Zimbabwe a cricket liability - Mani

HARARE - Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani described Zimbabwe and two other nations as a “liability” in world cricket, saying the leading nations earn nothing from playing against them.

Mani was responding to an earlier threat by India to withdraw from ICC events in protest over a large share of the ICC revenues.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in February threatened to form a parallel body if they were not given a greater share of ICC revenues. To back up their claim, BCCI proposed that the“big three” cricket nations England, Australia and India be given authority over the running of the game at international level.

But Mani who was at the helm of ICC between 2003 and 2006 said that India would have seen its revenue going down considerably by “70 to 80% because :no one would like to see India playing Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and New Zealand day in day out,” said Mani.

“It would be worth nothing, the television channels and broadcasters want high-profile teams, teams that play good cricket to play against India. It's a two-way thing, it's not a one-way thing."

The former administrator also took a swipe at the manner in which the current ICC body handled India’s outbursts after the Asian country threatened to pull out of ICC organised events. He described the remarks as “laughable” and was “astonished that the ICC took this seriously.”

"I am talking from personal experience, when I was ICC president, when a country threatened not to take part in ICC events," Mani said.

"And all I did was to speak to other Full Members, and that included countries like England Australia, Pakistan and West Indies at that time, and they made it clear to this country that was making threats that they would only work within the ICC and would not break ranks with the ICC. And once this country got that message, it realised its threat was absolutely hollow."

Mani said that while India does generate of lot of money for cricket, it was India's economy that used cricket for its own end.

"It is not the other way around. And my big issue with the BCCI is that the BCCI does not own the proprietary rights to the Indian economy," he said.

According to Mani, Indian broadcasters and sponsors bought into the vast reach of Indian cricket to help sell products and services.

"What's that got to do with the BCCI? Nothing," he said. "Whereas I absolutely acknowledge that India produces a huge revenue for world cricket, it is not the BCCI's money."

*Additional reporting by Cricinfo.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.