Cozier slams ICC funding of Associate tournament
Tony Cozier, the veteran Caribbean journalist and broadcaster, has launched a scathing attack on the way the ICC funds global cricket outside the Test-playing countries.
Writing in his column which is syndicated throughout the Caribbean, Cozier was angry at the way that established regions, such as West Indies, were not allocated more money instead of so much being spent by the ICC on Associate competitions.
“Certainly there is no ICC venture more illogical or costly than the one dubbed the Inter-Continental Cup,” he wrote. “It is an annual tournament, described by the ICC as its ‘flagship first-class competition’, comprising round-robin, four-day matches between its second tier members, those one below Test status. These are countries where the game has always been based on amateur, weekend, one-day club cricket. They play no four-day domestic matches and almost certainly never will.
“Yet the ICC doles out heaven knows how much cash every year to fly them, and their own entourage of officials, across the world and to house and feed them at venues as scattered as Aberdeen, Dublin, Namibia, Toronto, Sharjah and Windhoek.
“Canada were unable to raise their strongest team for the African tour because many of their best players simply could not get time off from their jobs. The same problem affects others, rendering the tournament even less relevant.”
The ICC maintains that the competition enables players from Associate countries to gain more experience in the longer form of the game.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa