South Africa set for IPL gift from Srini

Financial benefits of hosting even half of the IPL will be huge for CSA.

When the  Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) got together with Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board to propose radical changes to the ICC’s governance structure, the rest of the cricketing world raised their voices against the Big Three. The reason was simple— the three superpowers’ proposal was designed to give them a bigger chunk of the revenue, and would make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Cricket South Africa, the three Boards’ long-term ally, was the most vocal in opposition. The BCCI-CSA relationship had soured over the appointment of Haroon Lorgat as the latter’s CEO last year. But when it came down to the vote, South Africa voted in favour of the changes. It’s no coincidence that BCCI chief N. Srinivasan, the man who will become ICC chairman in July, had met CSA boss Chris Nenzani in Singapore before the ICC Board meeting.

Srinivasan has a gift. Though he has the reputation of a bully and a vindictive individual, the fact is that his success in the business sector with his company India Cements, and as a cricket administrator underlines he can make people happy.

Suddenly, South Africa went from getting a curtailed tour to being promised a full tour soon and becoming the frontrunner to host the IPL if it couldn’t be held in India due to the general elections. Financial benefits of hosting even half of the IPL will be huge for CSA. No wonder, then, it decided to bury its differences of opinion with the BCCI and go for the gold.

Last time India had the general elections was in 2009, which prompted a sudden shift of the event to South Africa. Allegations of financial misconduct, foreign exchange regulation violations and various other cases from 2009 have still not been settled. Financial authorities are still waiting to question then IPL chairman Lalit Modi. CSA’s then CEO, Gerald Majola, has been sacked and is on trial for receiving illegal kickbacks.

It remains to be seen whether the controversy-ridden IPL can remain above board this time.


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