MUMBAI: Cricketer turned commentator Tony Greig is an outspoken
commentator and at times controversial but all that has little
impact on the man who is more in the news these days for his
tirade against the BCCI and its progeny, the Indian Premier
at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, Greig has blamed
India (read BCCI) for most of the ills inflicting the game.
suggested that the only way out from the current country versus
club conflict is reducing the length of IPL and expanding
it to make it a pan-Asia league which would include teams
from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
to Greig, the understanding between the BCCI and these cricket
boards would be that no international cricket would be scheduled
during the IPL which would mean extra income for these cricket
boards and their players which would also address the issue
of player availability.
(BCCI) should agree to reduce the length of the IPL in its
current form as a trade-off for the other countries not scheduling
Internationals in opposition to it. That is, unless it adopts
my Asian League proposal which I shall discuss in a minute,"
should agree to expand the IPL to say an Asian League and
include extra teams from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The cricket boards of these countries should be given a financial
interest in the competition, which would enable them to under-write
most of their cricket.
funds would compensate 10 the boards for not running domestic
Twenty/20 competitions of their own as they are planning to
do now. This expanded league would enable players from the
have-not countries to earn good money and still be available
further stated that England and South Africa should set-up
their own IPL styled leagues which would also include teams
from neighboring countries for example Australia could include
New Zealand in the Big Bash League.
should set up its equivalent of the IPL and include teams
from the West Indies and one team from Ireland, which would
have a financial interest in the competition. Similar arrangements
should be made by South Africa for Zimbabwe and Kenya. And
Australia's Big Bash should include New Zealand teams.
the same time he also contended that the ICC should not grant
window to any of the domestic Twenty20 leagues that have sprouted
in many cricket playing nations.
former English captain also chided BCCI for its dictatorial
ways of stalling major decisions citing the example of Decision
Review System which was implemented but later withdrawn due
to BCCI's pressure.
said the ICC was just a namesake governing body of the game.
In reality it's the BCCI which calls the shots courtesy its
fledging cricket market which helps the game survive globally.
there are 10 full members of the ICC and the constitution
requires the approval of 70%, or seven members, to advance
any motion, which means 40%, or four members, can block any
motion," said Greig.
of the game is controlled by the BCCI because it controls
enough votes to block any proposal put forward at the ICC
board meetings. The reason for this is some countries would
not survive without the financial opportunities India provides."
Greig also had a word of praise for the powerful board. He
lauded BCCI's effort to reward former cricketers with a one-time
payment for their services to Indian cricket.
was of the firm belief that the problems of world cricket
can be addressed if India adheres to the spirit of cricket.
"Mahatma Gandhi had said that a nation's culture resides
in the hearts and in the soul of its people. As cricket certainly
resides in the hearts and souls of Indian people I am optimistic
India will lead cricket by acting in the best interests of
all countries rather than just for India," he averred.
also recommended that every international team should be required
to play at least three Tests, three ODIs and three Twenty/20
matches against all the other teams in a given home and away
cycle for the ICC"s Future Tours Programme to work well.
World cricket should do everything possible to not only help
the West Indies become a dominant Test force again but to
ensure Pakistan cricket survives the extraordinary situation
it finds itself.