Cricket in India is not only a sport; it’s a passion that runs deep in the hearts of millions of fans. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) plays a pivotal role in governing and promoting the game in the country.
However, the BCCI’s powerful position and decision-making authority have led to clashes with Indian cricketers on several occasions throughout history.
Let’s look into five such instances when the BCCI found itself in conflict with the very players it aims to represent and support.
1) Payment issues and contract disputes (2014)
Back in 2014, a major dispute emerged between the BCCI and Indian cricketers regarding payments and contract-related matters. Players expressed dissatisfaction with the terms of their contracts, and there were disagreements over revenue-sharing models and player remuneration. The crux of the issue was the revenue-sharing model between the BCCI and the players.
The cricketers believed that they deserved a larger share of the revenue generated by the board, considering their invaluable contributions to the sport’s popularity and success in the country. After intense negotiations, the matter was eventually resolved, but it left a lasting impact on the relationship between the players and the board.
2) Sourav Ganguly’s removal as captain (2005)
In 2005, one of the most controversial episodes in Indian cricket history unfolded when Sourav Ganguly, the charismatic captain of the Indian cricket team, was removed from his leadership position by the BCCI. This decision sparked a public feud between Ganguly and the board, with the former expressing his disappointment at the treatment meted out to him.
Adding fuel to the fire, Ganguly had a well-known clash with then-coach Greg Chappell, further deepening the divide within the team. The incident raised questions about the BCCI’s decision-making process and handling of senior players, leading to heated debates in the media.
3) Conflict over player participation in foreign T20 leagues (2018)
The BCCI has been traditionally stringent in allowing Indian players to participate in foreign T20 leagues such as the Big Bash League and the Caribbean Premier League. However, some players expressed their desire to compete in these leagues, seeking increased opportunities and exposure beyond the Indian cricket circuit.
This desire clashed with the BCCI’s approach, which aimed to maintain control over player availability and prioritize their commitments to domestic and international fixtures. The disagreement highlighted the players’ aspirations to explore the global T20 arena and the board’s protective stance.
4) Kohli, Gambhir, and Naveen-ul-Haq Fight in IPL 2023
IPL 2023 witnessed an unfortunate incident that marred the spirit of the game when a heated argument between players escalated into a full-blown altercation. During a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Supergiants, emotions ran high as Virat Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq were involved in a heated exchange on the field.
The situation took an uglier turn when Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, both experienced cricketers, got into a physical altercation. Consequently, the players were fined, bringing negative publicity to the league and raising concerns about maintaining discipline on and off the field.
5) Captaincy change from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma
In 2022, Indian cricket witnessed a significant captaincy change when Virat Kohli stepped down as the captain of the team in all three formats. Rohit Sharma was appointed as the new captain. However, the manner in which the transition was handled became a point of contention.
Kohli openly expressed his displeasure in a media interview, stating that he was not informed about the decision to change the captaincy in the limited-overs format. This revelation created a rift between Kohli and the BCCI, leading to speculations and criticisms about transparency and communication within the cricket administration.
While the BCCI plays a crucial role in promoting and governing cricket in India, it has had its share of clashes with players over the years. These conflicts reflect the complexities of managing a high-profile sport like cricket and the delicate balance required between the board’s authority and the players’ aspirations. Nevertheless, cricket continues to thrive in India, and the collective efforts of the board and players have contributed to the nation’s cricketing glory.