With the Indian cricket team set to fly to the United States in order to play two matches T20 series in Florida, the BCCI decided to reward its members with a trip across the Atlantic. India will play T20I series against West Indies on August 27 and 28 at Lauderdale.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur announced during the Special General Meeting (SGM) on August 5 that the BCCI would be taking a person from each of its affiliated units, and also members of the state units associations in North East.
With six BCCI staff joining them, India’s nonplaying contingent could rise be as high as 46, according to a source in Indian Express. This is shocking, and the reason for the trip is still unknown. This is for the first time ‘nonplaying’ contingent would outnumber the playing squad, likely to have 14-15 cricketers. It is unclear if the national selectors, currently in the Carribean, would be travelling to the US as well.
According to the national daily, Indian Express, BCCI has a budget in excess of Rs 3 crore for this trip. Each member would be given business class flight tickets to Florida, along with $250 as allowance.
The duration of the trip would be close to six days. “We have been told that one member from each association will be taken to the US for the India-West Indies T20 internationals. It’s all expenses paid trip sponsored by the BCCI,” a cricket board member, who attended the SGM, said.
“As part of our continuous efforts to reach out to new markets and audiences, I am very happy to announce that Team India will play two T20Is against the current world champions West Indies in the United States. This will be a great opportunity for the cricket fans in America to watch the two champion sides in action. This will be developed into an annual cricketing event in the United States,” Thakur had said after the working committee meeting in Mumbai on August 2.
But, BCCI’s sudden decision to host an expensive non-cricket trip like this has raised question among the cricket fans and the cricket community in general.