BCCI President Anurag Thakur Says Board Will Oppose Two-Tier Test System
Board of Control for Cricket in India President Anurag Thakur said that his board "will oppose the proposed two-tier Test system" to "protect the interests" of smaller member nations, according to ESPN.com. As the head of the BCCI, Thakur's statement "lends heft to the criticism of the proposal by Sri Lanka Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board," even as the boards of Australia and New Zealand have welcomed the move. Thakur: "The BCCI is against the two-tier Test system because the smaller countries will lose out and the BCCI wants to take care of them. It is necessary to protect their interests." The proposal to split Test cricket into two tiers -- with seven nations in tier one, and five, including two new Test nations, in the second tier -- "was mooted at the ICC's annual conference" (ESPN.com, 8/3). The AFP reported Thakur said that smaller nations "would lose out on revenue and the chance to compete against the top teams." He said, "In the two-tier system, they will lose out on a lot, including revenue and the opportunity to play against top teams. We don't want that to happen. We want to work in the best interests of world cricket and that is why our team plays against all the countries." Although England, Australia and New Zealand have all come out in favor of the proposal, India's opposition "could well mean it is now dead in the water" (AFP, 8/3).
RAISING IRE: In New Delhi, Jasvinder Sidhu reported the BCCI's appointment of a legal panel to deal with the Justice R.M. Lodha committee over its recommendations for reforming the influential sports body "may run afoul of the Supreme Court." In what appears to be "a last-ditch attempt to protect its turf," the BCCI appointed a four-member panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju on Tuesday. But "prima facie, appointment of a legal panel by the BCCI to interact with the Lodha panel violates the Supreme Court’s July 18 verdict." The Lodha panel has said it "will not entertain this new legal panel" (HINDUSTAN TIMES, 8/3).