Delaying tactics. That’s what the cricket boards of India, England and Australia are utilising after their failure to ram through proposals that will significantly change the way world cricket is administered in years to come.
In doing so, they also tried to dupe the cricket world into believing that the proposals contained in a position paper which had become principles at Tuesday’s International Cricket Council Board meeting, were unanimously supported. They weren’t.
The Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket South Africa were vehement in their stance that the support wasn’t unanimous – they didn’t support the ‘priniciples’ neither did the representatives of the Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi boards.
Those of us that had written about the downfall of Gerald Majola as CSA’s chief executive recognised the tactic – tell the world something is “unanimously supported,” but actually it was vigorously debated, and support was far from unanimous.
So the ICC will hold another Board meeting on February 8, where there will be a vote on the “principles” and the implementation thereof. In the meanwhile the Full Members will return to their respective boards to allow them to pore over the principles. Cricket SA’s Board will meet Saturday, but their stance is not expected to change.
Even though the principles were slightly jigged, the essential message is the same – power of world cricket will rest in the hands of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (mostly), Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board. They will use these next few weeks to cajole at best – bully (most likely) at worst support for their principles.
Cricket, already a sport that has failed to grow properly beyond 10 countries, will be even more insular. The majority of the ICC’s revenue will go to India (already the wealthiest Full Member country), England and Australia.
South Africa, which in the initial ‘Position Paper’ received no revenue from a proposed Test fund have now – since the proposals became principles – at least been included as beneficiaries.
The growth of the game i.e. taking it to new audiences and possibly making it attractive enough for approval at an Olympic Games – has been severely stunted.
Cricket has lost an opportunity. You could argue it’s never been interested in the opportunity to expand.
When you look at these principles/proposals it’s clear the sport – through its three richest boards – isn’t interested in creating new markets – whether those be in South America, North America, Far East Asia or even central Europe.
Cricket’s not interested in growth – unless it’s TV revenue and then that TV revenue will most go to just three countries.
Perhaps it’s time South Africans looked elsewhere for a summer past-time. Cricket doesn’t seem to want you.