Friday, 1 March 2013

Defending The BCCI

Raf Nicholson, writing on the history of the WWC, says that the recent tournament in India suffered from the "same old problems":
The BCCI forcing changes to the schedule at the last minute? Tick. A lack of publicity and no TV coverage of key matches? Tick. Poor umpiring? Tick.
I'm a bit more philosophical than Raf about poor umpiring. With the benefit of TV replays, it was easy to see that there were some shocking decisions; but I also understand that umpiring is a ridiculously difficult and thankless task; and you don't have to go very far down the pyramid of the men's game to find similar levels of ineptitude either. The answer, frankly, is DRS, but that's a rabbit-hole I don't want to disappear down right now, because... shock(!)... horror(!)... I'm about to come to the defense of the BCCI!

Regarding the last-minute schedule changes, there were actually two changes:
  1. Due to security concerns surrounding the Pakistan team, some games were moved from Mumbai to Cuttack, on the other side of the country.
  2. The  remaining games were moved to a different stadium in Mumbai.
Regarding the move to Cuttack, I honestly don't see that the BCCI had much choice. If they had ignored the security concerns and something had happened, they would have been culpable for the disaster; and let's not forget that security concerns in India tend to mean guns and bombs, not placards and slogans.

The stadium move was obviously more selfish and arbitrary - to accommodate a domestic men's game - but did it really make any difference? After all, even the smaller stadium was barely one-tenth full for most (all?) of the tournament.

So although the situation was not ideal, and there are definitely issues with the BCCI's support for women's cricket, this is one case where I feel we can cut them a little slack.

(As for the TV coverage... I'll have more to say on that in a later post!)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I don't really have a problem with how the Cuttack situation was handled, because I agree with you that that was a matter of security. It was the move out of Wankhede that was the real problem. Everyone says it worked out better for the tournament in the end, but that's hardly the point.

    Re the umpiring, the criticism of this is obviously in some ways a positive for women's cricket, because evidence suggests there have been some shocking decisions at key moments over the years, but only now, with people able to watch the matches on TV and actually bothering to do so, are some of these poor decisions being exposed. That can only be a positive for the future.

    Enjoyed the post, as ever, despite the defence of the BCCI! ;)