Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2006 April 12, 2006

ICC defends itself against Almanack attack

Cricinfo staff

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The ICC has dismissed suggestions by Matthew Engel in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack that it is putting money ahead of other considerations.

Referring to the recent challenge to authority of the ICC by the Indian board, Engel wrote that it was time someone stepped up as "the ICC's entrepreneurial role is damaging its regulatory one. There was a crucial symbolic change when its web address switched from .org to .com. It constantly now has to refer to its own financial interests - exacerbated by the fraught TV deal with the Global Cricket Corporation, which expires in 2007 - rather than the good of cricket, which should be its only concern."

But Brian Murgatroyd, the ICC's media manager, told the BBC that the ICC was not a profit-making organisation and plouged income back into its 96 member countries, but he admitted it still needed to be careful. "There's always a balance to be found between on the one hand making sure we safeguard the future of the game, while at the same time ensuring we look after that future by maximising revenue.

"We're acutely conscious of the need to protect the heritage of the game, but we have to ensure any events we put on earn revenue, which we're able to pass on to our members. That's our rationale - to ensure the health of the game worldwide."

Murgatroyd also defended an attack on the Champions Trophy, which Engel described as "yet another ugly-looking [tournament], to the delight only of TV channels with more airtime than content."

He said that the competition was being altered. "It's gone through a few facelifts and we feel we're getting closer to an appropriate format. The profits that the ICC make from that tournament are going to be ploughed back into the game - it benefits cricket for that tournament to take place. It's a very worthy event."

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