BCCI plays numbers game

BCCI will find itself in a spot when the Indian Premier League governing council meets in Mumbai.

Written by G.S. Vivek | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2010 3:01:46 am

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will find itself in a spot when the Indian Premier League’s governing council meets in Mumbai on Friday. With the meeting expected to discuss change in the number of games that the teams will have to play in IPL IV because of the inclusion of two new franchises,the BCCI officials will have to take a tough call.

While Team India’s management has repeatedly complained about the packed international itinerary and blamed the board for compromising players’ interest for commercial benefits,the franchises feel it makes more business sense for them to play maximum possible games with no cap on the outing for their stars. This contrast will present the BCCI with a dilemma.

In case the IPL governing council retains its old format,the addition of two new teams will see the game count go up to 94 in fourth edition,resulting in a increase in the workload on players immensely since the franchise owners wouldn’t want their stars on the bench.

Amrit Mathur,Delhi Daredevils chief operating officer,says “Ideally,the franchise is not in favour of keeping any cap on the number of matches an Indian player plays. We want all our players to be available for selection for every match. But we will see what to put forward before giving our feedback.”

Another franchise official also feels that the basic template shouldn’t be changed. “When the IPL was introduced,it was business model and we have every right to take maximum output from the investments. If the structure of the IPL is tampered with or the number of home matches altered,it would result in severe financial losses,” he said.

But despite the pressure from the franchise owners,the BCCI is expected to reduce the number of games. Among the various suggestions floated,the governing council members are thinking of splitting teams into two groups in an effort to decrease the number of league games and also to put a cap on the number of games contracted players can play.

Interestingly,whenever the players have complained about fatigue,the BCCI has always maintained that they are free to rest and inform the board accordingly. But the same rules doesn’t apply when they are playing IPL and the Champions League. “During the IPL or the Champions League the player is in the hands of the franchisee. At present,we cannot intervene between the two,” Rajiv Shukla,BCCI media and finance committee chairman and member of IPL governing council,said.

While MS Dhoni is struggling with his injured finger during the tri-series,he will be leading Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League. Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar were rested from the tri-series but both will represent Mumbai Indians in the tournament. Suresh Raina has been on the road through the Zimbabwe series,Asia Cup,the full Sri Lanka tour and has the Champions League,Australia tour,New Zealand tour in succession.

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