BCCI is screwing everyone as usual, is it? Damn the Future's program, damn the county season, damn all the cricket boards save BCCI. IPL has arrived! Wonder how long before Indians park a plane in a nearby airport and threaten to leave if India loses a match!
But the catharsis happening now is all good for cricket. My Future's program will look something like this. Each region plays 20-20 leagues in Apr and Oct. The IPL was supposed to be followed by a Champions league of winning teams from IPL, England, SA and Australia. While those boards might have fallen for that piece of BS from Lalit Modi, the idea isn't bad. Add the Stanford Cup in the Caribbeans, expand the above four as regional leagues and we already have a Football like set piece.
Further, bilateral ODI series of any length must immediately be abolished. I would anyday watch a women's handball game (?!) over Australia playing Pakistan in a ODI. From now, any ODI tournament must feature a minimum of four teams. Even in football Euro Cup and Copa America are alive-n-kicking. The Cricket Asia Cup and Africa Cup this year are a good start.
And we should also abolish the 20-20 world cup! Lets have 20-20 only at the club level and when its featured in Olympic, Commonwealth games etc. The min-four team 50-50s and the only World Cup we'll have (as 50-50) should be tests of strategies and playing styles. Neither the slam-bang (20-20) nor the wear-down (test) versions. And for heaven's sake, lets give each team atleast 5 matches in the round-robin stage of the world cup.
So we'll be left with only test matches being played as bilaterals. Not a bad deal, right? And lets abolish this neutral umpires thing except in the World Cup. Any other match will feature local umpires. The neutral umpires are a fast-dying breed and if local umpires are biased, then so be it. Playing a 13 member team on the field is much easier than playing the team with a plane parked outside. Shoo-in beepers for the front foot no-ball.
And finally to the good-old ICL. Seems Chennai Superstars have won the 50-50 tourney as well! ICL is supposed to be adding two new teams for the games next month. I had last time predicted that that they'll leave out Bangalore in the first six. I hope the new teams this time are Bengalooru Gurus and Karachi Warriors. When 8 becomes 12, let the other four be Columbo, Dhaka, Vadodara and Kanpur.