BCCI, ICC officials discuss cricket’s challenges

The International Cricket Council recently set up a working group to “consider the long-term future” of cricket.

Rahul Johri represents the BCCI in the ICC’s working group.   -  Vivek Bendre

Officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met here on Thursday to discuss various issues confronting the game globally.

The ICC Board had recently set up a working group to develop a global strategy for cricket with BCCI represented on this group by chief executive Rahul Johri. The ICC had raised concerns at a rebel global body being proposed, the possibility of a T10 League and also dwindling interest in Test cricket.

“The global strategy will enable the sport to build on the opportunities and strengths identified during this process. This is a huge opportunity for everyone and it is an exciting time as Members and the ICC work in partnership to consider the long-term future of our sport,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a statement.

Project 'aimed at growing the game'

Richardson added, “Members are united in their support of the project, which is aimed at growing the game globally, and ongoing consultation is a key part of the development of the strategy.”

The meeting with the BCCI and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) was a planned part of that process. “BCCI was the first Member board we have individually engaged and consulted with which was appreciated by the BCCI,” said Richardson.

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On international cricket’s over-dependence on Indian market, Richardson noted, “It is listed as potential weakness but I would actually focus on it as strength. We need Indian cricket as part of global strategy. It is  a strength that we have such a huge cricket economy behind us. It is a reminder for other countries that they cannot rely on India alone, they need to do something themselves.”

The ICC, according to Richardson, was not looking beyond the existing three formats of the game even as concerns have grown on the proposed 100-ball contests and T10 league. “We have three formats of the game internationally and that is what members want to stick to. There have always been innovations at domestic level and we don’t want to necessarily stop that. It is challenging with three formats of the game as it is. We are certainly not looking any further.”

The ICC will incorporate the feedback from the BCCI into the ongoing development work. “We have a number of further member meetings scheduled to do the same thing as part of ensuring we end up with a comprehensive global strategy for the long-term good of our sport.”