I have read and am reading lots of criticism of especially the BBCI in South Africa. I think that before we put pen to paper we need to understand the facts. Let’s consider the below:-
The BCCI does not receive any funding from the government of India for cricket development. All funds are derived from cricketing events and sponsorships. Most are aware that the BCCI contributes approximately 80% of all ICC funding requirements. India is a country of 1.2 billion people, South Africa 50 million. If we consider the ratio of the populations then it is not difficult to figure out who needs more money.
All cricketing events in India: Test, 50/50, 20/20, provincial and even IPL draws packed stadiums. Watching the recent tour by India to South Africa, commentators were hoping for stadiums to fill up later in the day, then the following day, then the weekend, and eventually ended by saying that December was not a good month as it was holiday season. This is not the fault of the BCCI. It is CSA and the public that are not supporting the Proteas. The same does not happen with tours in India, England and Australia.
The BCCI has been much disciplined in its treatment of member countries. Pakistan, a country whose independence is 1 day apart from India, is a failed state. The entire world is aware that the Pakistan army and government support the Al Qaeda, Taliban and LeT. The Pakistan cricket side does not play cricket at home any longer, but rather has adopted Dubai. Much has made about the fact that South Africa together with the support of Pakistan could defeat the Indian, Australian and English proposals. Are South Africans saying that the end justifies the means? Will we as South Africans say the same when the Pakistan Taliban and LeT start terrorizing us as they have recently the Kenyans?
We believe that we are a capitalist country. Our finances, businesses as well government has been run according to those rules. Taking money from the rich and sharing it is socialism. Do we want to behave like socialists when it suits us or do we want to be like beggars, walking in the offices of CSA in Pierre Cardin suits that were acquired with the funds from BCCI? Where is our pride?
The BCCI did not become big overnight. When India got independence 65 years ago, all that Gandhi wanted was that Indians should believe that they could do things as well as anyone else. This did not only apply to India then, but even now. Whilst many countries use the technology of Europe, Russia and the USA to launch satellites, India refused. Today they launch their own satellites. In other words, hard work and sweat and your goals will be achieved, maybe not in your lifetime, but definitely one day. They are currently working on sending the first Indian to space using only home grown technology. That is pride!
As South Africans, we have only seen 20 years of democracy. We seem to be in a hurry to be involved in everything. This is a recipe for failure. We should sit back and take stock. Let’s first build our cricketing structures with people that will serve the game and not bank accounts. The money that CSA received from the ICC in the past was hardly used for development in the townships. We need to first make cricket truly a national sport in South Africa. Then the sponsorship will come, and automatically the money that is so much craved.