If India wanted a home series for commercial reasons, it shouldn't come at cost of another

Sep 06 2013, 16:01 IST
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Having Tendulkar play his 200th Test at home makes sense for Indian cricket’s  broadcast rights holders and sponsors. Having Tendulkar play his 200th Test at home makes sense for Indian cricket’s broadcast rights holders and sponsors.
SummaryA farewell before the fans is not wrong. It is, in fact quite a nice thing to do.

Some might think it is the by-product of games played on another field, some might believe that he is the primary reason, but at the end of it all, Sachin Tendulkar will play his two hundredth Test in India, most likely at the Wankhede Stadium where he scored his first first-class century. You'll never know the real reason, the BCCI won't really say anything and Tendulkar well, he tends to keep his cards close to his chest doesn't he!

If indeed the upheaval in itineraries is to allow Tendulkar to play that two hundredth at home, then I'm afraid it is wrong. It is an astonishing landmark, even for a staggering cricketer (and let's be honest, we don't know if he asked for it) but if everyone began moving schedules around to accommodate people there would be more variables than in a political scenario.

But if this is to allow him to play his last game at the Wankhede Stadium (and again, Tendulkar himself hasn't even indicated thus), I think we can look at it differently. Yes, the argument of moving schedules for one person is still valid but we are an emotional people, and to that extent our sporting ethos is a bit different, and we are talking of someone who has given more joy to Indians than almost anyone else.

A farewell before the fans is not wrong. It is, in fact quite a nice thing to do. And it would give all those that benefit from the Tendulkar industry one last opportunity as well!

But there is, in fact, a more valid, more commercial, reason for playing a series at home. The BCCI has very lucrative television and sponsorship deals and anyone who invests a large amount has a commercial interest too.

Marketing and promotion plans are created around sponsorship, income forecasts are made, profit and loss statements can be affected. You cannot tell people who are heavily invested that there will be no activity this year. But you cannot tell that to the South Africans because they will argue it should have been thought of earlier; because everyone is committed to the Future Tours Programme and other countries are entitled to make their plans, have their marketing tie-ups and protect their profit and loss statements too. So if India needed to play a series at home it shouldn't have come at the

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