Johri: 'Domestic cricket is one of the greatest assets that the BCCI owns'

The thrust on domestic cricket will be the key area of work for the Board in the coming season. According to BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, the idea is to make domestic cricket an exciting property as the game continues to grow.

Rahul Johri gave all credit to the players for the state of the game in the country.   -  Vivek Bendre

The thrust on domestic cricket will be the key area of work for the Board in the coming season. According to BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, the idea is to make domestic cricket an exciting property as the game continues to grow.

“Domestic cricket is one of the greatest assets that the BCCI owns. It’s strong and that’s why the bench strength of all the Indian teams is strong. India will continue to be a major force as long as our domestic cricket is well conducted. The season lasts six months and the players keep busy during that period but I don’t see any issue of fatigue or burnout there. It is very well balanced. The Indian team, after the Supreme Court ruling, is getting rest before and after the IPL. Our aim is to give a balanced schedule. We inherited some stuff but we have to look forward and improve the image and the standard of the game,” Johri told Sportstar here.

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to be unveiled in a new package, Johri was excited. “IPL is great cricket. Cricket within the ropes of the eight teams will be very high. The standards will improve with so many uncapped players also on view. The international flavour is there to make it the best of the best. The TV experience will grow because of the innovations in coverage. I can assure you the experience will be better for the spectators. On TV, we are going to have commentary in six languages which means more work for former Indian cricketers.”

The Board, assured Johri, was working to attract spectators to watch domestic cricket. “If you look at the production contract we have greatly increased the TV coverage of domestic matches. In the previous contract it was a minimum of 55 days to a maximum of 110 days. It would often be 55 days because there was so much of overlap with international cricket. In the new contract we have increased that to 70 to 140 days of domestic cricket for TV and digital. At an average you will see 100 days of TV coverage and same for digital. It will be four times of what it is today. Women’s cricket is going to be big. More competitions and more TV coverage.”

Johri gave all credit to the players for the state of the game in the country. “We have had a very satisfying season in every respect. The senior men’s team and the women’s team have done exceptionally well. Winning the under-19 final meant good work at the junior level. In every sphere India has excelled. The credit goes to the player. It is not for the BCCI to take any credit. We are committed to give them the best of facilities. We are focussed on the growth of cricket. The intent is to be as spectator friendly as possible.”