Jones believes the sport would be nowhere near as popular as it is today without the BCCI
Former Australia batsman Dean Jones believes the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the main reason why international cricket is so popular all over the world since it generates “80 per cent” of the total revenue made in the sport.
“The reason cricket is one of the world’s most popular sports is mainly due to the influence from India,” Jones wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald. “Cricket is played by 10 nations with Test status and 35 associate countries. But it is India that provides nearly 80 per cent of the world’s cricket revenues.
“And cricket-playing countries and players around the world are a lot wealthier because of that revenue generated by India.”
However Jones noted that the BCCI are very “protective” and “shrewd” when it comes to its influence in the game since they have the most money.
“Generally, people who have the most money get what they want,” Jones said. “India is no different, and it is very protective of its power and very shrewd when it comes to using it. Many fans and cricket leaders think this is a bad thing for the game. I don’t.
“The Indian authorities are the ones who have invested heavily in cricket, and ultimately they are the ones who pay the invoices. Other countries just hang onto India’s coat tails. Today, India always has a massive audience and it brings along a massive bank cheque.
“The Indian board ploughs most of its money back into grassroots cricket, where there are more than 55,000 matches played in India every day. It pays out millions every year in player pensions for former players. India also helped South Africa return to international cricket and helped Bangladesh reach Test status.”
The former Australian batsman also pointed out that the sport has seriously benefited from the BCCI becoming a “major powerbroker”.
“Since the board has started to be the major powerbroker of the game, has world cricket benefited? Yes, and more power to it,” Jones added.