Cricket's new head warden
America gets to vote on whether they want to be run by a Mormon with a cricketer’s name or a guy some of their country is convinced is a socialist traitor in waiting. But if they get off work on stupid Tuesday they can waddle down to their local booth and vote based on how much they care about gay marriage. It’s democratic, when they count all the votes.
People even get to vote on Eurovision, even if occasionally they get beaten for voting against national interests.
Cricket is getting a new ICC chief executive soon as well. Haroon Lorgat is leaving; he’s tired of doing a job where everyone hates him and he can’t do much to change it. He left with a dainty air punch called Woolf.
So who decides who should be the new face of the ICC?
N Srinivasan, Giles Clarke, Julian Hunte and Sharad Pawar are four of the people looking for someone. Like most people, I see these guys as characters from an American prison drama.
Julian Hunte is the old guy who runs in the library. Sharad Pawar is the guy who runs the mostly ineffectual white-guy gang. Giles Clarke is the Latino big man. And N Srinivasan is the man in charge of the blacks, who make up 70% of the prison population.
That makes Haroon Lorgat essentially the head warden of a prison that is run by the inmates. To take control of this sort of environment you need to be an extremely smart guy who shakes things up and have the body odour of pure confidence. But in cricket's prison drama it's the most powerful inmates who vote on who the next warden is. So no one like that was going to get the job.
Which means that in the shortlist of four candidates, we got a largely silent ECB (one of Giles' gang) executive; a mystery Australian who is either Cadel Evans' agent, me or Lalit Modi in white face; an ex-Adidas exec who left in a hurry; or Dave Richardson. They shortened that list down to Dave Richardson.
Some will applaud the fact that a cricketer has got the job. That means little to me. The best person should get the job whether they are a kleptomaniac professional ballerina who suffers night terrors or a cricketer.
I appreciate Dave Richardson as a no nonsense wicketkeeper who thought raggedy brown gloves were a must wear item, while still finding time to learn lawyering while being a professional cricketer. It's also nice that the ICC is being run by a keeper, as I was always told keepers couldn't captain.
I interviewed David Richardson only a couple of months back. What I found was a nice, intelligent and patient man. He was also someone who was extremely worried about what he'd said straight after the interview. His main problem seemed to be that I'd asked him too many questions about the political side of cricket. That seemed like an odd position for a man who earlier that day was involved in the testing of the DRS, cricket's on-field political nightmare.
Back then he was essentially the ICC's person in charge of making sure the trains ran on time, a professional ICC type. Now his job is the most political in cricket. A job where he will be abused for the stupid decisions of mostly unpaid, power hungry people who appointed him. All he can do is try to calm down the cricket public and hopefully convince cricket's elite to occasionally think of the game rather than their own board's interests.
Whether you think Richardson is the right person for this extremely diplomatic position or not, you don't get a say. Richardson is chief warden, and if he does anything the inmates don't like, there will be a riot. It's a tough place behind the electrified fences of cricket administration.