How cricket board works in India: Know about BCCI’s power and funding.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remained in a lot of controversies during the 50-50 overs World Cup match. While Pakistan cricket team raised questions on BCCI regarding the pitch, former Indian captain Kapil Dev raised questions on not being invited for the final match.

Former Sri Lankan cricket team captain Arjun Ranatunga even made serious allegations against the BCCI Secretary like ruining the Sri Lankan board. However, this is not the first time that BCCI is in the headlines due to controversies. 

After the year 2005, there were at least 3 such big occasions when BCCI was embroiled in controversies and questions were raised on its working style. The allegation of fixing in IPL has tarnished the credibility of BCCI. 

The Justice Lodha Committee, which investigated fixing, had suspended two IPL teams at that time. Action was also taken against many players.

In 2017, the Supreme Court hammered the chair of the then BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke. Both were accused of contempt of the Supreme Court. This was the first time that the BCCI President was removed from the post by the Supreme Court.

What is BCCI, when was it established?
To remove the British hegemony from cricket in India, in the year 1927, a proposal to form a joint board was approved in a club in New Delhi. At that time the cricket units of 8 states had supported its formation. It got recognition from the International Cricket Council in 1928-29. 

In 1940, BCCI was registered as an organization under Madras Act XXI of 1860. After independence, this cricket board has been registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975. 

The basic function of BCCI is to formulate policy to enhance the quality and standard of cricket in India. For this, the board has its own constitution and decisions are taken under it. 

To run BCCI, 5 big posts have been created in its parent organization. These posts are- President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Joint Secretary. 

The highest policy making unit in the board is the Apex Council. This meeting is attended by all the officials of BCCI and one officer appointed by the Government of India. This unit takes all major decisions. 

How does BCCI work in India?
The basic function of BCCI in India is to promote domestic cricket and set the quality of the team to stand on the scale of International Cricket Council. BCCI’s policy formulation also takes place in this context.

In international matches, BCCI plays its role in player selection, coach, management etc. At the same time, if an international match is organized in India, then the importance of BCCI increases. Then the selection of the stadium is also the responsibility of BCCI.

Major decisions related to selection are taken in the AGM meeting of BCCI. This meeting is completely confidential and internal. However, questions have been raised from time to time on many decisions of this meeting. 

Recently, people have criticized BCCI on social media regarding the stadium selection for the World Cup. People alleged that why are all the big matches being held in Ahmedabad Stadium in Gujarat? 

Congress leader Gaurav Pandhi, convenor in the office of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, took a dig at the holding of the final match by terming Ahmedabad Stadium as Panauti Stadium. 

BCCI is the richest cricket board
In recent years, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is also in the news regarding its revenue system. In the same year, in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, India’s Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said that during the financial year 2018-2022, BCCI has earned a total revenue of more than Rs 27,411 crore.

According to a report, the net worth of BCCI in the year 2022 is 2.25 billion dollars. According to the Government of India, BCCI’s income comes from media rights, sponsorship and revenue shares of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

According to the Finance Ministry, BCCI has paid Rs 1159.20 crore as tax to the Government of India in 2021-22. In 2020-21 this figure was 844.92 crores. 

Experts say that after FIFA, BCCI is the richest sports organization. FIFA’s net worth is $2.37 billion, which is slightly more than BCCI’s net worth of $2.25 billion.

How powerful is BCCI?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is an autonomous body. There is little interference from the government in its administrative and financial rights. The General Body and Apex Council of BCCI take all the major decisions. 

Under its rules, it has been made mandatory to audit financial transactions. Every year BCCI uploads its audit report on its website. BCCI has also been placed under the Right to Information Act 2005 by the Sports Ministry. 

5 big posts of BCCI are elected by its state and national level members. According to the Constitution, a person cannot hold the same post for more than 3 times.

The International Cricket Council has the basic authority to take action against BCCI. ICC can take action against BCCI for violating any rules.

Why are questions raised on the working style of BCCI?

The question is, why does the Board of Control for Cricket in India come under the scanner again and again? Let us understand this in detail…

1. Could not come out of the political shadow – According to senior sports journalist Rajendra Sajwan, the board has still not been able to come out of the political influence. Earlier there was dominance of some other person and party, now there is dominance of some other party and person.

Sajwan says- If you look at the board at the state and national level, you will find that it is dominated by only one party and the people associated with it. In such a situation, the decision is also taken on the same basis.

A former BCCI official says on the condition of anonymity – There is nothing new in this. When Sharad Pawar was effective, his area was dominant. During the time of Jagmohan Dalmiya, his people dominated BCCI. Similarly, Tamil Nadu cricket was dominant during the time of N Srinivasan. 

2. Lack of transparent system in the board-The history of dictatorship and opaque system in the name of secrecy within the board is old. 6.1 of the Board Rules states that members, officers, selection committee members and supporting staff will not talk to the press."text-align: justify;">Senior journalist Rajendra Sajwan says- When questions are raised on the board, they are not even answered satisfactorily. No official talks at all, that is why his working style remains under question. 

BCCI’s attitude was similar in the recent Kapil Dev and pitch controversy also. BCCI has not yet given any reply regarding not inviting former captain Kapil Dev. 

In 2007-08, Kapil Dev had opposed this system and established a rebel cricket league parallel to BCCI. At that time, BCCI took strict action against Kapil Dev and stopped the money he was getting. 

However, later an agreement was reached between Kapil Dev and the board and Kapil Dev dissolved the rebel cricket league. 

3. Interference in International Cricket Council increased – BCCI’s interference in ICC is continuously increasing. This year, after the ICC meeting, BCCI Secretary Jai Shah had sent a mail to all the boards telling them that 38 percent of ICC’s revenue would come to BCCI’s share.

However, there is another aspect to this also. In 2021, the then head of Pakistan Cricket Board, Rameez Raza had said in an interview that BCCI’s dominance in ICC is increasing because of money. 

Raza had said that ICC gets 90 percent of its revenue from India.  Experts say that this data is not completely true, but ICC definitely earns the most from India.