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'We missed a golden opportunity' - Lorgat

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 1, 2011

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Haroon Lorgat speaks about the ticketing fiasco, Bangalore, February 26, 2011
Haroon Lorgat described his ideal vision of an ICC board as one that would have independent directorship so that "there's at least a voice spoken without self-interest" © AFP
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Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has admitted that his board could have taken "a more strategic decision" in implementing the Test championship and a ten-team World Cup. He said the Test Championship is on track for 2017, while the ICC, as a whole, would benefit from fewer weak member boards and independent directorship. He also revealed that there was a threatened elite breakaway of India, Australia, South Africa and England over the Future Tours Programme.

"We got the balance incorrect [on the Test championship and ten-team World Cup]. There was a strategic choice that had to be made, it was an investment to be made and the leadership chose not to do it," Lorgat told the Abu Dhabi-based The National . "It will happen eventually. I hope it doesn't happen when it's too late. It's a new cycle. There's absolutely no reason why it would not be in the schedule of events. We missed a golden opportunity in 2013 because Test cricket was starting to go on an upward trend."

While Lorgat conceded that the commercialisation of the cricket played some role in the decisions, he said it was not solely based on broadcast rights and profits. "The broadcaster [ESPN STAR Sports*] is but one party to the discussion," he said. "It's a board decision."

He said the ICC have not under-prioritised Test cricket, but that, on occasion, specific member boards are guilty of doing that. "There was a two-Test series in South Africa recently. People were desperate for a third Test. That is an example where it [the boards] has not leaned towards Tests," he said referring to last month's series between South Africa and Australia that was drawn 1-1.

During that series, players such as Graeme Smith had voiced their disappointment at missing the chance of participating in a Test championship and Lorgat sympathised with them. "We have some seriously good players at the moment, shining in Tests. The chances of them being around in 2017 is zero. That is a particular disappointment."

To avoid such setbacks in future, Lorgat said he hoped the ICC's leadership would form a strong enough collective to make decisions in the "best interests of the game". Currently, the BCCI is a dominant presence, but Lorgat's worry is that other member boards have not shown a strong enough hand. "What concerns me is the weakness of other boards. They need to find ways and means of generating revenue, of sustaining the game. They cannot operate on a dependency mentality."

India' reluctance and ultimately refusal to use DRS is an example of what Lorgat called weak leadership by other members. "It's up to others to stand firm, to have the courage of their convictions, to show leadership, to oppose that process. That's more a reflection of weak leadership on other boards."

If the dissenting voice cannot come from within, Lorgat suggested that it may have to be from outside. He described his ideal vision of an ICC board as one that would have some form of independent directorship so that "there's at least a balance of debate or a voice spoken without self-interest".

He indicated that an external hand, coupled with stronger member boards would help prevent problems such as the one that occurred during the drafting of the most recent FTP. Lorgat said he led the movement to reach a solution after the threatened elite breakaway. "There was a risk of that [a breakaway]. The initial drafts were leaning in favour of that. It was not agreed to. It was a role I led from the front.

"Fortunately, we've got a better balance in the FTP. That is a reflection on the leadership of each of the boards. So whether you are Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, you've got to have the right people leading your cricket, because you require stronger leadership in view of the challenges such countries face."

*ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.), the parent company of ESPNcricinfo, and News Corporation Limited (STAR)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 3, 2011, 11:28 GMT)

IT is wrong to blame that INDIA is responsible for cancelation of SLPL.IND IA just not cleaned its players to participate in that leage fearing of players burn out as they have been playing too much cricket .The SL board cancelld that leage fearing in absence of INDIAN players there may not be huge fan following as indan sponsors aswellas broadcsters bach tracked . IN THIS PAGE SOME oooooooONE IS DREAMING OF INDIAS downfall so that BCCIs hagemony is contained but inreality INDIAs domination on & off the field will remain intact as TEAM INDIA IS AS FORMIDAL A FORCE ON THE FIELD AS BCCI OFF THE FIELD Every body wants INDIAS HELP , to run a leage SL WANTS INDIA , PAk WANTS india series for financial benifits as its board is already is in bankrupt , but coments from few people on india is just disgusting .

Posted by mihir_nam on (December 3, 2011, 11:23 GMT)

Why ICC is not bringing more teams in T20 to globalize the game.. ICC should have atleast 16-20 teams in T20 WC .and also should host T20 champions trophy hosted by Associate Nations. T20 Champions Trophy will have Six Teams 1.Associate Host 2.T20 WC Champions 3.ODI WC Champions 4.No1 Ranked in T20 if it is same with T20 WC champions then no2 should be considered 5.No1 Ranked in ODI 6.Defending champion of Champions trophy( for 1st edition may invite runners up of T20 wc or ODIWC

only associates should host T20 Champions trophy to promote the game daily 3 games, total of 18 Matches in round robin league .8 Day tournament ..with good TV viewership and sponsors ICC can do it . It will also boost cricket in associate nation.

Posted by Simoc on (December 3, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

I don't care so much for a test World Cup cricket either.We see in Football(soccer) and rugby union World Cups that the product is so boring compared to normal international games. It's all about defence, and then in cricket it would be the wicket & home advantage. In three tests the visitors have time to adjust. World Cup T20 is ideal. It could be played every year easily with-in two weeks and even one week if they got serious.They're only playing three hours.

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 3, 2011, 6:39 GMT)

Haha MAXIMUM 6 you and other English fans are soooo jealous BUT BCCI ARE THE KINGS OF CRIKCKET WORLD AND BCCI CAN GO AGAINST EVEN 1-30 VOTE LOL

Posted by   on (December 2, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

I think Dravid, Sachin and Laxman will retire after winning the Test Championship in 2017 :D :P

Posted by   on (December 2, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

ICC Think wisely , if you want to compare football with cricket you should focus on T20I. At least 20 team T20 WC. Plus You Have to think About Champion trophy also.. In Test Apply Same Logic As You Implied In ICC INTERCONTINENTAL $ DAY CUP. It Will Work Better. At least 12 teams should Play Test. Thats All.....

Posted by Sakthiivel on (December 2, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

@LillianThomson : BCCI not fools to go with test championship bec VSS,Dravid, Sachin is around. I tell you it will also not happen in 2017.. For sure ..

Posted by drsankalp on (December 2, 2011, 17:07 GMT)

Important for logart to stay in his limit. He is nobody to decide what world needs. He did not become ICC chief on any special talent. Better he keep his mouth shut.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 2, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

The principle inherent in any democracy needs to be enshrined in the workings of ICC and signed up to by all full members upon pain of exclusion-ie a majority vote is binding upon all Full members,without exception. End of story. A 9-1 vote is not something that the windbags of BCCI can brush aside . Mercifully in reality they got hoisted onj their own petards in the summer. Hooray. it is incredibly weak of other members not stand up to these self aggrandising megalomaniacs. Seriouslty they need to look at themselves. With 2 Test series, if they count at all then they should count as half what a proper Test series counts as in the ratings. there should be no easy route to the top. I for one was unimpressed by the whole charade of India's no.1 position. I have been similarly unimpressed by other Boards kowtowing to them.

Posted by correctcall on (December 2, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

The issue of a draw during the deciders between the top 4 nations for a world test championship is not insurmountable. A draw can be resolved on average total runs per total wickets. If due to weather only one side has an innings (or part thereof) then the higher ranked team proceeds. The host country for the Test Championship should be determined by Test rank in the year preceding the first final ie the Championship host country is determined for 40 years in advance. If a country does not wish to host, the the ICC should hold a bidding contest for that year.

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