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In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, Andy Bull analyses how Twenty20 cricket and rule changes have made traditional ODI strategies redundant and have disempowered fielding sides.
You may say it's made the game good to watch. It's certainly more unpredictable. In the scramble onwards, who knows what a par score is, or a winning total? But as Finch said, there should be a place for the tight contests too. "From a player's point of view, I think the most exciting games are the low-scoring ones, when you're defending 180 and you've got nothing to lose, they can be really exciting games." One thing is clear: if the ICC is serious about trying to redress the balance of the game, bat-size can wait - it's its own meddling with the regulations that has tipped it out of kilter. It has chosen to disempower the fielding side at the very moment the game was already evolving in favour of the batsmen.
The ICC stance against illegal actions has been quite decisive. Saeed Ajmal can no longer bowl in international cricket. Neither can Sachithra Senanayake. Sunil Narine was reported twice by Champions League T20 match officials. While this purge has been met with support, some of the criticism against it has been regarding the timing - months before the World Cup. With bigger bats, smaller grounds and lesser mystery to worry about, Chloe Saltau of the Age, wonders about the balance between bat and ball during the showpiece event.
Ajmal and Narine are the most dangerous spinners in the world and arguably the most alluring, and while cricket's most prestigious global tournament is no place for those who bend the rules, an unfortunate consequence of the crackdown could be that the World Cup is one big free hit for batsmen in a game that is already tilted towards their kind
While ICC chairman N Srinivasan certainly has a lot to answer for, much of the recent media coverage conflated his personality, or perceptions about his personality, with the new order in the ICC, writes Ashok Malik in the Asian Age. He says that it is important to delink Srinivasan from the larger opportunism behind the BCCI's decisions, and points to football and the Olympics as examples of economics trumping egalitarianism in the enterprise of modern sport.
Even if Mr Srinivasan is in the eye of the storm, he has not forced these decisions on Indian and international cricket. There is a larger institutional buy-in. Even when Lalit Modi, now Mr Srinivasan's foe, was riding high in the BCCI establishment five years ago, he was openly suggesting that cricket's hierarchy needed to be reorganised and that the ICC Future Tours Programme required a re-visit. It was becoming inevitable over the past few years that the BCCI's commercial clout in cricket needed to be formalised. Any BCCI leadership would have urged it.
The doubts over N Srinivasan's status in the BCCI and the investigations against his IPL franchise and son-in-law for allegations of corruption did not hinder his appointment as the ICC's first chairman after a restructure of the world governing body. Chloe Saltau, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, says the support Srinivasan has received from other ICC members does not help improve the game's image when it comes to fighting corruption.
Even if, as Srinivasan says, he is proven to have done nothing wrong, the fact that other members of the ICC endorsed him for the chairmanship hardly inspires confidence in their collective desire to stamp out corruption from the sport.
The schedule of all ICC events until 2023 was determined at the governing body's annual conference in London this June and Pakistan will not be hosting any during that period. Former ICC president Ehsan Mani, in the Express Tribune, criticises the PCB and its acceptance of this proposal, while urging the board to take the necessary steps to bring international cricket back to Pakistan
This development reflects the sad state of affairs within the PCB. The body has been dysfunctional and there has been no strategic planning or a roadmap to bring back international cricket to Pakistan. The bottomline is that no progress has been made since the tragic attack on the Sri Lankan team. They have basically adopted a hit-and-miss approach in asking various cricket boards to pity them and visit. This unprofessional attitude has put them in no-man's land.
The volunteers at London 2012 were lauded as the special factor that made the Olympics as memorable as they were. Thousands of Britons gladly worked in very meaningless roles just to be part of history.
The ICC obviously caught wind of this phenomenon as they are trying to "recreate the fantastic atmosphere and customer service" at the Champions Trophy this June. 600 recruits are being sought to cover the games at The Oval, Edgbaston and Cardiff.
Volunteers will again be clad in team uniform and will be helping deliver entertainment at the grounds, produce and distribute accreditation passes and help dish out tickets, along with the obligatory standing with a where-to-go foam hand. You may even get the chance to play music from your iphone through a loudspeaker to entertain the queuing masses.
Whether the lure of the ICC's No. 3 tournament is enough to rally the kind, generous folk of Great Britain once more remains to be seen but if you're over 18, available for at least four shifts in June and are comfortable with a background security check, click here to help make the Champions Trophy run as seamlessly as London 2012.