Economics alone cannot dictate Test cricket..

It is not very often that we hear the words economics and cricket in one article/interview.

BCCI CEO – Rahul Johri – in this interview speaks about the need to keep test cricket going even if economics do not support the 5-day version:

But do you agree that there has been a deep, growing concern about the health of Test cricket and its future in the present form? Did you and other CEOs take that into consideration when you sat for numerous meetings before fleshing out the FTP?

Our stance remains to stay committed to Test cricket. The mandate given to us in the BCCI is that Test cricket is a very important component of the overall cricket structure.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland recently said “alarm bells” have started ringing for Test cricket. According to Sutherland the commercial value of Test cricket has fallen especially in the Indian market. Do you agree?

That is James Sutherland’s view. Not for me comment on it. As CEOs of our boards, our primary responsibility is to execute the directions given by our boards. We are not cricket specialists. While economics plays a role in sport, only economics cannot dictate how Test cricket is played.

Even Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India, the global broadcaster, says the “economics of Test cricket” do not work. He feels the popularity of the game drives the economics. And the popularity has been falling. How do you look at it?

The BCCI bilateral media rights will be out soon. The result of that will deliver the answer. We are extremely confident that we will deliver the best value for Indian cricket. The BCCI sets global benchmarks in terms of revenues or rights fees for every format. A lot was said before the IPL media rights tender too, but the [eventual] IPL rights proved the pre-eminence of Indian cricket and set the benchmark for cricket leagues. I am extremely confident when the BCCI bilateral media rights tender opens it will once again set a benchmark for international cricket.


It keeps going in circles. First economics of ODIs and then T-20s (and later T-10s) led to decline in economics of Test cricket. Much of this rise of the two versions – ODIs and T-20s- was driven by India. And now India is backing Test Cricket when others believe its future is meek or not on strong economic grounds…


5 Responses to “Economics alone cannot dictate Test cricket..”

  1. Economics alone cannot dictate Test cricket.. | Me Stock Broker Says:

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  3. vikramml Says:

    Interesting topic! I just consider ODI, T20 and Test cricket to be different forms of sport altogether. And, I don’t much care for what bureaucrats, sponsors, etc do with either sport. They will survive on their own merit with or without money. I dislike this notion that administrators must save or promote a sport, etc. People who want to play test cricket will do so without crowds as well. The vast amounts of money are a recent phenomenon and the only worry I see here is by administrators who might not make a profit. Well, I don’t care. And, cricket used to be an aristocratic sport. If test players can’t make a living off of it, so be it.

  4. Amol Agrawal Says:

    Vikram always has a different perspective to things!

  5. cricketindiaries Says:

    I agree! I believe the economics should not be the sole factor governing whether test cricket should survive or not. We should look at the game for what it is and how important a position it occupies in the overall structure of cricket.
    A very interesting read!

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