The Board of Control for Cricket in India,or BCCI is among the richest sporting organizations in the world, and the richest cricketing body by far.
The immense popularity of the game in India as well as the continuous growth of the Indian economy have armed BCCI with some of the most lucrative TV and sponsorship contracts in world sports.
The global media rights for international cricket to be held in India between March 2006 and March 2010 were awarded to production house Nimbus for a mind-boggling sum of US$612 Million.
The BCCI's membership generally includes the State cricket associations, though some states have more than one association. Maharashtra state, for instance, has Maharashtra cricket association, Mumbai Cricket Association and Vidarbha cricket association and Gujarat state has Gujarat cricket association, Baroda cricket association and Saurashtra cricket association. Railways and Services are also members.
Now the richest league BCCI is under threat, following the disappointment of Indian cricket fans with the poor performance of their cricket team in the World cup and the South African tour prior to that.
Indian team's failure in World Cup has led to lower earnings to Cricket broadcasters, advertisers, cricket sponsors and; tour operators. These defeats also caused massive disappointment to India's millions of fanatical cricket fans.
A new private cricket league, the Indian Cricket League (ICL) has been formed that will run parallel to the existing cricket league managed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The format of ICL will be Twenty20.
Australia's national cricket team captain, Ricky Ponting who is the highest ranked Test batsman and the highest ranked ODI batsman in the International Cricket Council, or ICC ratings has come out against the nascent ICL league.
"It's only a concern if there is huge money involved in it," Ponting said. "If this sort of stuff gets off the ground, these guys won't even be playing with their mates, they'll be thrown into made-up teams. You'll be out there by yourself and trying to win some money," he was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.
Ponting's fear and apprehensions, while understandable is quite off the mark. Whether it is cricket or any other sport, it is the capitalist's big money that drives the game and motivates players. So having more competition cannot be bad for the game. If the ICI can poach contracted players of BCCI, it shows that ICCI is superior to BCCI. In a free market it bound to happen and it is part of the game.
The super star players who are under performing, yet having a cushy life are called to wake up.