Geoffrey Boycott, known for his outspoken ways and don’t-hold-back comments, says that the reason behind the problems between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and BCCI is the 200th test of Sachin Tendulkar. Incidentally the Indian team was supposed to tour South Africa for a big series comprising 3 test matches, 7 ODIs and 2 T20s but now that has been heavily shortened to just 2 tests and 3 one day matches. The most obvious effect of BCCI’s ire regarding the appointment of Haroon Lorgat as the CSA chief was felt when it strongly objected to the tour schedule released by the latter on the grounds that it had not been consulted for the same.
They soon invited West Indies over for a short series of 2 tests and 3 one dayers in a surprising development. The official reason given for this was that the board wanted Sachin to be able to play his 200th test at his home rather than in South Africa. However, Boycott had a different take on the whole issue. He feels that the BCCI should be honoring the commitment it made and it is not really right to get a player of Tendulkar’s stature into this whole mess.
He has rightly pointed out that it is okay on the board’s part to want to stage the 200th test of a great player like Tendulkar at home since it is a magnificent achievement but the fact remains that he never wanted it to happen this way. Boycott has further pointed out that such an unsavory development is not right for the game on the whole. He feels that the BCCI should have stuck to its commitment to playing 3 tests in South Africa. He also reasons that a human being and player of Sachin’s quality does not deserve the rare occasion of a 200th test match to be spoiled by the spat between the two boards that were once on really friendly terms.
Boycott also does not want to take into account the reason behind BCCI’s curtailing of the test series saying no reason is good enough for such a decision. He has also questioned that how would the Indian people feel if the same treatment was meted out to them. According to the former Yorkshireman this is not a good development for India since it is now a major cricketing nation and thus has the responsibility of using its power in a judicious way so that it can be perceived as a country that has the necessary integrity to adhere to its commitments. He has also stated that it is the right of the people and sponsors in South Africa and perhaps implied that through this decision India might be denying them that very right.
The question now is would these words have any effect on the decision makers in the Indian board – the most obvious answer would be a resounding no. After all they have much bigger things in mind like avenging the humiliation heaped on them by Haroon Lorgat and reinstating N Srinivasan as the board president after cleaning his name – why in the holy hell would they care for what an Englishman has to say about their team’s tour to South Africa? The one good thing in this whole situation is that some people are daring to speak out against an all powerful board and not keeping their opinions to themselves.