Whether it is the venue of the Indian Premier League or those for India’s proposed tour of Australia, toying with tradition and sentiment almost always had an adverse impact. Is this not why broadcasters have such a huge problem with the IPL initially and now with the rumbles about the India tour in the background?

Promoting seasonal tickets as part of the ploy to boost Test cricket was being considered before the coronavirus pandemic burst that bubble. It would also apply to the IPL as well whereby fans can plan their vacations, breaks from work and the likes well in advance to avail of more reasonable ticketing plans. Gate revenue is also boosted when spectators tend to buy tickets in bulk packages. So the hesitation to move the IPL out of the country was valid from a perception perspective as is the consideration now that India’s tour of Australia has caused a furore in the host country.

If the broadcasters, Channel seven in Australia’s case, are going hammer and tongs over India’s proposed itinerary of their tour to Australia, it is because they are accusing Cricket Australia of serving a product that is less of quality. The contention, in this case, is not only dates but also, venues which on the face of it, does not seem to serve local fans or television spectators.

Similarly, there was rattle ahead of the IPL 2020 when resistance was marked heavily in the period between March and April when the broadcasters and the various IPL franchises of the eight IPL teams were unwilling to relent to the idea to move the IPL abroad. The BCCI was caught in two minds, have an all Indian IPL at home or move abroad, foreigner cricketers and all.

Having painstakingly built homegrown fans and banking on their return loyalty with respect to ticketing and merchandising, moving the IPL 2020 to the UAE, while a success in terms of going ahead, has been a compromise, with an attempt to cut one’s losses via-a-vis to not hosting the tournament at all.

With Brisbane and Perth proposedly off the tour list – Brisbane only features for the limited-overs part of the tour, Cricket Australia as well as the cricket fraternity in Australia is visibly up in arms. With India not facing the wrath at WACA or in Brisbane of fast bowlers in the Test series, and suitably happy at more conducive venues like Adelaide and traditionally spin-friendly Sydney, the broadcasters, like some of Australia’s disgruntled former cricketers, feel it is an unfair advantage to the visitors, at the costs of the hosts. Their fear: not a fair and level playing field.

While there is no doubt that Australia would want the best advantage playing on its own turf, Cricket Australia is not in the luxurious position of asserting its demands too emphatically on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the simple reason that the pulling power of India financially is far too enormous to be shut down over the inability to find a middle ground.

Perth, being closer to India’s time, only two and half hours ahead instead of Brisbane which is four and a half hours ahead is a cause for concern given the Indian viewership that might be lost in the early hours. While the broadcaster wants bang for the buck, CA is looking for any and all bucks at this point in time, having put all its eggs in the basket of the India tour and vehemently opposing the hosting of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup scheduled prior to the tour but eventually cancelled.

Cricket Australia has a tricky road to navigate in the days ahead, to appease the broadcasters but also to ensure the BCCI keeps its date with the India tour.

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