Time BCCI played big brother’s role

Time BCCI played big brother’s role

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is reportedly seeking India’s help for a venue where the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) could host their matches in India.

By Sunil K. Vaidya (sports Editor)

Published: Sat 25 Apr 2015, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:43 PM

The time has come for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to play a big brother’s role and lend a helping hand to cricket playing countries like Afghanistan and the UAE.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is reportedly seeking India’s help for a venue where the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) could host their matches in India.

Without getting home games, Pakistan cricket is struggling in general and the threat of violence in the war-torn Afghanistan deters international teams from visiting that country also. Like Pakistan, Afghanistan also currently plays its home games in the UAE.

The Indian government is already funding the construction of a stadium in the traditional Taleban stronghold of Kandahar, but Ghani will also be hoping for an open invite from India for his countrymen — at least as far as cricketers are concerned.

However, the government of India can only play a limited role in helping the cricketing matters of Afghanistan. The onus would be on BCCI to extend a helping hand to Afghans, who have shown tremendous improvement in the last decade or so.

The BCCI is the dominant player in the International Cricket Council (ICC) set-up and must play a bigger role in helping the smaller ‘Asian players’ improve to extend the base of the elite cricket (Test playing) countries beyond ten.

The ICC has 101 members, including associates and affiliates but only ten have Test status and only 38 enjoy ODI status. The ICC has also decided to limit the 2019 World Cup to 10.

The smaller nations will improve only if they get to play more cricket against better opposition and for that BCCI should invite associates members, at least some of the Asians, to play in the Indian domestic tournaments.

A team from Bangladesh played in the Duleep Trophy in India in 2004-2005 season under the banner of Bangladesh Board President XI. And, much before that Sri Lankans used to play in a local tournament in Tamil Nadu as the Ceylon team.

No one can dispute the gains for the Lankans as well as the Bangladesh cricketers from their participation in the Indian tournaments. Today, the Lankans are among the best in the business and Bangladesh have started to show signs of their climb up the ranking with a series white-wash of the Pakistan team.

The other associate nation to make a bigger impact at the World Cup stage was Ireland. And, that could be attributed to their players’ experience of playing in competitions for English county cricket sides.

Like the English counties giving Ireland and Scotland an opportunity to play in their domestic tournaments, the BCCI can invite Afghanistan and the UAE to play with the Indian teams in tournaments like Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, or Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

Let’s hope the BCCI will respond to the Afghan request and also consider the UAE national team’s participation in the Indian domestic tournaments.


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