It is a mistake for the ICC to think that they can tap the huge Indian
market for cricket revenues only through the BCCI. If the BCCI is not
interested in fielding an Indian team for a 20-20 world cup, let it be!
The ICC should still go ahead and organize the tournament; I am
absolutely confident that there will be a huge television audience in
India and Pakistan (from which the ICC can make enormous profits
through television rights) even if these countries do not participate.
India has never participated in World Cup soccer (it is not even an
Asian soccer power), yet millions and millions of people in the
subcontinent are known to stay up all night to watch World cup soccer
(there is also a huge captive audience in the subcontinent for lesser
tournaments like European Cup Soccer, Italian and English Club soccer,
etc). Thus, there is absolutely no reason why people in the
subcontinent will not watch 20-20 cricket matches even if India and
Pakistan do not participate.
The ICC should ofcourse market the tournament well in the subcontinent.
Maybe kickstart the marketing campaign with an intense 1-week
triangular 20-20 tournament involving England/Australia/South Africa in
four locations (Kolkata/Karachi/Colombo/Dacca?)!
The BCCI would obviously like to keep India as a protected market in
cricket where it will have a monopoly. However the ICC will do well if
it opens up the Indian cricket economy by introducing new cricket
products like 20-20 tournaments, etc (bypassing the BCCI). IMO, it will
be a win for world cricket as well as for the Indian domestic cricket
consumer (who will get more choices about what they can watch instead
having to depend on the BCCI) if the ICC takes such an initiative.
Report: Pak doctor builds 20-20 stadium
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 (Karachi):
The subcontinent may not have a Kerry Packer or an Abdul Rehman
Bukhatir but there are admirers of the game making meaningful
They don't always find a place in the record books but their efforts
are only adding to the popularity of the sport.
A doctor in Karachi has built a cricket stadium which mostly hosts
Passion for the game
For Dr Syed Mohammed Ali Shah, cricket is more than just a hobby.
Cricket has been Dr Shah's childhood obsession and that resulted in him
building the Dr Asghar Ali Shah Stadium in 1993.
It's an effort dedicated to his father, a judge in pre-Independence
"This ground is named after my father who was a judge and had also
worked in India for a number of years. I made the stadium in his
memory. Slowly it became an international venue. It is also listed in
ICC's panel," said Dr Shah.
The doctor has already spent Rs 4 crore on the stadium. It may be
small, but it certainly isn't inconsequential.
The dressing rooms were inaugurated by the likes of Jonty Rhodes and
Wasim Akram, and it has a commentary box and its own camera set-up,
which broadcasts on a local cable network.
The floodlit ground is listed on the ICC panel of venues and is
becoming popular as a venue for 20-20 cricket.
And just to prove its suitability, Dr Shah also hosted a game between
Indian and Pakistani journalists.
"That Britishers' claim to have started 20-20 cricket is not right. I
had started it together with my friend Mehtab Ahmed in 1978. It turned
out to be a popular format.
"We play during Ramzan and it has a huge following. Even the test
cricketers come here to play 20-20 matches. They have been doing it
since 1978," he added.
That claim might lack evidence but his efforts to popularise cricket
are indeed laudable.