Is the BCCI unfair in expecting its marquee players, in whom they've invested so much, to represent the country in an international game? Or, are the broadcasters unreasonable in insisting that India play their star players each time, since revenues plummet the moment Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni abstain?
More importantly, are the players selfish in asking for a well-deserved breather after being on the road for the longest time possible? Logically, none of the aggrieved parties seem to be asking for more than their fair share. Yet, they seem to be have collided head-on.
To each his own
The BCCI pays huge sums to its players via the retainer fee, a share of the profits and match fees, and bears the expenses if a player gets injured. They are justified in demanding those who are fit to make themselves available.
The broadcasting rights for series in which India are involved are sold at astronomical prices. If Sachin, Dhoni and Co. decide not to play, sponsors too would stay away.
Lastly, it's imperative to realise that it's an arduous job for a player to perform at the highest level, match after match, and yet maintain the intensity without breaking down. It's not just the rigours of playing in pressure-cooker situations but also the travelling and scrutiny by a billion people that takes its toll. If players refrain from asking for rest, they'd risk a burnout. The importance of playing for India is not wasted on them. Yet, they ought to address the demands of their body.
What's the way forward? Firstly, it's imperative to acknowledge that T20 cricket is both the present and future, consuming over three months of every calendar year, and generating revenue and fan base. While only foreigners had been making the choice between club and country thus far, even India players have decided to give the West Indies tour a miss.
It is about time we make this so-called domestic tourney into a world event with more participation from other countries.
Allow the bigger nations to own a franchise each or share relevant revenue with these nations. There won't be any international cricket at that time and it will ensure 100 percent participation of both viewers and players. In return, every country will get a justified share of the pie and not just 10 percent of salary of the players from their country.