Persisting issues between the host broadcaster and the Zimbabwe Cricket Board (ZCB) has put India’s tour to the African nation under cloud.
It is learnt that the ZCB recently expressed its helplessness to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who have given them a few more days to reach a solution with Ten Sports, who have the broadcasting rights for cricket in Zimbabwe.
India are scheduled to play three ODI’s and two T20 internationals in July against Zimbabwe in Harare. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur was unavailable for comments and it was the same with ZCB president Wilson Manase.
Other than the broadcast issue, the Indian board is also finding it difficult to get visa on arrival for its players.
It must be noted that the BCCI has been having problems with Ten Sports, which is owned by Essel Group. The issues have compounded further after Essel’s alleged attempts to form a parallel world cricket governing body.
The issue of Ten Sports had also come in the way of India agreeing to a series against Pakistan. Pakistan Cricket Board has given the rights to broadcast matches to Ten Sports and any cricket with the neighbours would involve the sports channel, something which the authorities in BCCI are not very keen on.
Besides alleged attempts to form a parallel world cricket governing body, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya is known to have a strained relationship with Essel Group owner Subhash Chandra.
In 2004, the BCCI had annulled the bidding process in which Zee Telefilms had emerged the highest bidder for the telecast of matches played in India between 2004-08. It saw the board and Zee Telefilms, owned by Chandra, get into a lengthy legal battle. That same year Chandra had also lodged a police complaint claiming Dalmiya had threatened him.
To avoid the Ten Sports mess, the BCCI had also offered to host Pakistan in India. But PCB is unwillingly to accept such a solution as it would mean losing out on considerable revenue. In such a scenario, the India-Pakistan series has been lying in limbo and unless Zimbabwe Cricket Board can resolve the broadcaster issue, the trip to the African nation also looks doubtful.