Greig's Indian appeal
Cricket's financial powerhouse should think of the good of the game
Last Updated: June 26, 2012 9:26pm
Tony Greig: fears for cricket's future
Former England captain Tony Greig has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to abandon self-interest for the sake of Test cricket's future.
Delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, Greig believes the BCCI are sacrificing the spirit of cricket for financial gain.
He believes the longest format of the game is being marginalised because India are monopolising on the success of Twenty20 competitions - the Indian Premier League and Champions League.
And the 64-year-old implored India to "accept its responsibility as leader of the cricket world".
"Unfortunately, India is pre-occupied with money and T20 cricket and sees its IPL and Champions League as more important than a proper international calendar," Greig told Cricinfo.
"To compound the problems, India has not only sold part of the game to private interests but some of her administrators are seen to have a conflict of interest, which makes it more difficult for it to act in the spirit of the game.
"We can huff and puff as much as we like and have all sorts of external reports but this situation can only be resolved by India accepting that the spirit of cricket is more important than generating billions of dollars; it's more important than turning out multi-millionaire players."
The South African-born former all-rounder also criticised the BCCI for not embracing Decision Review System (DRS).
India are firmly against the implementation of technology in cricket and refused to use it in last summer's Test series against England.
But with the International Cricket Council chief executives' committee recommending universal application today, Greig's pleas were particularly relevant.
"It can't be good for the game when the media devotes so many words and so much ink to bad decisions, which ultimately undermines the integrity of some results," Greig said.
"The DRS is not perfect, but it does err in favour of the umpires' decisions and according to the ICC, fewer mistakes are made with its use. And furthermore, there is less conflict on the ground.
"India has two reasons for opposing it: One, because its superstars had such an embarrassing experience with it in the early days. Two, the BCCI argues that the DRS is too inexact.
"Ironically, the spirit of cricket is batting on both sides in this one. The cavalier approach says DRS is not in the spirit of cricket, but on the other hand, the Indian superstars should act in the spirit of cricket and accept the majority viewpoint."