ACC news August 10, 2014

ACC in line for downsizing

The ICC will take direct control of all regional cricketing activities across the world by limiting involvement of regional bodies, the ACC CEO Syed Ashraful Huq has said. The cutoff date is the end of 2015, after which the future of bodies like the Asian Cricket Council will be uncertain.

"I think they don't want to abolish the ACC wholly, but minimize the activities," Huq told the BBC Bangla Service. "It is not just the ACC but all the regional bodies - Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia-Pacific - which will be directly controlled by the ICC.

"Twenty-one countries, apart from Test-playing countries, from Saudi Arabia to China - we have been working in their development work - coaches, umpiring and other areas of cricket. We have U16, U19, Challenge Cup, Premier Cup, but whether all these will stay or not, I am not really sure.

"[The change] is still in a discussion phase. We have been told unofficially that our activities will continue till the end of 2015. The commercial contract of the ICC will end at that time, so what will happen after that no one really knows. The ACC will remain as an organisation on paper. The headquarters might not stay."

According to Huq, the ICC will do the development work of all non-Test playing nations, as part of their vision to streamline cricket activities across the world. He questioned the Big Three's plan to downsize the global game, and felt that cricket would lose out to other sports. "The ICC is going to directly be in charge of the development work in the non-Test playing nations, something that we have been doing," Huq said. "I don't know what good it will bring by taking out the regional body. In the last World T20, four of the six non-Test playing nations were from Asia. It is the direct result of what we have been doing over the years.

"The ICC is being controlled by three countries - India, Australia and England. What they are saying is that there is no need for so many nations playing cricket. There are ten Test-playing nations and eight or 10 other nations that play cricket, but they feel that spending so much on the others is not bringing the desired results.

"But the fact is that they don't want to run cricket in many countries. I think we should focus on globalisation. Our main competitor is football but if we can't make all countries play cricket, how can we call it a global sport?"

The ICC has declined to comment on the matter.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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