Thailand December 17, 2006

Trouble in Thailand

As cricket develops in new countries, true cricket lovers take great pleasure in seeing young cricketers improve their skills

As cricket develops in new countries, true cricket lovers take great pleasure in seeing young cricketers improve their skills. However, in the last few months, a coup of another kind has happened in Thai cricket.

In the last month, there was an AGM of the Thai Cricket Association. The incumbent president, a prominent businessman, had been in the role for a considerable time, and the clubs thought it time for a change in direction at the top to push cricket development forward.

Thai cricket is spread throughout the country, clubs dominate the scene in Bangkok, but youth development is flourishing in the provinces. It was believed that a new strategy to pull the organisation together and push it forward was needed.

The vote was held, a new face was elected to head up the organisation, all seemed well. Unbeknown to the voting clubs and the committee, the incumbent chairman had registered another "dummy" committee consisting of his family, and employees with the government authorities. The vote had been a farce, and the incumbent appears to want to be president forever in defiance of the vote. Being a member of a prominent sports club in Bangkok, it is now also a case of I bring the pitch, so I am captain.

Interestingly this appears to be supported by the ACC for some strange reason.

Cricket is a developing sport in this part of the world, and without legitimate structures and organisations will never move forward correctly. For the volunteers and donors who support the cricket in Thailand this is a complete slap in the face. However, when one sees the farce that the ICC has created in Zimbabwe, I don't expect a good outcome for a minnow like Thailand in terms of governance and organisation.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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