What is this fuss and drama all about? Is the clash between the Indian cricket board and the Zee television-led proposed ICL Twenty20 tournament to do with improving the standard of the game in the country or is it all about money?
Even a daft, blind man who knows little about money and a bit about cricket would tell you that the board officials are concerned about loss of control over the golden goose and the platitude-mouthing former cricketers are all concerned about a share in the money pie.
Is Kapil Dev, who never tires of telling the world that so far, whatever he has done in his life is all “Desh key liye (all for the Nation)”, really concerned about the youngsters he and his League are saying they will encourage or is it all about money and control of the game? My guess is as good as yours.
Let us not get fooled by this war of words between the Board and Kapil, whose greatness as a cricketer is being used by ICL organisers to take on the establishment.
Zee sure has the right to organise tournaments in the country. It sure has the right to disburse tonnes of money to buy cricketers and then parade them at the ground for the benefit of television viewers.
Kapil sure has the right to earn his “livelihood” and so have other former players, who are being tempted to be part of the League.
Similarly, the Board has every right to quell this challenge to their authority and use “democratic” means to “pressurise” players not to become part of what they see is a rebel group.
But given the lack of credibility the Board has among the fans, who see the officialdom reeking of greed and busy playing all sorts of games for self-preservation, it is not easy to be completely on their side, howsoever conservative one may be in one's outlook.
In terms of pure drama and intrigue, this latest episode in Indian cricket is enthralling, suspense ridden and who knows — Zee-Kapil may pull off a coup in the end?
None of us knows how much revenue-generating potential this new “Briefs” version of the game has at the moment and Zee may finally end up as “pioneers” in exploring and milking this new format.
Who knows what bargaining will take place or is not already taking place and for all we know, the two groups might finally merge one day in the interest of the Nation (Money) and its cricket.
Who cares if in the end all this bizarre drama being enacted “Desh ke khatir (for the Nation) will leave Indian cricket more scalded than ever. Surely not the protagonists involved.
Let the fans take a walk.