I take it that the BCCI have finally got fed up with the amount of games it is forced play against the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and are ready to challenge the ICC's 10-year Test schedule. The reason? They want to start playing serious cricket. Secretly, all the other major Cricketing nations are nodding their heads in agreement and are backing the BCCI. After all, thatÂs what their fans, players and sponsors want to see, don't they?
As fans, we should all rejoice that the BCCI is ready to take a sensible stand, on behalf of us and the rest of the cricketing world. However, before we decide to open the champagne and celebrate, it will be interesting to look back and see how much meaningless cricket (against the minnows) the ICC has 'forced' down our throats in the last six years.
I have done a brief analysis of all ODIs and Tests played by each country since Jan 2000. (click on all images to get the bigger picture).
First, the number of ODIs played by country
As you can see, India leads the pack, closely followed by Pakistan, England and the West Indies.
And now the Tests played, again by country
Again, India leads the pack, which is even more surprising considering the amount of Test cricket we play.
Now combining the figures, we get the average days of cricket played per year (assuming 5 days of Test cricket, which is a bit rare against Minnows, but never mind).
Again no surprises there.
While you look at this chart, ask yourself this question; if the sub continent is indeed the centre of the cricketing World, why do India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan play less cricket than say West Indies, where the game is all but dead! Don't expect an answer anytime soon.
Ok before I proceed, apologies if I made you believe that India consistently plays 80 days of cricket every year. Just to clarify, this is the actual number of days of cricket being played (by country) every year since 2000, and as always, India continues to dominate both, the low and high ends of graph.
Pakistan probably has a genuine reason for an inconsistent schedule (due to security concerns after 9/11, etc) but how the BCCI managed to schedule 115 days of cricket in one year, and 53 the very next is beyond me! But I had made this point in one of my earlier posts, so I will pass.
Some of you may look at these numbers and say, yes India is on top because we play more cricket but overall as a percentage, we cant be that bad, can we?
Here is the answer.
And hence they are upset, and may I remind you, with the ICC.
Now if only the BCCI had bothered to find out how the other countries manage to play more cricket (and that to consistently) and less of the meaningless cricket in question, and yet adhere to the ICC's policy (however stupid it may be)?
But I guess it's a lot easier to pick up the phone and make a call across the Arabian Sea and shout foul.
Anyway, I do hope the BCCI knows what to do with the spare time once they decide not to play Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. After all, the next team to visit India after England (in Mar 2006) is Zimbabwe in October 2007, followed by West Indies in 2008!!! (Talk about Home advantage for the next two years)
So if India decides not to play Zimbabwe at the end of next year, we may not have any team visiting India for the next two years, unless we can convince someone to come down and fill in he gap. But last I checked, not many countries seem to have the spare time in their busy schedules. Well, there is always Bangladesh from across the border, but
I guess the BCCI really donÂt care about this 2 year gap. They just want to play cricket (as long as it is meaningful) and if they can make the money via TV rights, what is the need to host cricket in India as all. With 70% of the tickets given away as passes, the real fans donÂt get to see the games anyway, so why bother with the logistics of hosting games for a few thousand rupees in gate receipts.
Anyway, in case you want to mark your calendars in advance (so as to stay away from your Television sets), according to the ICC schedule, India have to visit Bangladesh, host Zimbabwe and visit Zimbabwe in the next 5 years. A WHOLE 30 days of pointless Test cricket!!! As opposed to the 65 days of Test cricket that was forced upon us in the last 6 years.
Damn, I deviated in this post, as my point really was about the ICC and the crap it forces down the throats of the like of the BCCI, and not about the BCCI itself.