The whole world, who are all associated with cricket knows that Tony Greig and India (BCCI) are contrasted like while and black colours. So, what more you expect from Greig lecture? If you still think Greig had something more to say than India, then you can read his full speech here.
But surely at the end of reading, you might feel like “what was he speaking about? isn’t MCC lecture is about spirit of cricket? Actually, what he is trying to tell the hour long speech?“. If you get these kind of similar feelings, then for your kind notice, Greig spoke about spirit of cricket (yes he is, 100% sadly).
Tony Greig took its great time to dig at BCCI and IPL. Its Irony that he defends his decision to give up the England captaincy for joining Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket (WSC) but blames IPL, saying it is giving too much money to the players. It is even more amusing to read the reason (conversation with Kerry) he gave to defend his decision of joining WSC.
“Kerry, money is not my major concern. I’m nearly 31-years-old. I’m probably two or three Test failures from being dropped from the England team. Ian Botham is going to be a great player and there won’t be room in the England Test side for both of us. England captains such as Tony Lewis, Brian Close, Colin Cowdrey, Ray Illingworth and Mike Denness all lost the captaincy long before they expected. I won’t be any different. I don’t want to finish up in a mundane job when they drop me. I’m not trained to do anything. I went straight from school to playing for Sussex. I am at the stage in my life where my family’s future is more important than anything else. If you guarantee me a job for life working for your organisation I will sign.”
If he thinks that someone offering you a job for life to save/run the family, then it is correct (spirit of cricket) to take that offer instead of any prestigious job currently you are doing. What a lame excuse he can think off to defend his decision even after 37 years. Actually by very meaning of its reason, BCCI (or even ICC) is correct to move more towards T20 which provides substantial income to feed and save all families connected with cricket.
Is BCCI bullying ICC? Yes to an extent but what are the other 9 permanent members doing? To blame BCCI for everything that ICC failed to do is ridiculous. His statement of BCCI preferring T20 over test matches is unacceptable. Australia accepted to play 6 match T20 series with Pakistan. England reduced their home test series against South Africa to 3 matches. But India is going to play 4 match test series against England and Australia. And on DRS issue, Why not ICC tried to vote out BCCI in DRS decision at the ongoing annual meeting? Because in truth, after its recent howlers, few country boards had raised doubts against DRS functioning.
His statement of “test cricket is still paramount in England, South Africa and Australia but disappointingly it is no longer as important in India as it once was” is wrong. Actually India is going to play more test matches then it was scheduled in the current FTP calender. Is he watched last year RSA vs AUS test series? they played only two and both in front of near empty stadium. In India, test cricket is no longer filling ground as like in England and Australia because economy status. The option of holidaying is out of today’s normal Indian context of life. So, rather blame ICC for not doing anything to revive the test cricket again by enforcing some changes.
How can he say India didn’t celebrate test No.1 status? He for sure, not have the habit of watching India TV channels. True, the celebration among public is not fashionable as after ODI world cup win but it is more tradition like the test matches itself with more proud feeling in heart & walking and shaking hands with friends in joy. As for BCCI, they felicitated the players on both occasions.
India, the reason for Test Championship delay? Tony didn’t even have habits of reading true facts it seems. ICC said in its statement that reason for delaying test championship is purely because of ESPN STAR sports refusal over financial issue.
On top of everything, Tony Greig who said test cricket needs to survive and succeed, didn’t gave any solutions for its revival rather gave a tame proposal about T20 leagues (Yes! IPL again). Issues like test match crowd, sportive pitches, meaningless series, making International calender exciting and etc., are totally ignored by him. In total, Greig put too many (countless) if’s (India) in his speech that resulted in meaningless lecture.
India might be still pondering about “next” to Rahul Dravid in the team but surely, Tony Greig is not the “next” to Dravid in the MCC spirit of cricket lecture.