ICC annual conference 2014

Cricket to become a private club

At its annual conference this week, the ICC is set to shed much of the inclusiveness it has strived for at the global level in recent years, with India, England and Australia firmly at the helm

Daniel Brettig

June 23, 2014

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A
Brettig: No real opposition to Srinivasan

Melbourne is something of a Mecca for private members clubs. From the Melbourne Club and the Australian Club to the Kelvin Club and the Melbourne Cricket Club itself, the private meetings of well-heeled businessmen in wood-panelled dining rooms by open fires, all members by invitation only, are part of the fabric of the city. On Albert Street in East Melbourne the United Grand Lodge of Victoria stares forbiddingly down towards the MCG - who can forget that Sir Donald Bradman was himself a Freemason?

So it is entirely fitting that international cricket's redefinition as a private club, with the BCCI's barred board president N Srinivasan crowned as its omnipotent chairman, will take place in the MCC Members Dining Room this week. Since 1877 the MCG has hosted all manner of cricketing feats, but not since that first Test match between Australia and England has it been the scene of a more significant moment than this.

A re-shaping of the international game that began more or less in secret, during meetings between Srinivasan, the ECB chairman Giles Clarke and the Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards over the past two years, will reach fruition at the ICC's annual conference. While the broad resolutions for the new landscape have been known since January, their inking into law will be the point of completion, and some contemplation. There can be no going back from here.

After Thursday's centrepiece conference meeting the ICC's constitution will be changed drastically, setting up the boards of the "big three" nations as commercially-motivated navigators for cricket, and abandoning much of the expansionist vision favoured by ICC management in recent years. Instead the game's current balance of power will be definitively entrenched, as India, England and Australia take a larger slice of revenue from ICC events in addition to their existing windfalls from bilateral tours.

Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards talks to BCCI president N Srinivasan at the ICC's executive board meeting, London, Friday, October 18, 2013
N Srinivasan is all set to chair the ICC © Getty Images

The game's most influential decision-making will no longer take place at the executive board table but at the more exclusive meetings of ExCo, the five-member working group that will have UN security council-styled permanent membership for the BCCI, ECB and CA. Edwards will chair ExCo for one year and his CA successor David Peever, the next. Clarke is already head of the ICC's finance committee, and Srinivasan's coronation will complete the triumvirate.

Srinivasan's ascension will take place despite the reservations of many. The Supreme Court of India has barred Srinivasan from his duties as BCCI president while the investigation into corrupt activities around the IPL and Chennai Super Kings is ongoing: members of the ICC's executive board have personally expressed to him their preference for Srinivasan to refrain from taking the international post until it has concluded. The conflict of interest inherent in Srinivasan's ownership of Super Kings alongside his cricket administration has also been mentioned, but always excused by the fact the BCCI allowed it.

Chief among those expressing caution has been Edwards, an architect of vast governance change at CA but compelled to work more pragmatically at the ICC. Earlier this month he reportedly called Srinivasan to discuss the implications of his appointment as chairman while still under investigation, and to seek reassurance that there would be no surprises later on if he did take up the post this week. The image of President Nixon's second inauguration playing on a newsroom television at the Washington Post while Woodward and Bernstein tap out the stories that will lead to his resignation spring to mind.

"We respect the right of each nation to nominate their representative on the ICC," Edwards said ahead of the conference. "With that comes great responsibility to ensure representatives comply with the standards required to govern the game. I have been assured by Mr Srinivasan, legally and by ICC management that there is nothing preventing the BCCI putting him forward as a candidate for chairman. I accept that and am confident that Mr Srinivasan can play an important role in strengthening world cricket."

Edwards is well aware of said standards as the primary author of a new ethics code for the ICC board and administration, a document broader in some senses but more restrictive in others. Accusations against members can now only be made by fellow signatories of the code, a change that underlines the shift to private membership values as much as anything else. The responsibilities of members to act in the best interests of the ICC itself have been stripped away, instead they will be freed up to do whatever their own countries would best prefer, formalising a mindset of self-interest that has long existed. Should Srinivasan be removed in the future, it will be under the terms of this code.

But Srinivasan is nothing if not determined, and in repeatedly asserting his innocence of any wrongdoing has persuaded the executive board, the BCCI and the Supreme Court that allegations of major impropriety should not stop him from taking the role. India's administrators seem largely content to allow Srinivasan to represent them overseas, while there appears to be little will to prevent his coronation in Melbourne - a repeat of the John Howard coup de'tat at the 2010 conference in Singapore looks unlikely.

As significant as the unveiling of the new chairman will be the long-delayed and much debated signing of the Members Participation Agreement for ICC events. This document, and the BCCI's refusal to sign it until the shape of the game was changed to reflect its view of the world and financial contribution to it, was the catalyst for cricket's current direction. There will be little fanfare around the boards putting pen to paper, but the gravity of the moment will not be lost on those in the room.

Elsewhere the game's Associate and Affiliate members will be forced to swallow numerous changes, including a raising of the bar in terms of membership criteria, and the loss of the revenue they will gain from ICC events relative to the old structure. The carrot of Test match participation will be dangled, but only over the course of an eight-year cycle. World Cup participation is also set to be restricted, as the tournament reverts to a 10-team model after next year's edition in Australia and New Zealand.

Other vestiges of earlier attempts by ICC management to broaden the game will be removed. A report into the possibility of cricket at the Olympics will be tabled, confirming why it will never happen so long as India and England have anything to do with the decision. The ACSU, cricket's independent watchdog for corruption, will soon be asked to report not to the ICC chief executive but to ExCo and the executive board. Whatever the current chairman Sir Ronnie Flanagan has said about preserving the unit's independence, the new model cannot be said to have done so.

Finally, after the conference concludes, members will sit down to the serious business of their first committee and board meetings under the new structure. Friday and Saturday will be taken up by the first acts of the new order, as Srinivasan, Edwards and Clarke chair the meetings of the private members club they have created. There will be no funny hats or ancient robes, but the tone, form and function of cricket's governance will reflect nothing so much as the clubs of Melbourne and beyond. The words of the Stonecutters' anthem immortalised by The Simpsons will seem a fitting accompaniment:

Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do, we do!

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do, we do!

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

The beginning of end has began. RIP cricket.

Posted by ladycricfan on (June 24, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

@Anurag Kumar. ICC is doing its part to develop cricket globally. Rest is for the home boards to promote cricket in their countries. USA and China do play cricket. If you see the names of the players in many countries they are mostly Indian and Pakistani expats. Locals are hardly interested in cricket. You can lead a horse to the water but you can't make it drink.

USA is hardly interested in the most popular global game "soccer".Then how can anybody blame them if they show little interest in cricket.

Posted by baghels.a on (June 24, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

To all my fellow Indian fans why should we bother whether our great game of Cricket is played by 8 countries or 100 odd countries,Does anyone in United States bother how many people outside of USA are watching/playing NFL,MLB,NHL etc, they honestly don't that's why along with European football leagues American pro-sports are thriving so much.As i said in my earlier post first strengthen cricket in the core 8-9 full member nation.Secondly in 21st century all sports are professional in nature and hence also become business propositions, this is the reality and we should accept it instead of bemoaning the rampant commercialization surrounding the game of cricket.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

@Cricketfan1111: "@Anurag Kumar and @PangGlupek, ICC has 10 full members, 39 associate members and 59 affiliate......."

Mate, I am aware of the numbers; everyone is. Its just that I don't see these numbers translating into performance. You may well have 100+ countries associated with cricket but if you were to focus your attention at just 10 members, surely it cant be called a global sport. There are several untapped assets in cricket like China and USA. Better utilization and development of these assets is what we need. I have tried following the associates for a while now, yet I and many other people know that they are just not getting enough recognition. All the Big 3 is bothered about is their revenue and stuff. If cricket is to progress beyond 10 countries, the Big 3 and the ICC need to take collective action without bothering about their own benefits and focusing for the better of the sport as a whole.

Posted by baghels.a on (June 24, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

To all those who are propagating cricket for Olympic sports and globalising the game need to get real, Cricket will never ever get popular or even get a foothold in China,USA,Europe,South America. China and United States are multi sports nations and cricket has no space, even when most popular sports in the world Football is not among the top 3 sports in USA what chance does cricket have ?? only place where cricket can grow is Nepal and Afghanistan. I as an Indian who follows both Cricket and Football know for a fact how Football with it's high profile European football leagues are fast making inroads in Indian subcontinent and ICC will be well advised to first maintain the supremacy of cricket in Indian subcontinent and especially in England,Aus,NZ,SA where cricket is not the number 1 sport rather than bothering about expanding cricket globally,contd

Posted by ladycricfan on (June 24, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

SL is not a minnow as far as cricketing ability is concerned. Only Bangladesh and Zim can be called minnows, as they occupy 9th and 10th places in the rankings. It is obvious , the big three are called "BIG" because of their financial contribution.

Posted by snbirdi on (June 24, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

Even as a staunch Indian fan, what I don't understand is why are people so quick to point out when the big three teams get thrashed by a minnow? They're called the Big Three because of their pockets, not because of how much they win. Besides, the REAL DEATH of cricket would come if these three teams kept winning all the time. I'm glad they don't win every series. I'm glad SL is about to thrash England. Guess what that's called? It's called A SPORT, where winning and losing is all part of it. It's an extremely pathetic and low mentality to say "where's the big three now?" every time one of them doesn't win. How would them winning all the time be fun?

Posted by   on (June 24, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

It's a WELL-RESEARCHED piece .. The Gentleman's Game is NOW ON THE SERIOUS DEATH-BED .. looking up for some sincere Saviours .. but alas N O N E appears to be forthcoming .. Giving way to the moolahs .. selfies .. and commercialism ! But for how long ??

Posted by Nutcutlet on (June 24, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

With Sri Lanka about to inflict a resounding and humiliating series defeat on England comes an irony that will not escape notice. Mind you, as the 'minnow', SL (ICC member, tourist class) is not good enough at cricket to warrant a five match series against that Executive Club ICC member, arrogant England. India (Exec. Class, with Additional Privileges) has a five match series very soon and the bar for Inda's standard of play V England has just been set! I sense yet more irony, with a fair dollop of hubris.

Posted by ladycricfan on (June 24, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

@Anurag Kumar and @PangGlupek, ICC has 10 full members, 39 associate members and 59 affiliate members from all continents of the world. How many more members you need to call cricket a global sport? Turkey's don't vote for Christmas, but Turkey and Caicos Islands have voting power in the ICC through their associate member director.

Posted by contrast_swing on (June 24, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

How could players let this happen to their game?

This is about time that players start to run their game and not some businessmen with only goal to maximize their short term finances.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (June 24, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

@ Chris_Howard and Denis Blackman - could not agree more! i said that when this whole farce first came to the fore...all associates plus SL, Pakistan, Bangladesh, SA, W.I, Zim, you'd have a pretty decent competition. besides the interest is always on the breakaway/rebel if you will ! so slowly but surly there would be sponsorship and it would be the big 3 who'd want to get the membership of the lowly boards.

unfortunately the boards are weak and were afraid of not having any cricket so bowed to the greedy 3..self interest cost the game of cricket big time.

Posted by Culex on (June 24, 2014, 1:28 GMT)

The ICC appears to have become an extension of the BCCI.

Posted by   on (June 24, 2014, 0:44 GMT)

Cricket may well be a sports business as 'Crciketfan1111' puts it, but most businesses realise investment in new areas is required if you want to grow the business. This is the start of the process where this business begins feeding on itself.

Posted by PanGlupek on (June 23, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

@Anurag Kumar: I think you're exactly right,ICC has failed in globalization of the game BECAUSE of these types of insular attitudes: If another test team joins the fold, that's one more person to share the wealth around, for example. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

The whole way the ICC is structured means that people vote for whatever suits their country best, not what's best for the game. This piece highlights examples of that.

Posted by indianzen on (June 23, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Its not an amateur sport. Money is very much part of it, like every other sports like Football, Hockey. Those who make more money will naturally have the all control. Nothing new. Same as in any other sports. so why a cry ?

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 21:14 GMT)

@John-Price. If I was an English fan I wouln't want to travel half way wound the world to watch them lose in the first round either. I mean they've already seen them fail at one World Cup this year.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

@Chinthaka_Dassanayake: Very insightful thought but not happening. Consider India vs Bangladesh game which happened last week, the pitch was really nasty India put up a target 105, bangladesh bowled out on 58. According to your logic, we cant just give away 50 runs for an ODI at this instance. 50 runs=100 runs if its a good bowling pitch with overcast conditions. We can never come up with the set number of runs to give, because there are so many factors. I am thinking they should even re-look at D/L method and make some modifictions or just remove it, its not fair most of the times.

Posted by Alexk400 on (June 23, 2014, 18:51 GMT)

When people talk about the Crown, they often believe that they're referring to the British monarchy. But contrary to popular belief The Crown and the British monarchy are two different entities, the Crown is in fact a privately owned corporation, it operates outside the realms of the British legal system and controls the inner City Of London. The City Of London is often referred to as the square mile, It is currently recognised as the financial capital of the world and is the wealthiest square mile on the planet. Just so WE is not correct. It is bankers.

Posted by hst84 on (June 23, 2014, 18:51 GMT)

In a game when one spreads the word of "money matters", "exclusive rights" and "private clubs", it seems that the direction where the game is heading is pure entertainment, luxury and style. Any game played anywhere in the world has some core qualities on which it stagnates itself. Football does portray entertainment and style but this is not why exactly a fan watches the game, its more than this. Sports inculcates passion, hard-work and quality, it does not show itself as a authoritative and money-obsessed business. Money is essential for any sport, but trying to base ones thoughts and actions on it is harsh for the game itself.

Posted by Chinthaka_Dassanayake on (June 23, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

All these modifications are nice. I have just one suggestion to complete things. At the start of each mach, give a number of runs to India, England and Australia, against the second class teams. Say 25 runs in a T20, 50 runs in an ODI and 100 runs in a test match. Of course you can work out what to do when the two elite teams play each other. I am sure these gentleman can work the details out in that dining room.

Posted by GrindAR on (June 23, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

When ICC abandon tier systems for all formats, it is going to be no use, whatever they do.

It should be very simple and flat membership status for shorter formats. No member is big or small in T20 / ODIs. Open it up for every one who is interested and have a team meeting the standards. As a governing body, one should set standards for everyone in common. Create a flat ranking system for all who play international cricket. Conduct 4/6 groups each contain 3-5 teams. Depending upon the number of teams qualify. Importantly, make the qualification based on geo regions. So representation is distributed. May be it will take some time get a meaning full quality. FIFA world cup is being played for say 20-30 times so far. Only in last two world cupa, the lower order teams, who were historically played bad, competing neck to neck with their highly ranked peers. Cricket will grow if and only if ICC opens it up for every one under single common rule/regulation structure.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

The Gentlemen's Game is being spoiled in every possible way.!! The game will be the biggest loser followed by genuine cricket loving public and the ordinary cricketer (not the stars)...!!! See who is at helm??? No more questions are necessary...!!! GOD alone, ONLY if HE wishes that too, can save the game ..!!!

Posted by Chris_Howard on (June 23, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

If all the other nations "take their bat and ball and go home" and form their own competition, that will hurt the remaining three in the long term.

The players and fans of those three will get sick of playing each other.

You'd have three series Aus v Eng, Eng v Ind, Aus v Ind and you'd have to rotate those thee parings thru the three countries. So you'd end up playing each team twice each year. Evry second year would be either one of the other two teamsd in your country.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

This is a perfect opportunity for other Nations to move on . Test cricket is not important , if you cannot compete on a level playing field. Set up an organization, include China and all the associate members, along with the seven members outside the big 3. Start with 20/20 and 50 over competitions to create interest. There is interest in China already through Hong Kong and there many more Chinese investors, who are not afraid to invest, looking at the future. You cannot develop anything, no matter how successful it was just by looking back at the past.British Interest was always base on their ability to control.Modern life is proving control has little say in developement, look at the whole world, where is the controlling masters sitting at the moment.l

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

Words that come to mind with the direction cricket is taking; shameful, myopic, short sighted, selfish, lacking in vision, self interest by the3, shrinking market, slow death in other member countries, fast death in Associates, self inflicted wounds. Sad, sad, sad. RIP the game we loved.

Posted by ladycricfan on (June 23, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Cricket is not an amateur sport. It is a sports business. Money is very much part of it. Those who generate more money will naturally have the control. Nothing new. Same as in any other business.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

i don't know why they even bother staging the group matches in the various icc tournaments.

since the corporate interests and the administrators of the icc/bcci would prefer the "big teams" (ie: india, australia and england) to always be at the business end of a tournament they can pass a rule reserving 3 out of every quarter final places to the so called big 3.

or better yet, forget the rest of the countries completely and always stage triangular tournaments between the big 3. i'm sure that will help to expand the game to the rest of the world.

Posted by macadamnut on (June 23, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Great move. Now they just need to get rid of these "professional" players. Cricket is a game for gentlemen of noble birth.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (June 23, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

Private club---shameful decision. It should expand to be truly a world sport. I wonder if BCCI has taken a look at other sports in which India used to lead or be at top but went to bottom when more nations started participating.

In sports such as field hockey, tennis and even football, India used to be at least competitive or at the top (1950's-60's) but as more nations joined in, India just could not keep up.

Posted by mautan on (June 23, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

We are currently watching the closest FIFA WC ever in terms of competition and most will agree that even having 40 teams will not dilute the standard even a little bit...however with India's power and self interests, cricket will die a slow death with 10 countries playing the sport. Instead of increasing the teams in WC's to about 20 by now, they will shut out the associates. Cricket eventually will be played in 5-6 countries and people will be sick to see the same teams playing each other. I think after debating and feeling angry about things at BCCI and ICC, and about that all powerful Srinivasan, I today give up on hope to see cricket expand like soccer. I love the sport, but will try and watch without any aspirations for it in future. All the best India..play series after series against Bangladesh, and keep out Ireland for ever. Who ever decided that 'tests' can only be played if ICC allowed it? what a small private club..disgusting and sad.

Posted by ozycriketfan on (June 23, 2014, 12:32 GMT)

Cricket is a game played by few countries until very recent. For a game of few countries, it's not a bad decosion to seize its control in the hands of few countries.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

Is the cricketing world going to see another rebellion , or is it going to surrender itself to the mighty 3, well they should start a parallel Organization, am sure many associate countries would support such move, it would be tough to start with no money , but then Pak, Sri lanka, Bangladesh, South africa, West Indies still have cricket fans left, its not only The mighty 3 turn up for all games, Give it a shot the maximum you are going to loose is nothing , and if you did succeed then you have a whole new set up which would benefit all associates and true cricket fans, as an Indian though I support my country, I still watch other matches being played because I love the game.. !!! let the game be alive..

Posted by SrinR on (June 23, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

It's not going to be that much different from before; only thing being that India now will have a secure position at the table. I think (and hope) now they will get on to serious business. First, they need to set up a more unified way to tackle fixing. Also, there must be a better and surer path for associates, especially Ireland now, to get into tests.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

This is kind of crime I guess when Three countries control world cricket. The top nations will stay on top while rest of countries will not get enough chance to improve. Beside new nations will not come in front. If Cricket is a Global Sport then why some specific nations will dominate everything??? Is this mean just because of Money so they can do whatever they want for their own??!!! Such way world will not move forward freely.

Posted by yujilop on (June 23, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

As a resident of an Associate nation, I say " Go ahead! I'll just watch whatever else is on." You can close cricket down by limiting it to the "big three." As much as I am a fan of the sport (and have been for over two decades), I will gradually find other things to enjoy. I think I'm going to be happier watching a sport my country doesn't even play, instead of continuing to follow one it has made serious progress in, only to be denied a piece of the pie by profit-minded administrators, who don't care about promoting the game globally.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

The global appeal for 'gentleman's' game of cricket will diminish as greed for income by the big three i.e. BCCI, CA & ECB will reduce the creditability of other cricketing nations and also their participation. The UN style structure to be implemented has seen many disasters the said organisations has failed to handle or avert money gone to waste in Administrative and Logistics issues. It is totally a wrong move in my opinion.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

Utter failure by the Big Three to protect and preserve the spirit of cricket and maintain its strength long-term.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

Whilst in other games they try to expand the game in cricket they are trying the opposite..

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

ICC is destroying its own Vision, Mission, Goals Objectives by this action

ICC's Vision of Success

As a leading global sport, cricket will captivate and inspire people of every age, gender, background and ability while building bridges between continents, countries and communities. Strategic Direction

A bigger, better, global game targeting more players, more fans, more competitive teams.

Our long-term success will be judged on growth in participation and public interest and the competitiveness of teams participating in men's and women's international cricket.

Mission Statement

As the international governing body for cricket, the International Cricket Council will lead by:

Providing a world class environment for international cricket Delivering 'major' events across three formats Providing targeted support to Members Promoting the global game Our Values

The ICC's actions and people are guided by the following values:

Fairness and Integrity Excellence Accountability Teamwork

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

While everyone tries to make the sport more popular and global, this is a regressive trend, and might turn out to be for the good of cricket, since this might be the beginning of the end as far as the way this sport is conducted these days.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

I believe the beginning of the end of cricket has begun. What ever chances cricket had to challenge foot ball as a popular game will vanish with this new thinking. Cricket developed over the past 150 years will be destroyed with in the next 50 years. With more countries wanting to play cricket very soon rival groups will challenge the present order.

Posted by Ramesh_Joseph on (June 23, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

Cricket always was a Private Club. for many years Australia and England were calling the shots and cricket was a two nation sports. In fact its only since the last few years that cricket has become such a passion in countries like India, BD, SL, Pakistan, WI etc.

Posted by wapuser on (June 23, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

It's so sad and depressing that cricket has come to this :(

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (June 23, 2014, 8:22 GMT)

future cricket historians will pen this period as the darkest in cricket history, while the rest of the world is moving forward cricket's administrators have made sure the game advances in the opposite direction.

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (June 23, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

What a misleading title! When was cricket ever a truly international sport? It has always been the exclusive preserve of a few nations. For years the Aussies and the Englishmen called the shots, now India has been added to that list. Nothing more than that. The plain truth is that in the last several years, no serious new entrant has come into this game and looks unlikely to do so in the near future. The good thing is that, despite all the dire predictions, the game itself is alive and doing well, in all three formats - right now just after the IPL carnival, we're enjoying the lovely Test combats of England vs SL and later we will all be in World Cup mode. Let's enjoy the game .....

Posted by John-Price on (June 23, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

"World Cup participation is also set to be restricted, as the tournament reverts to a 10-team model after next year's edition in Australia and New Zealand."

The reason is that the present World Cup is not a good tournament. In fact English travel agents have so far failed t sell a single ticket for the next venture. the reason given is that there are far too many meaningless matches and this is a direct result f the presence of so many Associates. I know they all greatly value the opportunity to come along and get eliminated in the first round every four years, but they have no professional structure, no following and no prospects. Ten is the right number for the World Cup.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

Priceless Simpsons moment that was, and perfectly apt!

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days