Indian Cricket has transformed into a commercial powerhouse and has potential in carrying out Cricket as a popular sport throughout the world. Sociologist Ashis Nandy describes Cricket in his famous phrase, “An Indian game accidentally discovered by the British”. Cricket has evolved in India through its cultural diversity, different languages and regions which all suited to its national character.
Cricket was first played in India During the British colonisation in the 19th century when Englishmen used to play for their leisure. And to inaugurate relations with their colonial ruler’s several Kings and Nawabs of princely states started to become proficient in the game of Cricket.
Indian Cricket in successive years has come a long way. Ever since the Indian team gained its test status in 1932, it took nearly 4 decades to mark their presence in the gentleman’s game when they first beat West Indies, England and New Zealand in away tours. But the 1983 world cup triumph remains a great feat in the history of Indian Cricket as it empowered millions of youth to go mad in an obsession with the game.
India is the commercial centre of the game and accounts for nearly 80% of the game’s revenue. The Indian Premier League, a franchise-based T-20 which started in 2008 has achieved tremendous success in terms of the money it generates. In 2017, its media rights were sold for mammoth ₹16,000 crores for only 5 years.
Over the years, the IPL became a global epicenter of T-20 Cricket where some of the finest players from around the world play. The 7-week long Tournament is regarded as a laboratory of 20-over cricket and creates a world-class platform for young domestic lads as well as emerging talents from other associate nations. The likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rehman and Sandeep Lamichhane are names who have made most of this opportunity.
Indian Cricket became a commercial juggernaut and it redefined the way global Cricket governed. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) brings in the money that runs Cricket globally and in return, it gets what it wants — power — and with power in their hands, the BCCI holds the prospects of the game. The Board has an important role in the global development of the game and Cricket’s sustainability in the long run.
For long, the BCCI has been against the inclusion of Cricket in the Olympics and other multi-sport events because the Board will lose its autonomy and a certain amount of revenue. In times to come, if the BCCI agrees to the ICCs proposal, many associate members would benefit. Inclusion enhances India’s chances of getting Olympic medals.
BCCI helped Afghanistan cricket by offering them a “home away from home” to practice and play International Cricket in India. Dehradun’s newly constructed stadium is home ground for a cricketing nation whose journey has many ups and downs. Their story is full of courage and determination.
the Board has also played an active role in the rise of its other neighbours. In 2000 Jagmohan Dalmiya, as ICC chairman, helped Bangladesh in becoming the 10th Nation to be given Test status. India also provides training grounds for the Nepal Cricket team after major earthquakes occur.
While aspiring to become a global presence like FIFA, ICC also took a step forward by giving T-20 status to all its associate members and with a new revenue-sharing model. These 92 Associate Nations would receive total funding of $280 million from ICC under India’s Shashank Manohar tenure as ICC chairman.
In April, the BCCI expressed their views to lead the post-COVID-19 cricket world as it proposes a new revenue distribution system that will look after all Cricket boards. With the COVID-19 outbreak causing havoc, almost every other cricket board, especially weaker nations, will need the BCCI support to make up for all financial losses.
Lastly, India has a strong potential in being the flag bearer of Cricket for becoming a global sport. Only they could take the game more democratically. With a personality like Sourav Ganguly sitting on BCCIs topmost chair, the game’s future looks more appealing.