India sacrificing spirit of cricket for money and T20: Greig

London: Former England captain Tony Greig has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to abandon self interest and embrace the spirit of cricket and govern in the best interests of world cricket, not just for India and its business partners.

Delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s on Tuesday night, Greig insisted the BCCI was sacrificing the spirit of cricket for financial gain.

He said the longest format of the game was being marginalised because India were monopolising on the success of Twenty20 competitions - the Indian Premier League and Champions League.

“Unfortunately, India is pre-occupied with money and T20 cricket, and sees its IPL and Champions League as more important than a proper international calendar,” Greig said.

“To compound the problems, India has not only sold part of the game to private interests but some of her administrators are seen to have a conflict of interest, which makes it more difficult for it to act in the spirit of the game,” a daily quoted him, as saying.

The South African-born former all-rounder also criticised the BCCI for not embracing Decision Review System (DRS).

India is against the implementation of technology in cricket and refused to use it in last summer’s Test series against England.

Greig said: “It can’t be good for the game when the media devotes so many words and so much ink to bad decisions, which ultimately undermines the integrity of some results. The DRS is not perfect, but it does err in favour of the umpires` decisions and according to the ICC, fewer mistakes are made with its use. And furthermore, there is less conflict on the ground.

“India has two reasons for opposing it: One, because its superstars had such an embarrassing experience with it in the early days. Two, the BCCI argues that the DRS is too inexact. Ironically, the spirit of cricket is batting on both sides in this one.”


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