By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Jul 9, 2012
Indian commentator and cricket expert Harsha Bhogle has slammed Tony Greig’s remarks on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) opposition to the controversial Decision Review System (DRS).
Greig, in his Colin Cowdrey Lecture took a dig at the BCCI for vehemently opposing the DRS, which he feels is hurting international cricket’s interests.
The thrust of his speech was aimed at the BCCI, with Greig saying India could solve most of the sport's existing problems "if it embraces the spirit of cricket and leads for world cricket, not just India".
Bhogle rebutted the former England captain by saying blaming the BCCI for many international issues is unfair.
He said, “Yes, the BCCI takes a stand on issues that many, including me, disagree with but those relate to domestic cricket, scheduling and preparation for international cricket, utilisation of funds by state bodies, aspects of corporate governance but those are problems of Indian cricket.
“If they make Indian cricket weaker it shouldn’t really matter to those looking in unless it is to express glee. The DRS and Anti-Doping issues are relatively minor, like worrying about whether to have a chocolate eclair or a lemon tart on the menu.”
Citing the recent changes in schedule of cricket calendar in countries like England and Australia to accommodate more T20 and One-Day Internationals, (ODIs) Bhogle said there are other important issues in cricket world, wich, ‘experts’ chose to ignore and take an easy way out by attacking the BCCI on the DRS front.
He wrote in a column in Indian Express, “There are bigger issues — for a start, due to demographic issues and changing lifestyles, Test cricket is gasping. In the home of Test cricket (and I say this with all respect and no sarcasm) a Test series between the world number 1 and number 2 will be played over three games and a cash rich five match one-day series has been slotted in.
“Also in England, first-class cricket is being played increasingly in April and May to allow T20 to be played in the middle of summer. In Australia last year home batsmen who were out of form had no four-day cricket to go back to because the Big Bash was on in the middle of the season.”
The Indian cricket commentator also criticised the International Cricket Council (ICC) for expecting the sponsors to bear the expenses of the expensive DRS as well as World Test Championship (WTC).
He said,” If the ICC and member countries were so committed to the WTC they could have put in the money. As they can with countries that cannot afford the expensive equipment needed for the DRS.
“So on that count, we now have a situation, agreed to by all, where the richer countries have access to what most believe is better decision making while the poorer nations have to make do with what they have. It was budgets that came in the way of DRS for Sri Lanka versus Pakistan. It is an old issue. The ICC wants television companies to pay.”
Harsha feels DRS, despite its use, is not foolproof and has limitations. “I must admit my own stance on the DRS is a work in progress. I thought it was a good idea but in the three tournaments I saw the most, the World Cup and India vs England and later, Australia, the DRS wasn’t in top form,” he said.
Greig had slammed BCCI in his speech for focusing more on earning millions of dollars than spirit of cricket.
Bhogle defended the T20 league, which he himself is a part of, as a commentator. He continued,”And then there is the IPL, the plague and AIDS combined, Chenghis Khan and Idi Amin reincarnated, the evil monster that raids countries and steals players and has this stupid clause that requires players to get a no-objection from their home boards!
“Again if the IPL is so bad, unlike Packer’s WSC which was such a breath of fresh air and re-invigorated world cricket, surely the rest of the world can fence India out.
”The IPL needs overseas players and will be substantially reduced in stature, might even die, if they don’t play or are not allowed to play. Again, you need to act, not just complain. And I presume asking the IPL to share its time and revenues with other countries was no more than a little aside... like the Premiership sharing its profits with Luxembourg, Belgium and Iceland, the NBA with Honduras, Costa Rica and Cuba.”