New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday went on defensive after it called "heavy dependence on revenues and fans from India" as a possible "weakness" as per its SWOT analysis and held it responsible for impeding cricket's global outreach. The Indian board, according a report in ESPN, had threatened to call a general meeting to discuss the Members' Participation Agreement with the ICC to "safeguard the BCCI's interest before the same is executed on behalf of the BCCI".
ICC's above-mentioned censure is a part of its 25-page document, titled "A Global Strategy For Cricket - Update", and it understandably dominated Thursday's meeting between the BCCI and global body's working group to develop a global strategy for cricket.
ICC's CEO David Richardson sought to clarify its position after the meeting, calling the BCCI a "strength."
"We need Indian cricket as part of global strategy. It's certainly a strength that we have such a huge cricket economy behind us. It's not a big issue from weaknesses point of view; if anything it's a reminder for other countries that they cannot rely on India alone, they need to do something themselves," Richardson said.
The BCCI is certain that the sentence will be removed from any further discussions.
"If Sachin Tendulkar was the dominant batsman for India, you didn't try to find ways to cut down his scoring," a BCCI official said. "You asked other batsmen to start scoring more."
Further, the BCCI has cautioned the global body against any possible cuts in budgets or revenue, citing a spike in its expenditure.
“With the Lodha recommendations coming into effect, we have new members coming in. The north-eastern states have got full membership. They will get due grants from the board. We are investing heavily in women’s cricket as well. We can’t afford to lose out on any money,” a top BCCI official said.
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Last year with the IPL shifted to UAE, none of the Australian cricketers participated in the Women's T20 challenge as it coincided with the Women's Big Bash League.
India, which is grappling with a devastating second wave of the pandemic with cases rising by over 4 lakh everyday, is scheduled to host the T20 World Cup in October-November.
Among the many wishes, Mumbai Indians shared a post on their official Twitter handle. They tweeted, “Setting the stage on fire whenever and wherever he walks in —the name is Ro-HIT Sharma. Happy Birthday, Captain”.