The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has ruled that state associations hosting international matches can now have only one representative at the post-match presentation ceremony. This move has been prompted to let the sponsors, who have paid big money to be involved with cricket, to have the desired exposure at the event.
Even if a state minister, politician or administrator is to be present at the ceremony, he will take the slot of the state association member. However, an additional slot can be given to a BCCI functionary. The board also wants to put an end to state associations’ propensity of using these opportunities to please ministers and local bureaucrats.
The Indian Express understands that the BCCI has already informed all parties that they can nominate one person from the staging association to be present at the ceremony. This could include either the state association president or state minister, who will then be accompanied by the representatives of the various sponsors.
It is learnt that Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), which hosted the third India vs New Zealand T20 International, wanted state sports minister AC Moideen to be at the ceremony. However, that meant a KCA office-bearer had to sacrifice his slot and Moideen was the only KCA “candidate” present.
“We have told all associations that you can nominate one person for the post-match event. It could be the chief minister, a minister or any official from that state association. There were days when we would see a long list of ministers lined up at the post-match presentation which had no meaning. That old practice has been stopped,” a board official told this paper.
The KCA wasn’t the first association to abide by this new ruling. Mumbai Cricket Association, too, was informed about the same rule during the ICC World T20 last year. MCA wanted Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the award ceremony, but the request was denied.
“We were told by BCCI that only one member can be there as MCA representative. Sharad Pawar and Ashish Shelar were both MCA office-bearers. We were clearly told that we can either allow Pawar sahab or Fadnavis,” an MCA official recalled.
One of the main reasons behind this BCCI ruling is believed to be a push for the sponsors, who spend a lot to be associated with cricket, to get their due and attention during the post-match presentations. And the board feels that the sponsors should be the ones giving away various prizes after every international match.
“Why will a Paytm guy want a chief minister of any state to hand over an award carrying his company’s name on his behalf? They are paying a lot of money for this. It was different in earlier days when cricket didn’t quite have these kinds of sponsors lining up, but things have drastically changed now,” the BCCI official added.