On Favouritism Chatter Around India During T20 World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar’s Scathing Take


India clinched the T20 World Cup 2024 title© AFP

The Indian cricket team clinched the T20 World Cup 2024 title without losing a single game after they defeated South Africa in a thrilling final. It was a huge occasion for the Rohit Sharma-led side as they produced some brilliant performances and were able to win the T20 World Cup title after 17 years. However, the win was not without its fair share of controversies as some players expressed their displeasure with the scheduling of the competition and the seeding system used by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Some experts also pointed out that India knowing the exact venue of their semifinal match before any other team was not fair to the other sides. Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar, however, called the allegations ‘laughable’ and said that the scheduling of most major tournaments are done keeping the Indian audience in mind as they make up a major chunk of the ICC’s revenue.

“There were some comments about the scheduling of the ICC T20 World Cup from some former cricketers from the old powers that were laughable, to say the least. They seemed to forget the fact that the major, if not the only, source of sponsorship for the ICC comes from India. It is therefore understandable that the timing for the telecast will be at a time that is good for Indian viewers. Indian TV has bought the rights for three billion dollars and so, obviously, would want to cash in on that with prime-time viewing for the millions who follow the game in India, which, just for information, would be more than the combined population of both the old powers,” Gavaskar wrote in his column on Sportstar.

Gavaskar also spoke about United States TV channels buying rights for broadcasting the Olympics but pointed out that no one talks about any kind of favouritism in that situation.

“American TV buys broadcast rights for the Olympics for billions of dollars and so has all the marquee events at the Games at a time that is good for its viewers. We haven’t heard a squeak from anybody from the old powers that this favours the U.S. athletes, have we? But then, with them being poodles of USA that would be unwise. The double standards are no longer shocking to the discerning in the subcontinent because, by now, they know what to expect from the old powers. Nothing but jealousy and frustration that they no longer call the shots,” the former Indian cricket team captain added in the column.

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