Exclusive: Selectors can't choose T20 World Cup squad based on IPL alone, says Jay Shah | Cricket News

'As BCCI secretary, my job is to choose the best experts and support them'
Expressing optimism that the Indian men's cricket team will win the 2024 edition T20 World Cup after suffering a defeat in the final of the ODI tournament last year, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah said the team had a good balance of form and experience.
“The selectors cannot choose on the basis of initial loading performance alone, as overseas experience is also necessary,” he said.
In an exclusive interview, Jay Shah, Secretary and instigator of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) spoke to Harsh Vardhan Goenka, industrialist and cricket enthusiast, at the board headquarters, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai .
Shah said the biggest achievement of his tenure so far was hosting IPL 2020 in the UAE amid Covid-19. “The Olympics, EPL and French Open had already been postponed or canceled… We have demonstrated to the world what the BCCI can achieve,” he said.
Asked about criticism of the IPL impact players rule by several former and current cricketers, Shah said: “It is a test. We are consulting with the players, franchisees and everyone concerned. I As matches become more interesting, more and more Indian players are given a chance to play. If our consultations reveal any dissatisfaction, we will change it.
On whether he thought IPL pitches have become too batting friendly, he said: “I don't completely agree. If you look at the match between LSG and SRH, LSG scored 165/4 in 20 overs On this pitch, SRH chased down the target in around 9 overs without losing a wicket. The pitches are very good, created transparently and supervised by the BCCI central curator.


Excerpts from the extensive conversation:
What do you consider some of your achievements at the BCCI?
When I took office, my first decision was to strengthen the National Cricket Academy. We have invested over Rs 250 crore to improve it and we hope to open the new world-class facility in July or August. My biggest achievement during my tenure was hosting the IPL 2020 in the UAE amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympic Games, the English Premier League and Roland-Garros had already been postponed/cancelled. We created an isolation bubble in which we organized the tournament. We demonstrated to the world what BCCI could achieve. We have also changed the IPL broadcast bidding process, separating TV and digital streams into separate bids, earning us an additional Rs. 4,000.5,000 crores (out of a total of Rs 48,390 crores). As BCCI's representative to ICC, I have also helped increase our revenue due to ICC. As per the new revenue distribution model (2023-27), the BCCI will be allocated a 38.5% share. In the previous cycle, BCCI's revenue share stood at 22.4%.
For me, one of your greatest achievements is your encouragement of women's cricket.
When I decided to create the WPL (Women's Premier League), I had a lot of convincing to do. One of the arguments I used was that 51% of IPL viewers were women. When we hosted the women's series against Australia in Navi Mumbai, we made entry free and we had a full house. I also insisted on pay parity because it would encourage women to go out and play. After my decision, I am happy to inform you that ICC has also announced pay parity for the Women's World Cup. We have also hired a sports psychologist for the women's team and hired Amol Mazumdar as a dedicated coach for them.
What's next for Indian cricket?
We did very well in the last ICC Men's World Cup 2023, but the final victory eluded us. I am optimistic that we will win the T20 World Cup trophy this year.


How do you see the team's current T20 form?
It has a good balance between form and experience. The selectors cannot choose based on IPL performances alone as overseas experience is also necessary.
Which teams do you think will be serious contenders for the T20 World Cup?
India, Australia, New Zealand and the hosts, West Indies, because they are good in T20s.


This is the second time that India has been ranked No.1 in all three formats (Tests, ODIs and T20Is). What is your role in this achievement?
As an administrator, I leave the decision of cricket to the experts. At the BCCI, we have appointed Laxman Plumbing to look after the NCA and Rahul Dravid as coach of the Indian team. So my job is really to choose the best and support them. I have full confidence in them and know they are doing a fantastic job.
How do you divide the responsibilities between Roger Binny (BCCI president) and yourself?
Roger Binny is the mastermind of cricket. He is involved in every decision relating to cricket while I take care of the administrative and financial side. But ultimately, we do everything together. We have a very transparent and consultative process.


How does the BCCI identify talent? He has done a great job in showcasing talents like Yashaswi Jaiswal.
Yes, talents like Yashaswi Jaiswal and Rinku Singh were test cases for BCCI. We are empowering state associations and giving them guidelines to develop infrastructure, and we are looking for talent in all states. If they think someone can do good for India, we recruit them to the NCA. We currently have a pool of 50 players. So if we have to play bilateral cricket with three different countries, we are in a position to do that. At NCA, we train them so that they develop in all directions, in particular by helping them in the development of their personality and in the management of their assets.
I am sure you have heard the criticism regarding the impact players rule in the IPL this year.
This is a test case. We consult stakeholders, franchisees and all those concerned. I feel the matches are getting more interesting and more Indian players are getting a chance to play. If our consultations reveal dissatisfaction, we will change it.
What about batting-friendly pitches in IPL? Even Sunil Gavaskar commented that they are too one-sided.
I do not really agree. If you look at the match between LSG and SRH, LSG scored 165/4 in 20 overs. On this same ground, SRH chased down the target in around 9 overs without losing a wicket. The pitches are very good, created transparently and supervised by the central curator of the BCCI.


Is there any other innovation that you have introduced for the IPL?
This time we have introduced the “smart” replay function whereby the third referee has access to all broadcast cameras operated by dedicated operators. Thanks to this, the decision-making of referees and the evaluation of players was much more effective. This year we also added an insurance clause for fast bowling in the contract. So, if someone is injured, like Mayank Yadav, he will be compensated. We hold a mega auction every three years. This will provide an opportunity for players to mix and match, giving different teams the chance to win the trophy. Another thing we introduced is video representation of the entire application process for new teams. Before, it was a closed offer. From now on, all offers are opened by the bidders themselves, which ensures complete transparency.
What do you do with all the money the BCCI receives?
Much of it is injected into state associations to improve their infrastructure and facilities. BCCI's main source of revenue comes from media rights and sponsorship of BCCI and IPL. In case of IPL, the additional flow is the franchise fee of the IPL teams. Of the revenue generated by the BCCI, 70% is given to the state associations for grassroots programmes, infrastructure development, organizing various tournaments across all age groups, junior and senior levels to exploit the talent across the country. Then, 26% of the revenue is used for player payment in the form of money orders and match fees for international men's players, international women's players and national players. In the case of IPL, the revenue is split 50:50 between the BCCI and the 10 franchises, while 70% of the franchise fee collected by the BCCI is also donated to the associations.
Do you also like other sports?
I like tennis and football. My favorite tennis player is Rafa Nadal who I think is unbeatable on clay.
Who are your three favorite cricket icons of all time?
Sunil Gavaskar of course, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. According to the current harvest, it is Virat KohliRohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya too.


Who is your favorite IPL team?
As BCCI Secretary, I have to remain neutral, but I am proud of all the IPL teams for their unique style and contribution to the success of the league.
Your favorite cricket stadium?
Of course, the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It is the largest sports stadium in the world with superb facilities. I took responsibility for it and had the entire stadium built in two and a half years.
What is your management mantra?
Put the right people in place to oversee the game while maintaining financial transparency. I am also inspired by Swami Vivekanand – “Get up, wake up and don’t stop until the goal is achieved”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *