India vs Australia 2013: Ian Chappell rejects commentary offer due to strict BCCI guidelines

Ian Chappell refused to follow BCCI policy for commentators © Getty Images

Oct 8, 2013

Former Australia captain and commentator Ian Chappell has rejected the offer of commentating in the upcoming India and Australia bilateral limited-over series for ESPN, refusing to accept the do’s and don’ts policy set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

According to the Hindustan Times, the BCCI doesn’t like criticism in any manner, and prevents the contracted commentators to speak on various topics including Indian team selection matters, the board’s stand on the Decision Review System (DRS) policy and the board’s administrative matters.

Chappell, known for his straight talks and unmatched insights in the game, revealed in an e-mail conversation that he refused to follow the BCCI policy.

Chappell wrote, “I was invited by ESPN to do commentary. I emailed back asking who I was working for and the reply was; I was contracted by ESPN but I would be subject to BCCI restrictions.”

“I emailed back to ask what these restrictions were and was told; ‘I couldn’t talk about Indian selection, DRS or administrative matters. I responded saying I didn’t feel I could do my job properly under those circumstances and therefore declined the offer,” he added.

“I’m not sure what happened with other commentators. It wasn’t a matter of being asked to sign anything — it never reached that stage,” he concluded.

Talking about his replacement in the commentary panel, Matthew Hayden, Chappell said he is not aware of that.

The BCCI prevents the contracted commentators to speak on the matters which may bring some amount of embarrassment to itself. When the spot-fixing and betting scandal in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) came into light, the commentators did not utter a single word on the issue.

Australia’s tour of India for limited-overs series starts with the one-off Twenty20 to be played at Rajkot on October 10, while the seven-match ODI series begins on October 13.