinfo’s own site reveals that three tests and 18 one-dayers have been held in India between October 10 and October 28 of the last six years. Only two one-dayers have been washed out completely due to rain in the same time frame.
With such a healthy record for completed games, should the prospect of rain really bother a T-20 tournament?
2) Why the five cities listed? – Apparently the only cities considered for hosting are Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. Why? If the BCCI and CSA and the mysterious technical council are worried about the monsoons at these venues why not any of India’s fifteen other floodlit venues to host? Mohali/Jaipur/Gwalior and Ahmedabad sound like perfectly good venues to me.
I cannot find the motivation behind choosing these five cities, anywere. Cricinfo apparently did not deem it a valid question to ask of their sources or people running the tournament.
Don’t you think that moving the tournament to different cities in India would be a better preference than shifting the tournament to the southern hemisphere?
3) 5 day festival in Kolkata – The article clearly states that Kolkata cannot host any games during five days of the tournament. Why is this a reason to move the tournament to South Africa? Why cannot games assigned to Kolkata be moved around and outside the window unacceptable to them?
4) Why South Africa? – The CL T20 is a lucrative tournament. Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may all be keen to host this tournament and may have better weather and pitches than South Africa. Why, restrict it to South Africa? Why was this the first option?
I am cynical of people in power and extremely cynical of cricket’s power brokers. The CLT20 site has barely been updated in a year and makes no reference to a technical council that Cricinfo refers to early and often in their piece. The whole thing looks like an N Srinivasan special favor.
While I would love to be proven wrong, this comes across as a blatant transfer of revenue (gained by hosting a tournament) between Indian and South African boards. In return for this revenue, the CSA is likely to vote in alignment with the BCCI at critical junctures in the next few years. This is naked politics and capitalism at work. For Cricinfo to report and pretend otherwise is sad.