Politics is not always a black and white affair. It is quite possible for both sides in a dispute to be in the wrong, and that’s what appears to be happening in the latest squabble for control of world cricket.
What Chandra is doing is exploiting a vacuum amongst the “lesser nations” created by the selfish avarice shown by India, England and Australia last year.
News broke last week of rival national cricket boards being registered, including New Zealand Cricket Limited, Kiwi Cricket limited and Aotearoa Cricket Limited. Forensics liked this to Subhash Chandra, a very rich man who had previously set up the failed ICL, most known in this country for depriving Shane Bond of a few years of test cricket, and a perjury case to be held in London in October.
It is no coincidence that Chandra owns broadcast rights to most of the test playing nations that are not India, England or Australia. So that is why the ECB have put on the jackboots and threatened to cancel test tours to Pakistan and South Africa later this year. The irony of talking about not wanting a split in the game is laid on pretty thick.
This is where Chandra will have some sympathy from the rest of the cricketing world. This bullying from the ECB is exactly what people feared when the real split in the sport occurred last year. However, it won’t be that straight forward. The only surprise is that it hasn’t come out of the BCCI but N Srinivasan has some betting accusations to brush off to distract him at the moment. And we are expected to treat these people with respect.
The ICL still owes players money from 2008 so it is unlikely current players will rush to sign a contract with a huge amount of trust.
There is another factor that will deter current players from signing up. The IPL. This is where the sentimental Chandra / Packer comparisons fall down; unlike in the 1970s players have the opportunity in 2015 to become rather rich.
It is hard to see this coming to much, although it will be interesting to see the twists and turns over the next few weeks. But the Big Three should take note; where there is discontent there will be people looking to take advantage of that.