Former England captain Tony Greig has slammed the BCCI for sacrificing the spirit of the game for financial gain by promoting Twenty20 cricket instead of Test matches and for opposing the universal application of the controversial Decision Review System (DRS).
Delivering MCC’s Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at the Lord’s, Grieg said the longest format of the game was being marginalised because India was interested in “generating billions of dollars” by monopolising on success of Twenty20 cricket through Indian Premier League and Champions League.
He said India must shed it selfish attitude to game’s problems and adhere to the spirit of cricket.
“India is pre-occupied with money and T20 and sees its IPL and CLT20 more important than international calendar. To compound the problems, India has not only sold part of game to private interests but some of her administrators are seen to have a conflict of interest, which makes it more difficult for it to act in the spirit of the game,” Greig said.
“India’s apparent indifference towards Test cricket and response towards some of the key issues, its attitude to the earlier ICC corruption inquiries, its indifference to urgency to introduce anti-doping rules, the rumoured corruption hanging over IPL and its role in the lack of due process in stopping former Australian prime minister John Howard being appointed vice-president of the ICC — are all examples of disappointing decisions,” he said.
He criticised the BCCI for browbeating smaller countries into forcing them to vote in its favour in ICC meetings.
“Much of the game is controlled by BCCI because it controls enough votes to block any proposal put forward at ICC board meetings. The reason for this is some countries would not survive without financial opportunities India provides.
“We can huff and puff and have all sorts of external reports but many of the problems with ICC can be resolved by India accepting that the spirit of cricket is more important than generating billions of dollars and turning out multi-millionaire players and didn’t try and influence its allies in how to vote,” he said.