With their counterpart failing to resolve the broadcasting rights issue, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to cancel India’s proposed tour of Zimbabwe. The Men in Blue were scheduled to play three ODIs and two T20 internationals from July 10.
This paper already reported the uncertainties about the tour due to persisting problems between host broadcaster Ten Sports and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC). ZC chairman Wilson Manase and CEO Wilfred Mukondiwa were still hopeful of finding a solution but eventually they had to accept the reality.
“If the matters take too long to resolve, ZC and the BCCI might mutually agree to push the tour to next year,” Manase had said in a press statement.
BCCI and Subhash Chandra, who owns Ten Sports, have fallen out badly of late. This follows Chandra’s recent efforts to launch a breakaway league to upset the existing world order. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is investigating the whole process.
Besides, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya has had serious issues with Chandra. In 2004, the Indian cricket board and Zee Telefilms, also owned by Chandra, were caught in a legal wrangle after BCCI had cancelled the bidding process in which Zee Telefilms emerged as the highest bidder for the broadcast rights of the matches played in India between 2004 and 2008. Chandra’s response was to set up the now-defunct Indian Cricket League in 2007.
The decision taken by the BCCI regarding the Zimbabwe tour puts a question mark over the proposed resumption of the bilateral series between India and Pakistan as well. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shahryar Khan met Dalmiya last month with the proposal to host India in the UAE for a full series in December. Problem is that Ten Sports is PCB’s broadcasting partner and the BCCI is likely to take the stand that subject to the government clearance. India will play against Pakistan only if Ten Network doesn’t air the matches.