June 29, 2011

I heart administration

The action over in Hong Kong has been breathless, keeping your diarist on the edge of his seat

Saturday, 25th June In my experience it’s better to have one really good excuse, than two and a half iffy ones. For example, if you’re trying to get out of a particularly boring social occasion by claiming that your hamster has died, there’s no need to add that your budgerigar has wing rot and that you think your conservatory might be on fire. As Hercule Poirot might put it, one alibi c’est bon, three alibis is the coincidence most suspicious.

Well I’m afraid that Niranjan Shah was guilty of over-egging the excuse pudding today as he attempted to explain why he doesn’t like the DRS. As I understand it, the BCCI’s argument goes like this:

1. DRS is far too expensive and we can’t afford it. 2. And even if we could afford it, think about the poor Sri Lankans and West Indians. 3. Well yes, they all want it, but they don’t know what’s good for them. 4. Besides, it’s not accurate. 5. And even the bits that are accurate are only used a few times each innings. It would be much better if it was used all the time. 6. Not that you could use it all the time, because that would slow the game down. 7. Anyway, it undermines the umpires. 8. And that’s our job.

Sunday, 26th June I’m pleased to report that the outbreak of success in England’s limited-overs cricket has been contained. Yesterday’s effort at Bristol conclusively proved that the previous captain had been the problem all along and that the recent Collingwoodectomy has enabled a full recovery from the symptoms of disorientation and confusion associated with unexpected and repeated victory.

Monday, 27th June Never mind Glastonbury, Wimbledon and Ascot. In the Hughes household, there is no doubt about the biggest event of the summer. It’s the ICC annual conference. You’ll find more interesting cricket-related activity in five minutes there than in the entirety of the England v Sri Lanka series. I’ve got my “ICCAC ’11” t-shirt, my “Haroon Lorgat Rocks” mug, and I’ve been tuning in to ICCTV every morning.

It’s been a thriller of non-stop administration. One minute there’s a preliminary committee hearing on the feasibility of amending the bat-handle length regulations, and then before you know it, it’s straight over to live coverage of the afternoon biscuit break. Then there’s the highlights show, presented by Mark Nicholas and Henry Kissinger, featuring all the best bits of the day’s bureaucratic bonanza.

But inevitably the temptation to tinker with 50-over cricket has been irresistible and they’ve fiddled about with the Powerplay. I’m not entirely sure what they’ve done; in fact, to be honest, I’ve never really understood the Powerplay. It’s a little embarrassing, but there it is. It hasn’t been too much of a handicap socially because most of the people I talk to don’t really understand it either.

Why the tinkering? It's part of the ICC’s unhealthy obsession with tarting up the middle bit of one-day internationals, which is a bit of a mystery, considering people still turn up to these matches in their thousands. Instead of fretting about a few dull minutes in a 50-over game, how about coming up with ways to enliven the desolate wilderness of tedium that is days two to four (inclusive) of the average modern Test match?

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on July 2, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    Pudding, over-egging and several iffy ones. Haha classic. Well done Andrew.

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Mukul Kesavan's argument against ODIs is sensible - they are all predictable because the game is far too tilted toward the batsmen, bound up by too many rules that restrict what the fielding team can do.

    I would also add that ODIs are far too static as they stand; compare to tests - and no, respectfully, days 2 to 4 are NOT the most boring always - which contain an internal dynamic that makes it interesting. Cue Dravid's innings or Laxman's in present test series for that matter.

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    What ODI needs is a cut in the number of games played every year and not the tinkering in its rules and regulations. The game, as everybody (barring the men who matter at the ICC) is talking about, needs context. I know that the ICC don't have a say in scheduling bilateral series, but at least they could regulate the number of matches each team plays every year, preferably not more than 20. It's just so sad that the ICC don't have their fingers on the pulse.

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    Haha BCCI argument's pudding list is pretty funny. And very nice observation about a really good excuse better than several iffy ones.

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    maybe there should be mandatory test powerplays and an enforced silly mid on and off, plus extra runs for hitting them, and while your at it maybe... 6s count for 12

  • testli5504537 on June 29, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    yours, and the confectionery stall column, (apart from the odd one every now and then) are the ones a lot of us read regularly. the reason i suppose is that you take up (or make up) scenarios that are way different and funny from almost all other contributors to page 2. so when you fall in line with ordinary bloggers and funny-makers to close your eyes and take a wild swipe and the latest hyped up bit of news concerning the bcci, it IS quite dissapointing.

    humorists of all people are expected to provide laughter and relief. not infuse their work with their own opinions, that could add to the hatred that exists on almost all forums nowadays.

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