It happens here all the time! Given the country where we live in, this is one thing which every homosapien surely has a love for!
Let your mind not go haywire, as I am talking of a different ball-game altogether, that is, cricket!
There is no hiding the fact that India is a cricket-crazy nation; the sport here is no less than a religion and cricketers equivalent to demigods! When stories like a ‘Dhoni’ temple being built in some part of Jharkhand fill the airtime on national news channels, one can very well imagine the intensity with which we Indians follow cricket and the passion which we all share for the game; a passion so intense, that there is no room left for anything else to exist!
Well, at least, such is the case with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
With the prestigious Commonwealth Games being just a couple of months away, the BCCI has refused to do away with India’s home series against Australia in October, the dates of which directly clash with those of the much-awaited Games.
India is scheduled to play a two-match Test series against Australia in early October. While the first match will be played in Mohali from October 2, a day before the Games begin, the second Test will be played in Bangalore from October 10-14, also during the mega-event.
Despite repeated pleas by CWG Organising Committee and the Indian Olympic Association, the BCCI has refused to budge from its stand and the reason behind it is still not clear.
A BCCI official explained by claiming the season to be ‘packed’ and that “there are very few windows in which series can be planned”.
“Rescheduling is not a simple matter as Australia also have other engagements at later times,” the official added.
Indeed, the international cricket calendar is absolutely packed as after the conclusion of the October series in India on the 20th (as both the teams will also be playing two ODIs), Australia will have to rush for a T20 and ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting October 31.
However, if such is the case, would it harm the BCCI much if they cancel the Test series altogether?
The importance of Commonwealth Games in India cannot be neglected. It is for the first time after the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 that India is hosting an event of such gigantic magnitude. The future of Olympic sports in India depends upon the success of the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
By far, it has been the most expensive sporting venture undertaken by the Indian government. After having spent almost Rs 30,000 crores, the Indian Olympic Association has no choice but to ensure a successful XIX Commonwealth Games in the national capital. And by ‘success’, I not only mean the perfect conditions of the stadia and the number of Gold medals won by our athletes, but also a good viewership of the Games (on television and the stadium) and a terror-free event.
Thus, to ensure that the above mentioned parameters are achieved, the focus should be entirely on the CWG.
With the India-Australia series happening side-by-side, and, again, given the cricket-crazy nation we are, one cannot guarantee a 100% viewership of the event.
Secondly, threats from Lashkar-e-Taiba and many other terror groups have been haunting the CWG officials. Thus, it is important to have the best of our forces guarding the Games rather than some having to protect our pricey cricketers as they regularly breach security cover and move out of the hotel for some ‘fun’ time, something which our Indian and Aussie cricketers are quite well known for.
The richest international cricket body that the BCCI already is, I don’t understand how much the cancellation of a two-match Test series could cost the body.
The BCCI must also understand that at this point of time, the Commonwealth Games hold much more significance and value than a cricket series, which happens round the year in the country. An incident-free CWG would buy us a ticket to bid for the Olympics in the coming years.
The Commonwealth Games is a one-time opportunity that India would have to show its might to the world. And I think the BCCI must kindly make way for the mega-event, as a cricket series will for sure happen again in the country, even if we cancel the series right now. But CWG….? That is something which will depend on how we portray ourselves during the Games!