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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 AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.