Cricket facing crisis as 'Big 3' circle

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Johannesburg – The International Cricket Council (ICC) has for a long time been a very weak organisation. It has so little authority that it can’t even enforce a programme by which the international game should be scheduled.

Leadership is lacking, and when that is the case – and a void is apparent – someone will look to fill that void. That is partly what’s happening now, following the leaking of the proposals by cricket’s three wealthiest nations – India, Australia and England – concerning a restructuring of the ICC’s administration.

I’ve been very critical of the ICC over the years, so am very much in favour of the restructuring of its administration. However I am NOT in favour of the kind of proposals being made by the ECB, the BCCI and Cricket Australia.

What’s being proposed is very dangerous for the future of the sport. The fact that two of the three people central in drawing up these proposals have got very serious question marks about their credibility is also very worrying. In South Africa we learnt a harsh lesson following the Gerald Majola ‘bonus affair’ and yet two of the people involved in drawing up these proposals for a new ICC, have been tied in with some dubious deals themselves. How can anyone trust that Giles Clarke (chairman of the ECB) or Narayanaswami Srinivasan (President of the BCCI) have the best interests of the game at heart?

It was Clarke who in 2009 tied English cricket into a deal with Allen Stanford for a T20 league in that country. Stanford is now serving a 110-year sentence in a Florida jail for running an elaborate Ponzi scheme. How can you trust the judgment of a man like Clarke to come up with a proposal that’s good for cricket?

Then there’s Srinivasan, who chairs a company that owns an IPL side, which was heavily linked to match-fixing through Srinivasan’s son-in-law. Trust him? You must be bloody joking.

Never mind how preposterous some of the proposals in that 21-page document are, the folks who wrote it up should be drop- kicked out the door simply because they lack credibility. The way they’ve recommended how ICC earnings should be doled out based on a “contribution cost” – loosely meaning how much each Full Member contributes to ICC revenue – is a ghastly proposal that could kill the game in many countries.

Overall it’s a very disturbing development for cricket, but it’s been allowed to develop because the ICC has been incapable of growing into a legitimate mother body able to provide proper authority over the sport.

So now Clarke and Srinivasan – two men only in this sport for money – come up with plans that will make them richer ... cricket meanwhile, is all the poorer for their ill-considered proposals.

The Star



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