The Press Tent: BullShastri edition

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The world may well be about to fall apart thanks to the orange buffoon who has taken up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C., but here at Cricket365 we have been keeping our eyes on the real prize. The goings on in the world of cricketing media.

The world vs BCCI

In a week where Tim Wigmore produced a fantastic piece for the Guardian detailing how the ICC is trying to reform itself for the best of cricket as a whole, there was an incredible interview with Ravi Shastri on Cricbuzz. Shastri was the one time team director of the India national side, but is more often to be found on the BCCI produced coverage of India’s home matches.

Shastri went out to bat for the Indian board, and was swinging hard from the very first ball. When asked if other boards were trying to take advantage of the BCCI as it faces radical changes as a result of orders from the Supreme Court he started talking about “golden eggs.”

“Absolutely. They are making the biggest mistake in doing so. You hit the nail on the head. My warning to such people is: beware. This institution is here to stay. They are making the mistake of trying to take advantage of the BCCI in this situation. This state of flux will not last for long. BCCI will be back where they belong very, very soon.”

He goes on to say that there are too many ICC tournaments and they should get rid of the Champions Trophy. Instead the time used should be give to countries for their domestic seasons.

“I would use that corridor for another two weeks of the IPL and probably have nine or 10 teams in the future. The IPL is a massive platform from which youngsters can be showcased. If India are the powerhouse that they are today across all formats, the IPL has a big role to play.”

The Champions Trophy lasts two weeks and takes place every four years. Quite how that allows for an extra two weeks every year for more IPL is a difficult one to work out. But the suggestion that there are too many ICC tournaments is perhaps more interesting. With the World T20 now slated to take place every four years there are three tournaments that take up a total of about 15 weeks over that four year cycle. 15 weeks out of 208 doesn’t seem like a big slice of the cricketing schedule to us here in the Press Tent.

This is of interest because the BCCI is very upset that the newly proposed ICC funding model gives them a smaller amount of the money generated from these events, albeit one that is still bigger than any other board. The BCCI are very upset about the prospect of getting less than they were, while still getting more than anyone else.

At the end of the interview it is suggested that Shastri is so staunchly defending the BCCI because of the commentary contract they give him and that he benefits in a monetary sense if he supports their position.

“That’s bullshit. I’ve worked all around the world. If I am something today it is because of the opportunities the BCCI gave me, but not as a commentator. It is what the BCCI did for me as a player, a cricketer, people should get that clear in their minds. That is the most important role of a cricket board. And you want to be loyal to an institution that has been your guardian right through your growing years.”

So he isn’t blindly loyal because of his commentary contract. He is blindly loyal because of all the other things the BCCI has done for him.

Two places at once

Australia are playing T20 internationals in Australia while their best players are in India preparing for the upcoming Test series against India. We will leave the ranting and raving about the congested cricket schedule to others, that is not the purpose of the hugely important endeavour that is the Press Tent.

Instead we will bring to your attention this fascinating story that appeared in Mid-Day and was later picked up by the Deccan Chronicle.

Australia’s Test players arrived in Mumbai late on Monday night and rather than having porters to meet them they had to load their own kit on to a cargo truck. There is no suggestion that the Australians were unhappy with having to do this job, but the inference from the Deccan Chronicle article was that it may have something to do with the Supreme Court freezing the BCCI’s accounts while they get rid of the current administrators and replace them with a new set.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) funds had been frozen by the Supreme Court after the board failed to comply with the Justice Lodha committee’s recommendations, last year,” the Chronicle reported.

“Interestingly, the board had moved the SC to release certain amounts of these funds, in order to be able to host the Test matches against England, last year. More recently, there have also been reports of the India u-19 cricket team being left without money to buy their own dinner.”

Kent cricketers… so hot right now

We are not entirely sure why, but this month’s Tatler magazine has some pictures of topless cricketers wearing watches.

“Twenty20 is great, isn’t it? Sure, the cricket. Incidentally, twenty-twenty vision is rather nice too. Look at these hot, watch-modelling cricketers in the buff and get a timepiece of the action,” the Tatler gushed.

Nick Compton, everyone’s favourite model-cum-cricketer, appears in nothing but a pair of cricket whites trousers and a watch.

“If you’re staying at Nick’s house, he’ll cook you pancakes. He makes them really thin and crispy, and covers them with fresh fruit and cinnamon sugar. STOP. Later, he’ll do some yoga and pilates. He’s not shy of Lycra, and often wears cycling shorts under his padding because he likes to keep everything in its proper place when playing for Middlesex. Occasionally, talc is added.”

There are two cricketers from Kent involved, with Sam Billings and Sam Northeast both making an appearance. Northeast is a bit of an insomniac apparently. “The Old Harrovian captain of Kent finds it hard to switch off from the game, so he hardly sleeps. But don’t get too excited ­- he’s got a girlfriend.” We are devastated.

BBC Radio Kent couldn’t pass up the chance to get involved, tweeting for listeners to engage in an in-depth debate.

“SPORTS HUB: After @kentcricket’s Sam Billings & Sam Northeast modelled watches, which fashion item would suit a sport star?”

We think it should be Mohammad Irfan modelling a ladder.

If you see anything that you think is worthy of making the next edition of this snarky nonsense of a feature then please let us know via Twitter, Facebook or by tweeting using the hashtag #PressTent.