As the Ashes play out in England, Four Corners takes you into the backroom power plays of the cricket elite where an audacious coup has delivered extraordinary power to India, at the expense of smaller cricketing nations.
Featuring titans of the game, the program exposes how India has engineered a massive shift in influence, with huge ramifications for how and where the game is played. India now virtually dictates the international cricket calendar.
"I just can't see how it's good for the game." Ian Chappell, former Australian Cricket Captain
We tell the inside story of how India, with the co-operation of Australia and England, forged a deal to control the future of cricket and the lion's share of the billions in revenue it generates.
"It's self-interest because England and Australia want to make sure that they are getting the big series with India, in terms of TV and sponsorship deals, and to hell with the rest of the world." Ed Hawkins, Cricket Writer
Through exclusive interviews with the key participants, the program tells the inside story of the negotiations that led to the takeover.
"It was very, very evident to me that India were very uncomfortable with where the International Cricket Council was and what they were doing and how they were running the cricket." Wally Edwards, Chair of Cricket Australia
The program outlines the tactics used to divide and conquer any opposition to The Big Three - India, Australia and England. The result has been a financial windfall for the three nations, but cricket, particularly in Test match form, may be the loser.
"Test cricket is kind of like being treated like an ailing mother to whom you periodically pay duty visits for form's sake." Gideon Haigh, Cricket Writer
"There are too many people running cricket that are only interested in the bottom line." Michael Holding, former West Indies fast bowler
The man behind the coup is far from a household name. The camera-shy head of cricket's international governing body, the Indian representative N Srinivasan. In a rare television interview he justifies the power he wields:
"Not only is he the most powerful man in cricket, he is the most powerful man that there has ever been in cricket." Gideon Haigh, Cricket Writer
His arch rival is the marketing wizard Lalit Modi, the man behind the Indian Premier League. He is at the centre of a publicity storm in India where he stands accused of money laundering, an allegation he denies. In an exclusive interview he foreshadows a plan to take on The Big Three cricketing nations at their own game.
"They are three snakes of cricket. You've got to take their neck off, you've got to chop their head off, otherwise cricket will not survive." Lalit Modi, Founder, Indian Premier League
The Great Cricket Coup, reported by Quentin McDermott and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 10th of August at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 11th of August at 10.00am and Wednesday 12th at midnight. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.
Written by someone.else on Jan 16, 2016