Administration

APRIL 23, 2014

Indian cricket

To thwart BCCI stalling

The BCCI-suggested three-man probe panel was at least two-thirds fair until the far-reaching influence of the BCCI made it obsolete. With the Supreme Court rejecting them, Suresh Menon, in Wisden India believes it is high time the proper authorities are given greater control of the investigation into alleged corruption in the IPL.

But professional investigators have to come into it too: the CBI, the police forces in Delhi, Mumbai and Tamil Nadu. In another month, it will be a year since television pictures of a player with a towel tucked into his trousers shocked a nation. In all that time, the BCCI has merely stonewalled the investigation. Many wasted meetings, air fares, hotel accommodations and daily allowances later, it has nothing to show for its efforts to clean up the game. Neither the spirit nor the flesh is willing.

APRIL 22, 2014

Who is the ideal cricket administrator?

Michael Jeh: While you don't require cricket skills to run a national board, you do need a deft touch and diplomatic skills to deal with vested interests, million-dollar contracts, and cut-throat competition
APRIL 17, 2014

The weary middle age of cricket

Dave Hawksworth: On the field the action is youthful and thrilling, but off it, there's depressing self-interest, with each board trying to outdo the other in incompetence and venality
APRIL 05, 2014

England cricket

Rejigged county schedule to England's rescue?

The England Cricket Board will implement the findings of it's own survey conducted regarding the schedule of county cricket this season. T20s will form Friday evening entertainment, a bulk of the first-class matches shall begin on Sundays now and the action would start in early April. Mike Selvey, in the Guardian, believes the changes will serve well in preparing the national side for the summer ahead.

This was the time of year when county players, on six-month contracts, returned from whatever winter employment (or, too often, unemployment) had brought them. A week's "training" perhaps, which would barely count as a warm-up these days, followed by nets, a university fixture maybe, or practice matches against another county, and then the first championship match of the summer right at the end of April. A personal check tells that in 13 seasons only five of my championship matches began in April, and none started earlier than the 28th of the month.

Now, the first matches begin (rain, of course, is forecast) and almost half of the championship will have been played by the time the team for the first Test against Sri Lanka is picked.

MARCH 30, 2014

West Indies cricket

How will the Pybus Report fare?

West Indies have opted for a host of changes to their cricket structure in their Systems Report for 2014 and Tony Becca in Jamaica Gleaner is impressed with the emphasis on building professionalism in first-class cricket, with 15 players per team playing under contract and top-grade coaching staff on call. But memory serves him to be wary of how they take effect.

I remember also in the days of Jamaica's county championship, a two-day tournament which featured some of the West Indies contracted players, when many of the West Indies players turned up with sick mothers and aunts, fathers and uncles, in places like Canada and England, and were excused from some of the matches. I hope, really hope, nothing like that happens this time around.

MARCH 25, 2014

'If Misbah believed in a player, he'd absolutely bat for him'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Dav Whatmore talks about the challenges of coaching in the subcontinent, the 1996 World Cup, dealing with the PCB and the media, and his relationship with his captains
MARCH 23, 2014

Indian cricket

The challenges in Jammu & Kashmir cricket

Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir is rife with roadblocks and a lot of them tend to be off the field. Jonathan Selvaraj in the Indian Express explores how the players have had to deal with the haphazard facilities, troubles with terrorism and accusations of bias. But this Ranji season, J&K brushed aside the past and progressed into the Ranji quarterfinals, under the leadership of Parvez Rasool, the first player from the state to be selected for India.

Forty-seven-year-old Abdul Qayoom Bagaw, however, has seen much worse. Now coach of the team, Bagaw is also J&K's leading wicket-taker. The broad-shouldered right-arm quick saw his career suffer because his prime years as a cricketer coincided with the most turbulent time in the Valley. After four regular seasons of first-class cricket, Qayoom had taken 86 wickets, and was poised to leap into the big league. But at the start of the 1992-93 season, a letter arrived home. "It was a death threat signed by militants, warning me not to play for India," says Qayoom, who was 25 then. He didn't turn up for his side that year.

MARCH 22, 2014

The problem with rugby analogies

Andrew Hughes: Giles Clarke wants English cricket to learn from the rugby team. How presumptuous
MARCH 21, 2014

England cricket

KP for England captain?

The ECB have closed the book on Kevin Pietersen and have been urging the English fans to bid farewell to the talismanic batsman. Ted Corbett, writing in the Hindu, prefers to walk to a different tune and offers examples of previous comebacks from improbable circumstances

I would be happy to see Pietersen walking out to bat for England again -- say in the first Test against India -- and it would also give me pleasure to hear that he had been made captain once again. When Geoff Boycott stepped down from his England spot there were many who thought that at 36 he would not play for England again. Eventually Alec Bedser, chairman of selectors, saw that if England was to be great again Boycott had to return and made it his business to negotiate a way back.

FEBRUARY 12, 2014

India cricket

IPL clean-up needs hard evidence

Writing in the Hindustan Times, Kadambari Murali Wade, the former editor of Sports Illustrated India shares her experience of meeting with the Mudgal Committee that was probing the spot-fixing and corruption charges in IPL 2013.

Drawing on her experience of an investigative story published in the magazine, and her interactions with the committee, she says that mere allegations or suggestions of corruption by the committee are not likely to help the cause of Indian cricket.

The ACSU does get information from several sources, players, journalists, officials etc. They reportedly even have several players on an unofficial watchlist. However, they find it difficult to push forward because of a lack of evidence that will stand up in court. Against this backdrop, it is interesting to note that a Supreme Court-appointed committee seems to think there is enough "evidence".

Everyone knows that Indian cricket needs to be cleaned up. But it can't be done on the basis of allegations, unless they've received hard evidence, allegations by a committee of this magnitude could be even more damaging.

FEBRUARY 05, 2014

Pakistan and the Big Three

Kamran Abbasi: Whether by circumstance or not, Pakistan is now one of the few voices of dissent against the restructuring of the ICC
FEBRUARY 01, 2014

Bullying for dummies

Andrew Hughes: It's particularly hard to stand up against bullies when all your friends desert you. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying
JANUARY 31, 2014

Cricket always needs an underclass

Samir Chopra: History shows us that those who rule the game seem to occupy a centre they cannot bear to share with those at the margins
JANUARY 27, 2014

'A captain should be judged on how he influences the side'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Mike Atherton, the former England captain, talks about the pressures of leadership, the demands of TV and print journalism, and the problems with the ICC's revamp plan
JANUARY 23, 2014

Give administrators the freedom to eat themselves

Alex Bowden: Let the Australian, English and Indian boards do what they want regardless of our wishes. They'll soon learn
JANUARY 18, 2014

Two chairmen of Lahore

Andrew Hughes: Cricket, politics and administration combine for a Shakespearean drama in four acts
DECEMBER 19, 2013

Project Snow and what might have been

Russell Jackson: Cricket nearly reached an impasse in the mid-1990s and there was a possibility the game would split into two factions
DECEMBER 07, 2013

Why long Ashes tours are hurting Test cricket

Kartikeya Date: England's and Australia's established schedules of a five-Test series every other year makes it hard for other teams to create rivalries
NOVEMBER 25, 2013

'National boards are competitors when they should be siblings'

Interview by Subash Jayaraman: Mike Jakeman, the author of Saving The Test, a book about the future of the five-day game, talks about how cricket administrators can unite to make the game more viable
NOVEMBER 13, 2013

The inexplicable ways of Pakistan cricket

Andrew Hughes: Administrative anarchy and crushing defeats: aka more of the same old same old
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