ICC’s Future Tour Programme ‘absolute nonsense’, says Ali Bacher

Former South African cricket administrator Ali Bacher

Former South African cricket administrator Ali Bacher. Picture: Sapa

Published Mar 10, 2023


Gqeberha - Ali Bacher has condemned India, England and Australia for allowing the International Cricket Council to draw up a Future Tours Programme that exclusively favours them, and foresees that South Africa, the West Indies and New Zealand might break away from the ICC if there is no change to it.

The ICC’s FTP has created a growing uproar in defence of the seven Test-playing nations that are scheduled to play significantly fewer Test matches compared with India, England and Australia.

South Africa are scheduled to play only three Test matches this year – two against the West Indies (ongoing) and one against India in December. In total, the Proteas are scheduled to play 28 Tests, while England have 43, Australia 40, and India 38 in the 2023-2027 cycle.

Bacher, having been involved in preserving and growing the game of cricket, not only in South Africa but also all over the world, is appalled by the FTP.

“It’s absolute nonsense. The game of cricket is not there for two or three nations,” Bacher told SABC Sport.

The underdogs of world cricket, all seven of them, have been relatively quiet about the FTP. Instead of taking a stand, the boards have quietly accepted the little they have been given.

Bacher questioned their silence and advised them to begin talks among themselves. If their recommendations to the ICC did not result in a change, then they should take it a step further and break away from the body.

“I haven’t heard, through the media, that one of the (seven) countries has come out publicly and said: ‘Enough is enough – we’ve got to stop it.’

“The other countries have to wake up and make a stand and tell them: ‘Listen, it’s got to stop.’ If you get all the other countries together, collectively you’d get them (the ICC) to wake up.”

Bacher advised the powers that be in world cricket to go back to prioritising growing the game.

The 80-year-old Bacher said he wanted the same privileges for all Test-playing nations, instead of India, England and Australia getting the lion’s share.

“Unfortunately, the game of cricket is not going to move beyond eight or nine sides, but they should all have an equal share of the pie. They should all have an equal opportunity to give in to the undoubted talent, and to spread the game amongst the people of their own country. It needs to change now,” he added.

If nothing changed in the FTP, the talented Anrich Nortje would probably never get to 50 Test matches, while Kagiso Rabada might never reach the 400 Test wickets landmark that he would otherwise reach if the FTP was drawn up so that all nations played more or less the same number of Test matches.


IOL Sport

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