Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The power of the BCCI

I don't think anyone really doubted for a moment just how much clout the BCCI has in the cricketing world, but if ever we needed confirmation, we now have it, as Trevor Marshallsea reports in the Sydney Morning Herald today.

The last time India toured Australia, they were forced to schedule their series against Pakistan around the southern summer schedule. This time around, the boot is on the other foot. The pattern of the Australian summer has been pretty much sacrosanct since around 1980.

The MCG typically got the 2nd/3rd Test of the major or featured tour, and the SCG the one following. The only deviations from this rule were in 81/82, with the West Indies, and 93/94 and 97/98 with South Africa. In those three years, the summer was a split one, with two equal series, and the MCG opened the second series in each case.

Fast forward to 2007/08. India are to be the main drawcard down under this year. The expectation of most people was that there would be two Tests in Perth/Brisbane/Adelaide in early December, followed by the back to back MCG and SCG blue-ribbon events.

Instead, India will be starting their tour in the middle of December, because the Pakistan series, naturally, comes first for the BCCI. The MCG will open the series, and Perth and Adelaide will, unusually for both, host Tests in the middle of January. It's quite simply mind-boggling to realise that the BCCI truly does yield to nobody.

Turns out that this is good news for me as well. With a trip to India on the cards in September for my brother's wedding, it would have been tough to get to the Perth and Adelaide Tests in November. All of a sudden, that trip can now be part of the 2008 vacation plan - score one for the BCCI!

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