Indian cricket debacle

So now the ex cricket captains of India have recommended that the Indian cricket players cut down their endorsements in order to improve the quality of their game. Hang on, Tiger Woods is the highest sports earner in the world, and I don’t see his game going down because of the money he earns through endorsements. Nor do I see the NBA player’s games go down simply because of the money they earn from endorsements. The problem with Indian cricket, if I may say, is the financial and political control exerted upon it by politicians that neither understand, nor are seriously interested in the game.

What do politicians know about cricket ? Does anyone see a connection between the performance of the Indian team and the millions (almost a billion) of dollars that the BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) makes through TV franchises ?
I suggest it is corruption and politics at the top, caused by the huge amounts of money involved, that create the politics that lead to fractious relationships between the players on the field.

14 thoughts on “Indian cricket debacle

  1. Can you be more explicit?
    If I understand correctly, if there is money involved, the interests of people profiting would be in the Indian team performing better, right?
    For example, if I own an NFL football team, then my interests would lie in the team performing well.
    Unless I am not intelligent and make poorly informed decisions by myself instead of hiring qualified people to do it?

  2. Cutting down on endorsements decision is purely ‘political’, that is targeted against the popular perception of the Indian public who believe that cricketers are spending more time in making money (that mostly includes advertising apart from their businesses) instead of practicing cricket. In reality they must be devoting maximum of 30 days shooting out of 365 days and majority of their time goes in match practice, travel, playing and very few weeks of personal /family time. Now the decision of BCCI is to cater to deal with popular perception with quick fix political solution. As long as politicians not the professionals continue to control the game of cricket, we will only find cosmetic solutions to improve cricket rather than concrete steps to deal with the system of producing professional cricket.

  3. As always u r to the point and precise, Shekhar. Also I think it is the disparity of ad revenue among team players that is adding to the politics. Instead of cutting down on advertisements I think the advertisement money earned has to be managed better. Ad contracts are mostly not on the basis of performance but star value. Anil Kumble and most other bowlers are classic examples. I feel, the players should be free to choose the brands they wish to endorse but the advertisement money should go to a pool which should then be distributed among the players based on their performance from time to time. The board should not keep any amount earned through advertisement as then selection would be based on endorsements. It should merely act as an agent of the players and their endorsement money manager. This would bring in adequate money in the pool for players as well as keep the players away from the politics of money.
    But that would just be a major improvement at the top. Hailing from among the most backward districts in India, I know the condition of domestic cricket here. Long term solution could only be a much improved domestic competition starting with school level cricket. And that should be true for all other sports as well.

  4. Sid Singh, the problem with all politics in India is that individuals are anxious to make as much money in as little a time as possible. There is no long term view as there is in the NFL. The NFL is neither run nor owned by government bodies. In India the revenues from cricket have become so high that that the politicians now cannot stay out of it. The BCCI must become completely independant of politics. shekhar

  5. Problem with Indian cricket in my opinion is that they play too much cricket. Thts it. Indian have played more cricket than any country every year since the early 90’s. Its just not healthy for anybody.

  6. Dear Shekhar
    Tiger Woods’ game went down a little as he got more comfortable in life, with money and marriage. It’s harder to hold on to sports excellence as you age, contrary to most gifted professions, since your body begins to fail and you have to work harder to stay at the same level, and deal with competiion who’ve learned from you.
    If the ex-captains think the current team is becoming too glam-obsessed (they can see into the psychology of these guys better than we can), a statement to cut back on endorsements would be a hyperbolic heads-up warning from afar, I’d guess. I’m sure it’s made the current team members think, at least. The team is going to do what it’s going to do, anyway. The ex-cap’s were exercising right to free speech, as well as a professional concern that they are better entitled to judge the fairness and advisability of, than we outside observers are.
    love, Heath

  7. What do the politicians know about cricket, or for that matter, any sport? If we need managers, get qualified people who know the sport, not some old stodgy politician who doesn’t understand the game!

  8. Indian cricket today suffers from the same malady that all things Indian (that the Indian government manages) do–acute mismanagement, corruption, and extreme shortsightedness.
    Anyhow I always felt that the cricket mania in India is hypocritical given the abysmal state of most sports in India. This country of a billion plus people trails in most international sports meets including the olympics. We like to feel like a great sporting nation thorugh cricket, while the fact is that we are complete sports failure. (Imagine if China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, and the US played cricket, our cricket results would have been no better than our international hockey results–dismal)
    I don’t think there has ever been a nation that is a superpower economically with disastrous sports results. So, my prediction for the ‘future’ economic superpower status for our country is quite dire too. We are so out of touch with reality about ourselves. The false glory surrounding cricket is one prominent example of that.

  9. Cricket as a national sport is a Curse on India , what a pity , considering athletics was always the traditional mainstay of traditional India – of the 64 ‘arts’ of ancient India , moe than half were connected to different forms of physical sport , which also doubled up as ‘martial arts’ !
    Cricket is a British legacy in India and shd not be treated more than any other chancy game !

  10. Well Mr.Kapur (what do you expect I am 18!!) I have to agree that cricket certainly has suffered a lot under the leadership of the politicians … Don’t get me wrong, I am not a cricket fan,But I have to really applaud the changes made !!!! The poor performance of the team may actually be due to the ” corruption and politics at the top, caused by the huge amounts of money involved, that create the politics that lead to fractious relationships between the players on the field.” but I don’t think that such performance occur for just one thing. It is probably due to culminative effect of a large number of reasons. So I say that such change should always be welcomed especially the ones that aim to increase the time devoted by the players on what they are meant to do!!! Its no longer ” Fix not what is not broken ” but fix it or at least try for it has already been broken. Cricket has already been degraded to entertainment from sports. What else can possibly go wrong? Anyways .. what is bad for cricket should turn out to be good for other sports. Shouldn’t it?

  11. I saw a specific example of what you meant when you said politicians are partly responsible for the screw up.
    On the new I saw one of the Thackeray kids (not sure if he was the son or the nephew) talk about how Maharashtrians don’t root for their own people. He talked about how everyone in West Bengal got behind Ganguly when Ganguly was taken out of the team, and how Maharashtrians are not reacting when there is talk of the same treatment for Sachin.
    In this case the politicians interests are not even in making money – it is purely political gains at the expense of team performance.

  12. Agree with u Sid. This is also what is called divisive politics. People of west bengal rallying for saurabh, Maharastrians for Tendulkar and someone from Orissa slapping chappel bcos no one from orissa was included in the team. Wonder if anybody sees them as Indian players and not as a Bengali or a maharastrian.

  13. egjactly………………..its all fouled…..the game isnt jss a game its politico-bollywood-corporate adventure…….were wat all counts is jss mintin f money…………its no more 4 d sake 4 cricket- THE GAME rather its more of for cricket-INDUSTRY.Though d new forms lyk 20-20 n ipl give chance 2 MORE players compared 2 earlier…bt yet its at the expense of the of the common cricket fan…i dunno watch ipl it dsnt have dat patriotic sentiment arisin…its jss suckin BUSINESS….

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