BCCI mulling its own Boeing 747?

The suggestion came when Eng team management made noises seeking direct flights between Test venues.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 14:43 IST

Is the Indian cricket board buying its own Boeing 747? A suggestion has been made by one of its members to buy one so that the national and touring teams can be carried easily between venues.

The unprecedented suggestion was made when the management of the England team, now playing in India, made noises seeking direct flights between venues during the Test series.

"We all had gone to Mohali (for the second Test March 9-13) after the England team sought direct flights between Nagpur and Mohali when a colleague said that all these transport problems could be overcome and for that the board should buy a Boeing," a top Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official said.

"He suggested if the board has its own aeroplane, the Indian team and visiting teams could be flown from one venue to the other without depending on the availability of seats in other airlines," he said.

The BCCI official also revealed that the member suggested the plane could even be used for ferrying teams for several domestic tournaments like the Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy.

This is the third extraordinary suggestion that has come from different BCCI members. Former BCCI president and present Punjab Cricket Association chief IS Bindra had suggested last year that the board launch its own television channel.

Then another member suggested that the BCCI launch its own factory to make cricket balls to be used in international and domestic matches. This was prompted by the frequent cases of Sanspareils Greenlands (SG) balls, which are used in international and domestic matches, going out of shape.

However, the proposal of buying a jumbo jet seems to have surpassed all suggestions ever made in BCCI meetings. The suggestion was made in earnest, as the England team wanted direct flights all through the ongoing series comprising three Tests and five one-day internationals.

If the BCCI, easily the richest cricket board in the world, even for a moment decides to buy a plane, there are several questions that beg answers.

Would the BCCI also employ people, including pilots, for flying and maintenance of the plane? Where would the plane be kept when not in use? How would it be used when there were no international series or domestic tournaments? What is the guarantee that it would not be misused?

First Published: Mar 22, 2006 14:43 IST