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As players become richer and more powerful, and their options proliferate, Richard Lord, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says the art of managing players is changing and exerting top-down control is in many cases simply no longer possible.
This yet again underlines the need for professional, dispassionate, level-headed administrators at all levels of the game. The old-style autocrats who controlled the game for so long simply don't cut it anymore. The need for the kind of root and branch reorganization of the game's administration recommended by the recent Woolf Report – and promptly and predictably rejected by a number of those autocrats - has never been more urgent. This is not just an issue of there being transparency in the way the game is run; this is something that's necessary in order to keep the best players actually performing at international level. Look at soccer, where the domestic game has largely taken over, except for roughly once every two years when there's a big international tournament. Don't imagine that it couldn't happen in cricket.