The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the national governing body, headquartered in Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, that administers all the cricketing activities of India. Every cricket playing nation consists of a board of council that governs all the domestic and international cricketing affairs taking place there.
BCCI came into existence as a society in December 1928 and was registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. It is a federation of state cricket associations; it is these state associations who select their representatives who in turn, then, elect the Chief of BCCI. Grant Govan was the first president of the board and Anthony De Mello its first secretary.
Cricket was first introduced in India during the 18th century by some European merchant sailors which led to the establishment of the first Indian cricket club – Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CC&FC) in 1792. However, it took a long time for India to play their first-ever Test cricket match in the international circuit.
In 1912, the Maharaja of Patiala, Sir Bhupinder Singh or Bhuppa, sponsored and led the all-Indian cricket team visiting England for the first time. After that, Sir Bhuppaplayed in 27 first-class cricket matches between 1915 and 1937. In 1926, two representatives from the Calcutta Cricket Club, now known as CC & FC, visited London to attend meetings of the Imperial Cricket Conference, the ancestor of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
They were not the official representatives of Indian cricket but were allowed to attend the meeting by Lord Harris who was the chairman of the conference. As a result, the Marylebone Cricket Council (MCC) decided to send a team to India which was led by Arthur Gilligan, captain of England in the first Ashes series.
The English captain Gilligan met with the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (the then-captain of Indian Cricket team) and others and promised to press for the inclusion of the Indian Cricket Team in the ICC if all the promoters of the game joined to establish a single controlling body. After the assurance from the English captain, a meeting was held in Delhi on 21 November in 1927 and the delegates from Patiala, Delhi, United Provinces, Rajputana, Alwar, Bhopal, Baroda, Kathiawar, Gwalior, Central Provinces, Sindh, and Punjab attended the meeting.
The meeting ended with the consensus of creating a Board of Control for Cricket in India. On 10 December 1927, a unanimous decision was taken to form a provisional Board of Control for Cricket in India. It took exactly one year for the board to be registered. In December 1928, the BCCI was registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act with six associations affiliated to it. R E Grant Govan was appointed as the first president of the board, while Anthony de Mello was elected as its first secretary. After that, the Indian cricket team made their first official tour to England in 1932.
Over the years, cricket has become the most cherished sports in India which has, recently, led the board to suffer from severe corruption allegations. Consequently, on 30 January 2017, a four-member panel, including Vinod Rai, Vikaram Limaye, Ramachandra Guha, and Diana Edulji, was nominated by the Supreme Court to form a Committee of Administrators (CoA). The sole purpose of the committee wast to look after the administrations of the BCCI to implement the Lodha Committee reforms. Following the 2013 IPL betting scandal, on 22 January 2015, the Supreme Court had appointed the Lodha Committee to analyze and suggest implementable actions to help improve the governing body BCCI.
The former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India, Vinod Rai heads the four-member panel to take care of the administrative duties of the board until the new elections are made. At present, Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian cricketer, is the president of BCCI. Meanwhile, on 9 Aug 2019, the BCCI officially agreed to adhere to the anti-doping mechanisms governed by the National Anti-Doping Agency. The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of BCCI replaced MSK Prasad and named the former Indian cricket team spinner, Sunil Joshi as the Chairman of the national selection panel of the India National Cricket Team.
The BCCI organizes several domestic cricketing competitions for both Men and Women. Here is the list of the domestic cricket tournaments organized by BCCI throughout the single cricketing year
Men’s domestic cricket organized by the BCCI
- Cooch Behar Trophy: Named after the family of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, the Cooch Behar Trophy is India’s domestic cricket that is conducted for the under-19 players. It was first organized in 1945-46 and ever since then, it is conducted annually. It was designed for the school level players but was changed to an under-19 competition in 1987-88. All the Ranji Trophy teams, except for Railways and Services, are a part of the competition. It is a round-robin tournament that extends from early November to late January.
- Irani Cup: The Irani Cup, now known as ZR Irani Cup, was organized in 1959-60 to mark the 25 years of completion of the Ranji Trophy It was named after the late ZR Irani who was associated with the BCCI ever since its inception in 1928 till his death in 1970. This First-class cricket game is a one-off fixture played between the Ranji Trophy winners and the ‘Rest of India’ team. The initial three fixtures of the Irani Cup were championed by the Bombay team while mostly the ‘Rest of India’ team (28 titles) has been the champions of the game. At present, Vidarbha is the Champion of the prestigious domestic competition.
- Deodhar Trophy: Deodhar Trophy is a List A cricket tournament in the Indian domestic cricket circuit. It is named after the Grand Old Man of Indian cricket, Prof. D. B. Deodhar. Played annually, it is a 50-over knockout tournament taking place among the three national-level teams – India A, India B, and India C. Ever since its inception in 1973-74, the North Zone has won most titles – 13 titles till now. Meanwhile, India B is the current champions of the round-robin one-day tournament.
- Duleep Trophy: Named after Kumar Shri Duleepsingh ji of Nawanagar, the Duleep Trophy is the First-Class cricket tournament that was started by BCCI in the 1961-62 season. The inaugural tournament was won by West Zone after they defeated South Zone by 10 wickets in the summit clash. In the early seasons of the tournament, the competition was contested by the teams that represented the geographical zones of India. But in the 2016-17 season, the participating teams are chosen by the BCCI. India Red are the current champions of the competition.
- Ranji Trophy: It is the first-ever cricket competition that was organized in the 1934-35 season post the meeting that took place in July 1934. The prestigious domestic cricket is named after the first Indian cricketer who played the international cricket, Ranjit Singh ji. Donated by the first captain of the Indian Cricket Team – Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, the inaugural competition was won by Bombay. Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) has won the tournament the most number of times – 41 times which also includes the 15 consecutive victories from 1958-59 to 1972-73. Meanwhile, Saurashtra are the current Champions of the famous first-class cricket of India.
- Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy: It is a Twenty20 domestic cricket championship of India which is named after the famous Indian cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali who was the first Indian cricketer to post an international century (scoring 112 runs) while playing against England in 1936. Relaunching the Inter-State T20 Championship that was structured in 2006-07, BCCI organized the first edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the 2008-09 season. The 38 Ranji teams are divided into 5 groups, winners and runners up from each zone are then divided into two groups who qualify for the Super League. The two winners of the Super League Group then play the final to become the ultimate champion of the tournament. Currently, the Karnataka team has won their second title of the tournament.
- Vijay Hazare Trophy: Also known as the Ranji One-Day Trophy, it was started as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition with the first edition taking place in the 2002-03 season. It was named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare and involved the state teams from the Ranji Trophy. However, the first drafts of the competition took place during the 1993-94 season but only in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons held the final round-robin stage for the top teams in each zone. It wasn’t until the 2004-05 season that the first official winner of the tournament was announced. Ever since then, Tamil Nadu is the most successful team to have won 5 trophy titles till now. However, in the latest edition held in 2019-20, Tamil Nadu was defeated by the Karnataka team who won their 4th title this season.
- Vinoo Mankad Trophy: The Vinoo Mankad Trophy is a national level limited-overs domestic cricket competition that involves state teams from the Ranji Trophy for the men’s under-19 age group. It is named after the famous veteran Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad. There are a total of 35 teams that participate in the round-robin and playoff formatted tournament. In the latest edition held in 2018-19, the Vidarbha U19 team was named as the champions of the tournament.
- Indian Premier League (IPL): Currently, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the prestigious Twenty20 format competition that is organized by the BCCI every year from late March (or early April) to May (or early June). The eight teams representing the eight different cities of India participate in the professional cricketing league with the top four on the points table entering the Playoffs. IPL is currently the most-attended cricket tournament in the entire cricketing world. In the latest edition that was held in 2019, Mumbai Indians won it’s 4th league title and became the most successful team in the IPL records.
Women’s domestic Cricket organized by the BCCI
- Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy: The women’s version of the NKP Salve Challengers Trophy is the domestic one-day cricket tournament organized for women in India. Established in the 2008-09 season, the tournament first represented India A, India B, and India Senior as the three competing teams. Following the inaugural season, the three teams were renamed to Blue, Green, and Red. Organized to showcase the hidden talent of the Indian women, the tournament has provided ample opportunities for the younger women players till now. India Blue has won the tournament five times. The current champions are the India Red.
- Senior Women’s One-day league: Senior Women’s One Day League is a women’s List-A tournament in India that was instituted in the 2006–07 Indian domestic cricket season. The current champions of the tournament, the Railways team has won the tournament 11 out of 12 times, whereas Delhi is the only other team to win the title in the 2011–12 season.
- Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy: It is the T20 edition of the Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy which was first introduced in the 2018-19 season. It is the second T20 tournament in the women’s domestic season apart from Senior Women’s T20 League, which is an inter-state tournament. The participating teams similar to the Women’s List-A tournament are India Blue, Green and Red but it will be played in double Round-robin tournament in comparison to single round-robin format of the List-A tournament. Meanwhile, the India Blue Women’s team defeated the India Red women’s team by 4 runs to win the inaugural edition. Defeating the India B Women by 8 wickets in the final fixture, India C Women are the current champions of the 2019-20 season.
- Senior Women’s T20 League: The Senior Women’s T20 League is a women’s Twenty20 competition in India where 37 domestic teams compete to make it to the Playoffs with the final two teams playing in the summit clash. Ever since its inception in 2008-09, there have been 12 editions of the tournaments, the latest being the 2019–20 Senior Women’s T20 League. The Railways team is the current champion, winning the tournament 9 times to date.
- Women’s T20 Challenge (Women’s IPL): Also known as Women’s IPL, the Women’s T20 Challenge is an Indian women’s Twenty20 cricket tournament which was introduced in 2018 in Mumbai. The inaugural edition Women’s IPL, the Supernovas won the match by 3 wickets in the thrilling last over. In 2019, the one-off match between two teams was replaced and a new team named, IPL Velocity was introduced. The IPL Supernovas team had beat IPL Velocity by 4 wickets in the second edition, successfully retaining their title.
The BCCI is the richest cricket board in the world. Apart from it, the BCCI holds the distinction of being the richest sports governing body in India. The BCCI is completely self-financed and it does not depend on the Government of India for its finances. In 2020, with US$405 million out of US$1534 million, India had 26% share in the ICC FTP income disbursed to 10 Test-playing nations, while ECB received US$139 million as the second-highest earner.
In 2020, as per the present eight-year Future Tours Program (FTP), while the BCCI receives a total of US$405 million from ICC, as contrasted with US$139 million to ECB, while US$128 million for each of Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa, Pakistan Cricket Board, New Zealand Cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket West Indies and Bangladesh Cricket Board, and US$94 million for Zimbabwe.
In 2020-2021 fiscal year, the total annual income of BCCI is estimated to be over INR 3730 crore (US$535 million), including INR 2500 crore (US$345 million) from IPL, INR 950 crores (US$139 million) from bilateral cricket with other nations, and INR 380 crores (US$51 million per year or total US$405 million for 8 years) from India’s share of ICC revenue.
From 2018 to 2022 global media rights for IPL is awarded by the BCCI to STAR India for INR 16,347.5 crore (US$2.3 billion). In 2010, the media rights for 25 neutral venue one-day matches to be played over the next 5 years were awarded to Zee Telefilms by the BCCI for $219.16 million.
From 2016 to 2020 inclusive, the official kit sponsorship rights for 5 years has been awarded to Nike by the BCCI for INR 370 crore (US$52 million). Earlier in 2019, BYJU’S became the official Indian cricket team sponsor for a period of four years at a cost of INR1,079 crore (US$150 million), which was paid to BCCI.
On 12 September 2006, BCCI announced that it will spend INR 1,600 crore over the subsequent one year to upgrade the cricket stadiums around the country. In 2020 March, BCCI donated INR 51 crore to the PM CARES Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in India.