Cricket Australia should be mindful that Twenty20 is the “easiest form of the game to corrupt” when it accepts private investment, including from India, in the country’s domestic Twenty20 league from next year, feels former captain Ian Chappell.
Cricket Australia has given the go ahead for private investment in its Twenty20 Big Bash from next year and Chappell says CA should firmly be in control of the money flowing in to keep corruption at bay.
“It (Cricket Australia) needs to be certain of what’s motivating the businessmen, many of them from India, to part with their hard earned. It’s imperative CA retains a percentage of any revenue stream to ensure the game remains strong for future generations of cricketers in Australia,” Chappell wrote in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’.
Drawing comparisons with the Karry Packer series which took the cricket world by storm, Chappell said CA has to ensure that it does not import corruption in its domestic structure.
“Kerry Packer, television magnate and 1970s cricket revolutionary, may be dead but his spirit lives on. Or so it was portrayed last week by Cricket Australia (CA) officials.
“The gradual move to a franchise-based cricket operation is logical, in order to be well placed if the game expands globally. However, the most relevant part of CA’s announcement was: ‘The competition will be owned, controlled and managed by Cricket Australia’,” Chappell wrote.
“CA’s caution is understandable, as the cricket landscape has changed dramatically since the World Series of Cricket revolution.”
Chappell said with corruption being a harsh reality in international cricket, any private investment has to be throughly scrutinised.
“....concerning is the fact that the easiest form of the game to corrupt is Twenty20. Not the least of CA’s concerns will be the risk of importing corruption.
“It’s already been shown the crooks have infiltrated cricket and there’s very little sign the administrators are on the verge of excising the cancer,” he explained.
Chappell cited the example of IPL which has been a tremendous financial success but has been hit by controversies on ownership patterns which has led to two franchises being de-recognised.
“The expanded T20 league in Australia is being touted as a counterweight to the enormous sums of money flowing to the glamorous Indian Premier League (IPL).
“While the IPL kicked off in rip-roaring fashion with money being thrown around like confetti and Bollywood-style publicity, CA will be aware that lately it’s hit a few hurdles.
“Two franchises have been deregistered and a third one given 30 days to show why it shouldn’t become part of a hat-trick.”