While the members of Team India prepare for the long season of Tests ahead by sharpening their skills at T20 cricket, back home the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is busy setting its house in order.
First there are talks of corporatisation, bringing in new managers and then new partners in the form of Indian Premier League teams. Already 12 cities are in the fray and by the afternoon on 25th October we shall get to know which one jumps onto the IPL gravy train.
There are suggestions that having an IPL team isn't a viable proposition. When the Kochi team was bought in 2010, a union minister's daughter who worked with the IPL had sent another union minister a detail breakdown of its expenses which clearly showed how the team could have made profits only in the tenth year. Well Kochi is history now and so is the minister's glamorous daughter in the IPL but the truth exists. However there is no dearth of people wanting to invest in cricket.
While the men with money have done their maths what they perhaps need to prepare themselves for is a relationship on BCCI's terms. They would do well to know that people who haven't agreed to Mr N Srinivasan's 'my way or highway' terms have often taken the highway route.
The latest of course in that long list is Mohinder Amarnath. The message clearly is, either fall in line or exit.
Unlike others, Mr Srinivasan does not accept a DA when he attends ICC meetings. In ICC he is known as the man with integrity who wields total control. And it has worked both ways for the BCCI. While it has got the board a TV deal worth Rs 3851 Cr , it has also got them court cases amounting to Rs 3200 Crore and unhappy partners like Sahara threatening to divorce time and again.
Rumor mills are abuzz with the gossip of how the all-powerful board president have sidelined cricketers other than Mohinder Amarnath who did not fall in line. Sunil Gavaskar is one such example and so is Ashish Nehra . It is believed that one of the prime reasons for the Delhi fast bowler's exclusion from the team is his spat with Srinivasan's man-friday during the World Cup. There have been other instances too. An important IPL employee was sacked after the 2nd season because he was a Lalit Modi man and Srinivasan never approved of Modi's methods.
N Srinivasan's autocratic ways have helped the board boast of a revenue of Rs 5300 Crores in the last financial year. That's a great thing. But, has that helped Indian cricket? The answer is before all of us. Unless the performance of the team improves, can brand BCCI grow? And what will happen to its golden goose, the IPL? The stakeholders are going to keep a close watch.. Perhaps the men in suit who come in to the BCCI boardrooms will have to study the President's behavioral pattern to see if they can spin a tale of a successful partnership.