Cricket spat to spoil summer?

The Proteas will have to settle for playing minnows this season if India pull out of their upcoming tour to SA – rendering SA cricket R250 million poorer.

The ongoing spat between Cricket SA (CSA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could cost South Africa about R250 million.

That is if the BCCI cancels or curtails its planned South Africa tour in December.

India’s tour means a big payday because of television revenues and bumper crowds.

But the tour hangs in the balance because of the antipathy of the board’s president, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, towards CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

The interim president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, also has a bone to pick with Lorgat.

Srinivasan told he would stand for re-election, a move which could have serious consequences for CSA should he hold on to his post.

His feud with Lorgat stems from his time as the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive.

CSA will be watching the BCCI’s annual general meeting (AGM) next week nervously, as it will determine how their summer pans out.

CSA president Chris Nenzani was noncommittal about the impact of the meeting, saying the organisation will only comment after the gathering.

“We did release a statement after our CEO met his BCCI counterpart in Dubai earlier this week, so it would be ill-advised of us to make any statement regarding the AGM and its outcomes,” Nenzani said yesterday.

Lorgat referred City Press to the local governing body’s Altaaf Kazi, who said there will be no comment until after the AGM.

Should the tour be cancelled, it will leave South Africa with only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh to play against over the festive season.

The last time India toured South Africa in 2011, CSA posted a healthy profit of R247.9 million and this money has sustained them for the past three years.

India is world cricket’s biggest market, with a reach in every country owing to its large expatriate population and an even bigger population in the game.

While there is a Future Tours Programme that all other ICC full-member nations adhere to, when India comes knocking, they will adjust schedules.

They know the financial rewards that come with hosting India.

Besides full stadiums, the astronomical TV ratings are what boards use when bargaining over broadcasting rights. (See box)

The demand the Indian board must satisfy from member countries is far greater than they can deal with, which makes them very picky about who to visit and when.

Cricket’s global mother body has its hands tied, because they are also dependent on Indian money, which is coupled with the fact that the board did not agree to and sign the ICC touring programme, so they aren’t legally bound to its schedule.

Lorgat met with his counterpart at the Indian board, Sanjay Patel, at the ICC’s chief executives meeting in Dubai, where any decision regarding the South African tour was deferred until the Indian AGM.

The Indian board has already made plans for inbound tours should the South African December sojourn fall through.

They have also scheduled an outbound tour of New Zealand, which will start on January 19, which is the last day of the scheduled third test in Johannesburg.

The board also has a triangular series involving Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the pipeline for late November, which could eat into the South African tour.

BCCI: CSA’s cash cow

When India tours South Africa, this is how the finances are affected:

2006/07: R129.7 million profit – India and Pakistan were the summer tourists

2007/08: R16.358 million loss – New Zealand and West Indies were the summer tourists

2008/09: R5.9 million profit – Australia were hosted from February to March. The Indian Premier League helped turn around an anticipated R75.9 million loss with earnings of R81.2 million

2009/10: R138.8 million profit – Hosted the Champions Trophy and England

2010/11: R247.8 million profit – India were in South Africa

2011/12: R47 million loss – Sri Lanka and Australia were the summer tourists

The BCCI vs Haroon Lorgat

As the ICC chief executive, Lorgat stood on the BCCI’s toes regarding the decision review system (DRS – using technology to confirm decisions), tax exemptions during the 2011 Cricket World Cup and the moving of the India-England Group B tie from Eden Gardens in Kolkata to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

The board, which objects to the use of DRS in bilateral series, was given the high road and told to adhere to the DRS for the World Cup, which is mandatory for 50-over ICC events.

Lorgat also worked through the Indian government, instead of the BCCI, to get tax exemptions.

The last straw was when a marquee match was taken away from an incomplete Eden Gardens, the construction of which was behind schedule when the tournament began.

How the big three broadcasting deals match up

BCCI –Signed a $750 million (R741 million) deal with Star Sports for six years, from 2012 to 2018

England and Wales Cricket Board–Signed a $4.1 billion deal with Sky Sports for four years, from 2012 to 2016

Cricket Australia –Signed a $500 million deal with Channel Nine for five years, from 2013 to 2018


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