Why India should play the smaller nations?

A few days back Afghanistan qualified as one of the teams for the 2015 World Cup to be staged in Australia and New Zealand and asked for the assistance of countries like India to help them prepare for the most important cricketing tournament of their lives. Now if the BCCI were to agree to this request it would entail playing matches with them or letting them play in the domestic competitions and using the training facilities etc. The question that comes up here is why would India play the smaller teams? Well, here are some reasons as to how playing the smaller teams can actually benefit a big nation like India.

More games mean greater revenue: India is a very popular cricket team and wherever they go there are normally hordes of fans following them in those games. So the administrators can be sure that all the matches will be attended well and they will not be making losses on these. I am also sure that even if Star Cricket, which is the official broadcaster, is not ready to broadcast these matches some other channel can take the onus. Sony Six, which broadcasts the IPL, or DD Sports, can take the responsibility and they can earn some decent revenue from these matches as well.

New markets for sponsors: Just imagine India is playing a 5 match one day series against US in US and all the matches have full attendance. Will any company want to miss out on such a major opportunity to market one’s products? If India can play these matches and that too in other countries then obviously many companies will be interested to come in and play a part in funding the same.

Good relations with new countries: Suppose if Ireland and Afghanistan or any other associate country was promoted to full member status, it would be greatly beneficial for India if it had cordial working relations with that country. This is where any assistance, especially in terms of games, can come in handy for India.

Benevolent image of board: The BCCI is reputed to be a moneymaking machine with very little concern for the good of the game. If the administrators can find out some time for the team to play the smaller teams, it would make the game more popular in these countries and it would also do a world of good to this image of the BCCI.

Opportunities for smaller centers: There are several smaller centers in India that do not receive games on a regular basis. Kanpur, for example, has not received a game in years. With a series or two against the smaller teams the BCCI would be in an ideal position to give these smaller centers a taste of international cricket as well and provide them an opportunity to earn some decent money.

Fresh factor: Over the years, Indian audiences may have been feeling a sense of déjà vu seeing the same teams come over here and either get rolled over or roll India over. With some new teams, people will at least expect new things to happen and that could translate to good rewards for all concerned.

More opportunities for players: The biggest benefit of playing the smaller teams shall be felt by the players, especially ones who are either suffering from off-form, who have previously represented the national team but are now out of it, and for players who are on the fringes of the national team.

For the players going through a bad patch it will give them one more opportunity to regain their confidence and composure and come back roaring against the higher ranked teams as and when the opportunities arise. For players who have previously represented the national team and went out due to prolonged bad form or injury these teams could present some good opportunities to get back to the groove and have the joy of representing the country again. In case of players who are about to get into the national team these games and good performance in them can be crucial as far as getting that breakthrough to play in the national team against the top teams is concerned.


Related Information:

Why cricket is so popular in India