Jarrod Kimber
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One half of The Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Tell the administrators you're watching them

International cricket's top three seem to be planning a hostile takeover of the game. Do you want to stop them?

Jarrod Kimber

January 18, 2014

Comments: 115 | Text size: A | A

N Srinivasan speaks at a press conference, Mumbai, September 27, 2012
If the draft proposal is passed, India will have more power in world cricket than they already enjoy © AFP
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The fact that Australia, England and India have formed a cabal to choke the game of cricket is not exactly new. Like a bum with a sandwich board, myself and others have been walking the streets of cricket shouting this message for a long time. During the Champions Trophy I wrote that only the top three in cricket matter. Before that I started making a documentary on the death of Test cricket. And during this Boxing Day Test at the MCG, I was chatting to ABC Grandstand about it.

If you follow cricket politicking at all (and I do, so you don't have too), you could see this coming. So it was nice that Sharda Ugra showed that it was not just a conspiracy theory by a few nut jobs. That it was a real takeover of cricket by the greedy and wealthy.

But what does this leaked draft actually mean, and is the working group's financial and commercial committee actually run by giant lizards? I tried to answer a few questions that people had.

In a word, good or bad for Test cricket?
Bad, not just for Tests, but for all international cricket.

If there is promotion and relegation in Test cricket, but Australia, England and India can't be relegated, isn't that cheating?
It's not just cheating, it's organised fixing. Any individual who signs off on a regulation like this is corrupting the game, and should be banned by the ICC for their action. They are ensuring the result of the competition before a game is played. The integrity of the game is corrupted as much as by any huge no-ball. They might as well only let other teams use five batsmen, bowl with beach balls and field with sponsored flippers on. As long as the sponsorship money is split unfairly, favouring the stronger nation.

Who are the people involved in this secret dossier for cricket's potential kidnapping?
The names of the people on the committee that the draft came from are Giles Clarke (chairman, ECB), Alan Isaac (ICC president), Dave Richardson (chief executive), N Srinivasan (BCCI), Neil Speight (Associate and Affiliate member, Bermuda Cricket Board), Wally Edwards (CA), Dave Cameron (WICB), Campbell Jamieson (GM, commercial) and Faisal Hasnain (CFO).

However, a working committee wrote the draft, not the entire committee. The members of the working committee are not yet known. The winners, if the draft was implemented, would be the boards of Clarke, Srinivasan and Edwards. It is they who will be taking over cricket officially on behalf of their boards. We don't have the details of who the architects of the plan are, but being that these men and their boards get the best deal, it's not a big stretch to believe they were behind it and not the chairman of the Bermuda Cricket Board.

What did the FTP do? What does FTP stand for and why does it matter?
The FTP is (was?) the Future Tours Programme. It essentially meant that teams would have to play everyone, and not just who they wanted to play with. It was brought in to ensure that teams had a schedule to play each other and ICC tournaments. It helped sell TV rights and aided smaller nations financially by drawing them up against teams with larger markets and on the cricket field through experience against the best teams. It was a flawed but well-meaning system of sharing the wealth and making cricket fairer.

Wasn't the FTP ignored?
Occasionally. It was more a nagging aunty than a scary prison guard. I know Australia have played Bangladesh, I just can't remember when. And Bangladesh have never toured India. Things are moved around on a whim quite often, but it at least meant that if something did happen, like Sri Lanka and West Indies cancelling their Test series, they had to come out and say it, not just silently agree never to play again. No FTP makes it all a bit more covert and easier for board members to ruin things without us noticing.

 
 
We have no vote in cricket. All we have is our passion, which is what makes the money that gives these men their power
 

Why does it matter if the big three countries make more money from ICC tournaments and share the ICC top jobs? Don't they already own and run cricket?
Yes, they do. But it matters because cricket isn't limited to three nations, or even ten. There are 106 member nations of the ICC. If this structural upheaval happens, less money and no power will escape this evil cricket cabal. These dirty three will be able to continue to rule cricket forever for their own good. And they'll have the backing of cricket's governing body, which will essentially be them in all but name.

Will cricket's best interests really be looked after by these three nations?
One recently got involved with a fraudulent crook; the second stopped players picking who they wanted to represent them at the ICC level; and the final one wanted all the other nations locked out of the World Cup.

Isn't the current ICC set-up terrible anyway?
If by that you mean there are no votes at ICC boardrooms, that it's run by the ten Test-playing boards who are all out for their own good and that India have all the financial muscle, then yes. The Woolf Report, an independent evaluation of the ICC (that the boards never wanted, and of which they ignored all but the bits that helped them keep their stranglehold), suggested that cricket needed to be independently run, instead of by the member boards. But at least the current set-up, as pointless and ignored as it is, gave ten nations a say.

Sport is a business, and this is just a business decision, isn't it?
It is a business decision. A bad one. A short-term one. Like most decisions made by cricket officials, it follows the money where it is right now. It doesn't look ahead. It doesn't grow the game or improve it. It picks cricket up by its underwear and takes what is in its pocket.

Surprisingly, most billion-dollar businesses aren't run by unpaid men who face absolutely no consequence if they completely stuff up the business. Who would have thought a billion-dollar business run by amateurs with no independent management could be taken over so easily?

Should Bangladesh prepare for a five-Test match tour of Australia, England or India shortly?
No.

Which Full Members outside the trio will be playing Test cricket by 2020?
It is impossible to tell. But this is not a move to lock in the future of the current Test-playing nations. It is a move to lock in the future of three of them. The rest can go to hell, and by hell, I mean more Champions Trophy tournaments.

I'm from outside the cricket cabal but don't really like Test cricket. Why should I care?
Because the FTP and ICC restructuring isn't just about Tests. It's about stopping your country from getting money. It's about ensuring through financial means that while three countries will have every single advantage, the others will have to live on far less. Money doesn't guarantee success. But it certainly helps in sport.

I'm from inside the cabal. Why should I care about the other nations?
Maybe you shouldn't. You'll have all the IPL, Big Bash and Ashes you can eat. But if the other seven teams stop playing Test cricket, or don't play enough to make it relevant, you're going to get pretty damn bored pretty damn quickly. And while you may only watch for your own players, do you really want to live in a world that involves less Sri Lankan mystery spin, New Zealand pluckiness, Misbah-ul-Haq, and the current best Test team on earth?

What will happen to the non-Test playing nations?
Not much will actually change for them. Life wasn't exactly free beer and endless casual sexual encounters before. If anything, now they have seven new friends who also have no power.

Can saner people in the future undo this mess?
Yes, probably. Even the old veto was eventually taken away from the ICC. Things can change. If the chairmen of the three cricket boards were to change, it could change very quickly. There is also little doubt that at least one of Clarke, Srinivasan and Edwards wants to eventually run the ICC once the main job there is made more powerful. Which means this reign of bullying and grabbing for power may not end anytime soon.

Should these three men step down?
Yes. Anyone who agreed with this draft, whether it was their idea or not, should leave cricket immediately. They won't, obviously. But they should.

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?
Someone leaked this draft. Someone who saw it realised that cricket fans wouldn't like this, and instead of it being announced through an ICC press release, it was blurted out before they had a chance to lock it in. In fact, there are many good people working in cricket all around the world. They don't like this situation any more than we do. Hopefully more of them will step forward with details. That gives us a chance.

What can I do?
Contact them. Don't be rude, don't abuse the people who are answering the emails, calls or letters, but contact them. Tell them what you think of all this. CA can be contacted here, the ECB here, the BCCI here. We have no vote in cricket. All we have is our passion, which is what makes the money that gives these men their power.

They are banking on you not knowing or caring about any of this. Giles Clarke regularly tells young cricket writers to stop writing about administration because it's boring and fans don't care about it. What this does is allow cricket's most important men to run the game while no one is watching. Show them you're watching.

If you have time to complain about a shocking DRS decision or a terrible cover drive, surely you have time to send an email to the men running the game. Show them you care. Tell them what you think. You have no vote in cricket's future. But you do have the contact pages.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

Thanks for wonderful articles and alert us.

Posted by Test_Fanatic on (January 21, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

A good article and thanks for taking the time to alert us. For the love of all that is cricket, we must politley voice our concern and dissent to this proposal. It will ultimately only serve and enrich the three unions while the rest of the world will become puppets on strings.

I want to see cricket developed across the globe and all nations and people interested in this game we love to join in. Developement must happen throughout the world. Give these unions their way and sadly I foresee the game being monopolised and isolated from the people of the world.

Come on, one and all, go forth and politely speak your mind.

Posted by OzHorse on (January 20, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

Didn't all of CA (not just the players) pledge allegiance to that 'Spirit of Cricket' document? This would seem to be in direct opposition to that. Administrators are there to protect and grow the GAME, not the BUSINESS.

Posted by NP_NY on (January 20, 2014, 15:17 GMT)

There is a very thin line between sports and business these days and it is a consumer driven economy. It's not the 7 smaller boards that need to boycott the big three, it is it the fans that need to boycott to show who is really the boss! But is that ever going to happen? I doubt it!

Posted by londonstatto on (January 20, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

At the moment cricket is essentially run by one country. It being run by three would be an improvement.

Posted by veerang on (January 20, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

i have a(too many) question... do these 'seven little boards' runs with the help of money provided(or generated) by the big three? if yes,why they are not able to build their own income sources despite playing cricket for so.....long? how long a board could survive, depending on others(financially), to function properly? are the 'seven little boards' and their leadership capable of utilizing the money coming from the ICC to prosper 'CRICKET' in their countries ?

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

Australia played Bangladesh in two tests in winter in Cairns and Darwin in 2004 that's the only time as far as I know that we have played tests against Bangladesh.playing now we have too few series against the likes of say WI or NZ and more cricket against England and India these days or in the case of the South Africa last summer when the World number 1 spot was up for grabs in Test cricket and we had two tests in a series instead three. There's seriously something wrong here and I hope the World Test Championship comes in and there's a regulation that sates that each nation that is granted Test status must play a minimum of three tests against each nation and then there will no more meaningless two test series like the South Africa vs Australia series last summer where a series result could be 1-1

Posted by loveyoucricket on (January 20, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

I agree with Mr. Kimber's comments. However, I do not agree with the suggestion from some members of boycotting 3 big ones. We should think rationally, without disturbing the game and its spirit. CA, NZ, SL, WI, Pakistan are powerful cricket world countries in a sense that they can should sit with big 3 and make them understand the importance of other 7 test countries as well as associate members. CA is current number one test ranking country. WI has the past glory as well as big followers of cricket in their country. SL is the leading force in cricket in short version atleast. Pakistan is unpredictable but have domestic problems to solve and hence locked up. Anyway, instead doing anything like boycotting 3 big, sit and talk strategy should be adopted. I think CA, WI and SL should take the lead to stop this controversial proposal.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 20, 2014, 4:19 GMT)

@Beyond-the-Boundary - well said. if SA comes along with the 'poor' 7, cricket will not need eng, aus and bcci !

bring in ireland as test playing nation and see he well they perform. it will be a good cricketing bloc.

imagine aus, eng and bcci playing cricket all year around. how much fun it will be for fans and broadcasters!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

Many thanks Jarrod for giving me the contact details for CA.

Posted by Arshad_786 on (January 20, 2014, 3:13 GMT)

Don't let these greedy morons kill the game. This is a PATHETIC idea and should be berried along with the people who though of it. Fire their behinds and get rid of them from ICC.

Posted by AQ13 on (January 19, 2014, 20:00 GMT)

very well said Mr.Kimber great article

Posted by Beyond-the-Boundary on (January 19, 2014, 19:31 GMT)

The other seven nations--Pakistan, WI, SA, NZ, SL, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should play each other and exclude England, Australia and India.

The seven should ban players from going to the IPL. Instead an international 20/20 tournament should be every year in the seven nations, each taking a turn. Keep tests and ODIs to three per series.

The key to this is SA. Pakistan, the WI, SL, NZ and Bangladesh will go with the seven nations idea.

Zimbabwe needs help to recover and Ireland brought in to play them. Afghanistan and Malaysia encouraged.

None of the big three can really make money without the other seven. However, the other seven countries can continue to play more or less at the same level with Test TV series packaged to the viewers in their countries, along with the ODIs and 20/20s. The revenue they lose will be much less that what the Big Three will lose.

As it stands none of the Big Three are leading in Test. South African is number one. In 20/20s Sri Lanka is at the top.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

it just makes you sick... gives an insight into whats going on in ICC and how it has been operating for the past few years.

Posted by attilathecricketer on (January 19, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Well said Mr Kimber. Here is hoping plan does not come to fruition

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Also other countries should boycott playing cricket with these 3 counties Javed

Posted by wapuser on (January 19, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

If Rupert Murdoch can own the rights to broadcast every single international cricket match on the planet, why is this move so surprising / difficult to understand?

Posted by GermanPlayer on (January 19, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

Why can't we let these 3 boards play their game and all the other nations can join hands to play cricket without these 3? Cricket is much more rich outside this trio. And people will quickly become sick of watching Ind Aus and Eng play each other every year. I know it requires guts to do this but CSA have been the latest victim of BCCI and they can lead the revolt.

Posted by jimbond on (January 19, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

Best solution- people in India should stop watching cricket. Then matches with Inldia would involve less money, and all those who are clamouring for more matches with India- wouldn't care less about it. Or if India doesn't want to give 'it's' money around, best for India to stop playing international matches- instead form good teams at the regional level and have televised matches between south zone, north zone etc. Such an incestuous arrangement can keep BCCI happy. Once in a while they can host a world cup and hand out some doles to the cricketing boards of England, Australia, Bangladesh, Srilanka etc.

Posted by John-Price on (January 19, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

This plan will not come to fruition - there is too little in it for the non-cabal members for them to allow it to happen. However, do expect a compromise to emerge which does give more power to CA, BCCI and ECB and 'reforms' the FTP out of all recognition.

Remember this too - test cricket is a very expensive sport to stage and if cricket fans in any particular country do not support it, then the finance has to come from elsewhere. It is futile to expect England, India and Australia to pay for test series between, say, Bangladesh and New Zealand, that nobody turns up to watch. They have been doing that for years and now they are saying and now they are saying no more.

Posted by regofpicton on (January 19, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

We only have to open our eyes a very little to see the oligarchy is already pretty well operational. Presumably everyone will have noticed an oddity in the itinerary of the current Indian tour of NZ, where there are to be an ODI and a test in Auckland, two ODIs in Hamilton, & no games at all in the South Island. Now supposedly it is the host that designs these programs, so why this imbalance? Its very simple: when you look at India's group games in the 2015 World Cup, you see that their two games in NZ are at - you'll never guess, so I'll give you all a hint - NOT the South Island.

Of course there is every reason for NZCricket to cooperate with ALL other boards, and no reason at all to be obstructive. But are we going to get reciprocity? Or is the cabal really going to proceed with its plan to destroy NZ's cricket by condemning us to the second tier, which is NOWHERE AT ALL!

I would very much like to hear what NZCricket has to say about their proposal!!

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

As of now TEST CRICKET is being played just for the sake of creating and filling record books. The attendance in the stadiums will certify that. In this situation, the best thing to do is to have limited overs Test... say 100 overs per day for one innings; like that play four innings on four days and there we will have result and also interest in the game. In short, we should now have 20-20 (one day) 50-50 (one day) 100-100 (four days) Let us not just be conducting business in cricket; let us ensure that the interest in the game is maintained.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 9:50 GMT)

Welcome to the real world guys. isn't this more like NATO (big 3) taking over UN (ICC) kinda thing? let this be an eye opener for those who still think they are living in a fair world!

Posted by Kirstenfan on (January 19, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

As a South African, I am terrified about the consequences this will have for our cricket. Already SA has not played a series of more than 3 matches for 4 years now, and have had far too many 2 test series. The ECB, BCCI and CA should be ashamed, but I get the sense that this is being led by BCCI and ECB and CA are choosing to go along rather than finding a more collaborative approach. It seems like it is investable that test cricket as we know it, will cease to exist in the next 10 years, which will be the ultimate tragedy.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

Congrats for restricting the world cricket for mere a tri-nation cricket. Good luck with the tri-nation World Cup in the future

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

This is completely unfair. Include bangladesh as the 4th member in this cabal.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

Fans do care about the administration of cricket at all levels. This plan would be a total disaster for cricket. Money needs to be split more evenly between the 9 of the top 10, Zimbabwe needs to sort itself out. The FTP needs to be fairer and become mandatory. Test tours need to be a minimum of 3 Tests, the dates set in stone for at least 12 months prior, and properly marketed to generate ticket sales. This whole 'leaked' document may be a ruse to ensure the current status quo is kept!

Posted by Redbac on (January 19, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

The leaked plan for CA, BCCI and ECB to effectively gain a stranglehold on world cricket means that Australia, India and England can never be dropped from first-tier Test cricket. It creates a 'have/have-not' situation for world cricket. TV programming will favour the 'big three'. The top test nation currently, South Africa, does not even get a look-in.

Cricket people will bold vision are needed to restructure the game to accommodate all aspirants to top level five day cricket. Five-Test series are increasingly difficult to program and even harder for the guest country to acclimatise, given the absence of tour matches. An 8-team Div 1 of four-test series over a four year span might work, with planning and a reduction in meaningless ODIs.

All teams play each other at home and away and a Test Championship Final is played at Lords in early June. Div 2 teams could play three-test series over a similar time frame. A one team up, one team down promotion/relegation scheme should apply.

Posted by allthegoodnamesaretaken on (January 19, 2014, 1:14 GMT)

People should boycott a major game, like today's ODI between Australia and England to say the fans will not allow this proposal to go through.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 0:52 GMT)

munity of cricket worldwide.

As a cricket fan that has grown up celebrating the exciting diversity of the game, I strongly implore you to make a rare choice in this ever increasingly, market driven world: create a management path for cricket that celebrates and shares the profits and opportunities of the sport throughout all playing nations, not a model that serves yourselves and makes the most 'business sense'.

Business did not create cricket but it may well help to be the death of it's breadth and diversity if you enact this proposal.

As an Australian, I will gladly accept less gloss on my broadcasts, less merchandise and less of whatever expenditure you feel justifies this plan.

Yours sincerely,

Travis Marke

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 0:45 GMT)

Dear Cricket Australia, I am both shocked and horrified to read of your part in forming a 3 pronged oligarchy to rule cricket in the future.

The cricketing legacy you stand to inherit via this proposal, and the subsequently larger slice of the cricketing financial pie, is not yours to assume control over based merely on business and market share appraisals.

This legacy has been built upon the varied, colourful and most importantly, multi-cultural input of ALL cricket playing nations throughout the game's history.

Cricketing success oscillates and is never static, and the provision for this triad to avoid relegation based upon market share is nothing short of an insult to all other playing nations.

I understand the temptation to justify this decision based on your financial input and market share, but you must realise (or remember) that this decision, based upon the machinations of only the visible top of the cricketing iceberg, is built upon the grass roots com (cont. below).

Posted by Biggus on (January 19, 2014, 0:36 GMT)

As an Australian I'm ashamed at our board that they should contemplate such a thing. I will certainly make my feelings clear to them on this point. I want absolutely NO PART of this scheme to set up a star chamber to rule the sport. Such a course will bring us nothing but shame and ignominy and surely cannot be for the benefit of the game. I'm enormously angry about this, the latest in a long line of actions by our board that show they are completely out of touch with the feelings of the fans, a great many of whom are also active players. We fans can NOT let this happen, we MUST make the administrators aware just how much we oppose this antidemocratic move. Jam their Inboxes with messages of your discontent! Make these clowns rue the day they thought to steal OUR game! Yes that's right, it's OUR GAME, not theirs. Take banners to the game today! Make channel 9 discuss it. We Aussies can stop this and we owe it to the game to do so!

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 0:18 GMT)

If West Indies did make such an attempt when they totally dominate the game for 25 years then they wouldnt be in this predicament. These board are only looking out for their future so that what happen to the Windies can never happen to them. Instead of making the game more popular they are trying to lock themselves in cricket history. If this happen there is going to be many team breaking away from the ICC and forming their own organization, there are 106 member get them more involve so their audience can grew(the associate countries that is), enjoy supremacy while it last but don't try to hold on at everyone expense...how to solve this problem is to get rid of the current executives at the ICC which is straight cronyism hire people to run the board. Well many Indians would say WI, Pakistan Sri Lankan New Zealand cricket are so poor but i can say they were times when India England Austraila cricket were really poor but that's how players develop you have to play the best to be the best

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

I honestly feel a two tiered system (perhaps 6/7 teams per tier) where each country plays each other home and away in 3 tests 3 odi and 3 T20 over a 18 or 24 month cycle would be the ultimate; this means every game had context and allows the crowning of champions in each format and an overall champion while two tiers would reduce the mismatches and create incentive for relegation and promotion for teams in such circumstances.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Incredible article. Following the advice I wrote to all the boards; I hope all readers who agree with the content do so to; after all it's to save the great game and uphold the spirit of cricket.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

My msg to CA: I am writing in regards to a leaked proposal that has recently come to light involving the CA, ECB & BCCI gaining what essentially amounts to total control over the future of our beautiful game. It concerns me greatly. While money certainly talks, and cricket could not function without it, endangering the future of our game by handing complete control to those who happen to have the largest populations/bank balances can only be a bad decision in the long run. How is our game meant to grow if currently struggling or potential test teams are excluded from touring, purely down to the fact that they may not sell out the MCG on boxing day? How can we look at ourselves in the mirror if we are kept in test cricket's first division purely down to the amount of ticket stubs we sell, rather than our on field performance? As for the developing nations, With less money will come a decline in facilities and coaching, which will mean less interest and less development in the long run..

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Jarrod thank you for the article, but can I point out that at least from a New Zealand perspective the ICC's latest gin soaked decision is very good for Kiwiland. When the top three take over the game cricket will naturally die off in NZ, hence the money the Government pours into the game can be redistributed to other sports. Also it will free up all that time I spent watching the game at home and at various stadiums in NZ and Oz. I'm calling that a win win situation, should I drop a line to the NZ Rugby Union pointing out additional funding in their future I wonder?

So is it just me or have the ICC decided to be the summer equivalent of Rugby League, i.e. played in a few countries seriously and amateur as hell in a few others with the vast majority of the world uninterested?

Posted by ygkd on (January 18, 2014, 22:03 GMT)

What Australia, England and India in particular, and the world of cricket in general, needs are nationally and internationally organised groups for supporters and grass-roots players and administrators of the game. These would not be a flag-waving Barmy Army or Fanatics type group, but proper politico-sporting entities which would give the major stakeholders in the game (those that provide the sheer numbers that make the game a viable entity) a seat at the table with their respective boards. I believe that it does happen in some other major sports and that it would be in the best interests of the boards themselves in the long-run. Although such things could become unwieldy, if the disparate elements were not to be sufficiently melded together, the alternative is the one that we have now, where the loudest nationalistic fan opinions are the only ones usually heard. Kimber has once again demonstrated that other more considered opinions should have far greater traction instead.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 21:27 GMT)

simply they should stop

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

I've been watching cricket for at least 15 years. I'm from an associate country in South Asia and have been in the US for about 8 years. The craze for cricket is not as much here but I still follow it even though its a bit hard to and there are other sports that are popular here that I have started to follow. In light of recent events, I feel really bad and considering quitting Cricket altogether.

We all play games and we win some and lose some. It doesn't matter if we lose all the games we play as long as we know the game is fair. I don't see the point of watching or playing a game which is unfair to one team.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

I believe the author is confused. I am concerned that espn has lot an article so biased to be published. Except for these three countries, there are hardly spectators watching the game. If the big 3 wants to control the cash flow and strategy, it makes absolute sense..

Posted by igorolman on (January 18, 2014, 20:45 GMT)

25 characters? How about this:

Kimber for World Cricket President.

Posted by Sanj747 on (January 18, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

Jarrod spot on mate as always.

Posted by Rag-Aaron on (January 18, 2014, 20:40 GMT)

I just emailed NZC to ask them why Alan Isaac (a New Zealander) has his name on this leaked document when it so clearly disadvantages us. I also if they thought he would have to give his New Zealand Order of Merit back.

Posted by MrGarreth on (January 18, 2014, 20:11 GMT)

@PrasPunter i know that has been what was said but I don't for one minute buy that a world cup can lead to 2 ashes series being played in such a short period of time. It was purely capitalistic. And it would be an unreal coincidence for it to coincide with all this. Like someone said, this has been going on for a while now. This is really just signing it off and making it official.

Posted by v8v8v8 on (January 18, 2014, 20:11 GMT)

Finally, someone figured out how to beat the South African test team ;p.

Seriously, Test cricket is my favorite TV viewing - and SA's (Sri Lanka as well) lack of test cricket over the last two years has been frustrating. The lack of 5 test series of anyone other than the Big 3 has been glaringly obvious since the last FTP was published - and now it too is sidelined.

Grab your wallets people the ICC is coming...

C'mon...Do we want to watch two (at best) mediocre teams battling over the Ashes - In isolation, compelling viewing. Or would you rather watch champions playing champions (The 2 test 'series', SA vs Ind 2013/4)? - great viewing, anytime anywhere.

Posted by Simon.Says on (January 18, 2014, 20:02 GMT)

Well done man, you did it. Brilliant. Don't worry other boards are not going to be bullied, they will make their own governing body and these three bullies will play each other only and eventually get bored and beg other boards to send their teams to play against them. Things do not always work the way "people" think they will.

Posted by sapnil2000 on (January 18, 2014, 19:25 GMT)

i loved the article, also agree any team dont perform should be relegated but i like two test tier system

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

@jarrod Kimber Well written article.

Thanks for the links... Have written to the,.

Posted by wapuser on (January 18, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

I don't know if it's only me but I am feeling a rival International cricket association (ICA) going to be formed in future and approval of this draft would make it only sooner.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

As a part of the country where cricket is played most commonly and is a default choice for sport, I must humbly point out that we have a greater responsibility to safeguard the sport than the average viewer of the cricket world may fathom, (with respect to them). Though it may make financial sense to command a greater share of revenues as per the contribution made to the pool, but is not a part of the contribution made by the fan and in turn should he/she not have a wider range of options in terms of watching their country compete with more nations and demand a place purely on merit?Thus I implore you not to make the sport head in a direction where the glorious uncertainties are taken out? Let us not try and defend our team and let them taken for granted or else we seriously are hampering continuous improvement . And at the end of the day if we are good enough we are or else we are not, and let us not shy away from that. The rest of the world needs an example and this is the time

Posted by wapuser on (January 18, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

My sent message to ACB: "I had and have respect and liking for the Australian team and the brand of cricket they use to play. Despite being from Pakistan, I have been following Australian cricket and supporting them even at their very lowest which happened to be not long ago. This is the beauty of cricket. I have known about Australia more through cricket as compared to any other means. But this leaked draft from ICC has the potential to diffuse all my respect and support in no time. Cricket is cricket because of being a sport and not cricket. If someone wants to treat that as a business then they must realize that the fans makes it profitable. If cricket will start having lesser competition then fans like me despite of their own teams will stop watching. And there is no rocket science to understand that our next generation would be following games like soccer and else. So where do you see this business growing? "

Posted by dailycric on (January 18, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

Jarrod, forums like the ones you have pointed us to should not just be used to protest as individuals but to organize as collectives. For every one of us who writes in to save the game, there will be some jingoist nationalist who writes in celebrating the triumph of his nation's money power. Can we organize? Can we rally? Can we boycott? Can we make our voices heard, if not to the cabal, then to those with integrity who have a bully pulpit (many of them - Dravid, Manjrekar, Chappelli, Boycott, Crowe etc write on cricinfo after all). How? Please don't drop this issue. The stakes are too high.

Posted by Atul on (January 18, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

Great article, Jarrod. Great suggestion to write to the three boards. I have done that - as below -

Dear BCCI/CA/ECB, The recent news on the proposal to give the CA, ECB and BCCI control over the ICC has disappointed many a cricket fan.

Though the fan does not concern himself with how the ICC's revenues are handled, the least he/she expects is that the on the field, all teams are treated equally and all team get to play at home and away with each of the other teams.

The proposal to exclude India, Australia and England from relegation is nothing short of a blatant attempt to hijack the game.

Hope better sense prevails and the three boards do what is right.

Thanks and Regards, Atul Bhogle 'A Cricket fan'

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

wow jarrod that was a really informative article.. although i hail frm india, one of the big 3 im a fan of cricket and im too of the opinion tht all nations should get to play the top nations thus improving their financial as well as cricketing status.. i hope some miracle happens..

Posted by tick on (January 18, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

what more can be said after this amazing piece.Cricket is no where near in popularity out of 10 test playing nations and after this it will be popular in only 3 so called Bigs. comeon NZ and SAF thrash these indians and aussies to tell them it is all about sports and in cricket money doesn't make you BIG 3

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

It's a nice way to ensure that India never have travel abroad and lose.

Posted by gaindballa on (January 18, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

Jarrod Great article. However I have to say that regardless of wether this draft is passed or not the changes have already happened. They have been happening since 2010. One just has to look at the test calendar since then to realize which teams have been playing each other exclusively. I applaud yours and others like sharda Ugra's efforts to stay on top of this issue. Money isn't everything although there are people that will try to make you believe that it is.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

A three wrench salute to you Kimber! You are a man with a big heart. shame for IND-AUS-ENG triad. one day their own spectators will stop watching cricket.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

I have reported these proposals to the anti-corruption department of the ECB.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

If this was 20 years ago, India wouldn't have been invited to the top table. You'd think they could see the hypocrisy in shutting the others out. And what happens if there's an Indian-style economic boom in South Africa? Be careful who you kick on the way up, and all that.

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 18, 2014, 15:07 GMT)

@MrGarreth , the back-to-back Ashes happened only because of the next summer clashing with the World Cup and has got nothing to do with these stuff. Can't comment on bcci's actions though. They live in their own world !!

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 18, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

Absolutely pathetic , if this new arrangement comes to force. Don't care about bcci and ECB but wondering why and how CA is involved with this. Yet another move by the bcci to take control on something that it already has most of the control. And india will never lose after this !!

Posted by mensan on (January 18, 2014, 15:03 GMT)

Seems like colonial days of 17th or 18th century are back. Cricket will die. Who will watch India plundered by England and Australia 8-0 every year. And Australia wahitewashing England in Ashes every 6 months.

Posted by eddsnake on (January 18, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

Brilliant article Jarrod, as an England fan who is absolutely appalled by these proposals I have e-mailed Giles Clarke. Now for Cricinfo to run Editorials, opinion pieces and a poll on their front page, and for someone to set up a website campaigning against this. Surely 99% of cricket fans, writers and cricketers can see that this will be a disaster for the world game and Test cricket in particular?!

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:38 GMT)

Thanks Jarrod - brilliant article. Have emailed the ECB now - wish I could genuienly believe it will make a difference, but had to try!

Posted by MrGarreth on (January 18, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

Unbelievable piece Jarrod. You are truly a writer for the people. Although I will cynically admit that I can't say I didn't see this coming. Ten Ashes tests in less than 12 months, India picking and choosing when and where they want to play and, even more disturbingly, under what conditions they want to play. I never thought I'd say this but football is currently less corrupt and shoddily run than cricket. As a Proteas supporter I am even more shaken by all of this. I was looking forward to seeing the greatest era in test cricket this country has ever seen (We are fast approaching Australia's record of unbeaten series). But now, much like in that period between the 70s and 90s, we will be shoved aside and have to settle for much less. I can't believe that the game I so cherish that was an integral part of who I am has crumbled into such a filthy mess that, I'm almost ashamed to say, raised me. Cricket deserves better. Heck, society deserves better.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

Bangladesh haven't played Australia in Australia since 2003

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:14 GMT)

Who says slavery is history now. There still are people with minds of Lords and they want to rule the gentleman's game like kings! The question now arises is who is gonna challenge them and resist this shameful act!!

Posted by Ghost-117-16 on (January 18, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Perfect show of the ECB/CA selling their souls, and the BCCI which has none to begin with

Posted by wapuser on (January 18, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

They are already controlling cricket just law is unwritten so far

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

im a proud Indian and after reading this i feel like i have been slapped on my face. this kind of an arrangement is a huge insult to the ICC and other counties and embarrassing and shameful for neutral Indians or Australians, people like me who genuinely enjoy good cricket. it reminds me of the nation state concept south africa tried to preach during apartheid! i strongly want other countries to show some spine and boycott these three counties and make their own cricket board, world cup and other world level tournaments for the development and spread of the game. really boycott us.. let India Australia and England play among themselves and themselves only! i feel sorry for Ireland Afghanistan and even Kenya who could be so much more... i apologise on my countrymen's behalf to other cricket lovers across the world. .. - apologies from India

Posted by IainWadey on (January 18, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

Dear Mr Clarke, Please do not kill Test Cricket. I grew up watching Test cricket on free-to-air tv in the 90's. I buy tickets to Test Matches in England(which are very expensive). I watch Test cricket on Sky TV. In other words I am the 'demand' upon which your income models are based upon (at least for ECB income). If you centralise power at the ICC you will kill world cricket. If all is left is series vs Australia and India I will no longer consume cricket. I will no longer promote cricket and convert my friends who think its boring (in ALL of its forms). I will no longer discuss cricket at work. I will no longer take a group of friends to a day at the cricket for their first experience (as I am at Headingly this summer). If you centralise power in this way you will regret it on your death bed (assuming you love cricket and aren't in it for money, power etc.). Do not think you are powerless to the BCCI (or the 80% of revenues they generate).

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

What a tragedy ! this is evil, manipulative and downright despicable. As an indian I wish somehow the BCCI could be taken away from the hands of politicians and businessmen who run it. Alas it won't happen. I felt strongly in the past about the BCCI standing up to the original two bullies with the veto power (Eng-Oz) but now see that all that has changed is that the original two have a new hefty friend ! They are slicing cricket like a cake and distributing it amongst themselves .... somebody stop them

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

Wow that was amazing

Posted by harmske on (January 18, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Awesome article Jarrod. Will definitely be contacting the boards.

I also found it shocking to hear that Giles Clarke regularly tells young cricket writers not to write about cricket administration.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

It would be a sad day for cricket if these proposal approved.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

Excellent document. Liked and recommended I think it explains all about it. We'll done

Posted by milepost on (January 18, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

Well done Jarrod, an important piece of writing. I will be getting in touch with CA right away.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Jarrod, you love the game of cricket and you care about it. Well done!

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (January 18, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

Great article Kimber. I will follow your suggestion.

The fact that the BCCI registered their site in Tuvalu says everything you need to know about the people behind this.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

sent emails to all three individual boards.. this is so big and significant for everyone in cricket that everyone should be involved. it may be more effective to set up a website where fans may sign to ask already prepared draft which is then automatically emailed to all the three boards and more importantly this website could show the numbers of people against this proposal and this the strength of the sentiment. Thanks a million to Sharda Ugra for highlighting this and Jarrod for summarising the consequences of the proposal for all of us ie the common cricket fan

Posted by ZkAneela on (January 18, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

Great and bold article..ICC must think first if they are doing this..

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (January 18, 2014, 13:16 GMT)

I have an innate distrust and dislike of cabals and exclusive clubs - they inevitably run things for their own benefit and convenience to the detriment of everyone else.

Cricket needs to be inclusive to survive. Sri Lanka's rise to Test status is one of the greatest achievements in cricket over the past 50 years and cricket needs to find ways of promoting more of this rather than creating little clubs that block such success.

So how best to achieve this whilst retaining the other lifeblood of cricket: marquee series (Ind v Pak, Ashes etc) and having the top teams at any point in time playing one another? Some good will towards the future of cricket, a truly independent commission that is listened to, and a little less greed and selfishness would be a start.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

Fact of the matter is I can e-mail them as much as I want, but as 1 South African who doesn't give them money, they'll ignore me and do what they want anyway. Someone with financial pull needs to put them in their place, that's the only way this nonsense will stop.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

@josh cooper: agreed mate. cric info can do a poll or some sort of petition for every 1 to sign it or vote.

Posted by KhalilSawant on (January 18, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

How come it is the big 3 and not the big 4 ? How come SAF has managed to keep itself out of it ?

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (January 18, 2014, 12:57 GMT)

Today I realise Jarrod Kimber is not just a clown who makes money watching cricket. More a person who watches cricket and understands what it's about. Well said !

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Giles Clarke, N Srinivasan and Wally Edwards should shoot porn together

Posted by CBoo on (January 18, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I grew up watching cricket in SA in the 80's, when there was no international cricket apart from the odd rebel tour, and this is eventually what the situation will be like again, for both the cabal and the others, if it is allowed. Watching the same teams play each other over and over again really does get pretty tiresome - who isn't tired of seeing the ashes already apart from the Aussies who seem to enjoy giving a good whipping more than anyone. That the 3 will not be able to be relegated (not that i could ever see that happening anyway) and that they will take the lion's share of cricketing revenue will only ensure that there will be three top tier teams in the future. Considering that South Africa (the current best test team) and the West Indies (the best team ever with the greatest number of modern day cricketing giants) are to be excluded is disgraceful and will ensure the death of cricket in those countries along with New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Posted by ThinkingCricket on (January 18, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

A number of observations:

1) The proposals to exempt some countries from the rules are ludicrous and I am sure those will never pass, not least because that will infuriate even fans from those countries. Relegation where some teams can't be relegated won't be tolerated by anyone.

2) Cricket is one of the few sports where international sport is the pinnacle. As far as the standard of the sport is concerned I am not sure that a switch to franchise models would decrease playing standards. I am not sure that it would, all evidence suggests big money and free markets improves sporting standards across sports.

3) I'm sitting on the fence because I frankly prefer short-form cricket, think it has more strategy, tougher execution and more difficult decisions. If you are a "Test is best" guy, this is obviously bad, but if you truly love T-20 and ODI's like I do, I'm not convinced this is so bad.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

I'll be damned by now

Posted by globalcricketfan on (January 18, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

Thanks your support tocricket Kimber.We all with you.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

brilliant article. covered everything so well. and it is also nice to see that most people no matter which country they belong to are criticizing this ftp and big 3 issue.

there is already huge gap between cricket being played by top and other teams. finances also a issue. top are playing again and again with each other and small boards and teams arent playing that much.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

Jarrod -

Very good article, and I'm sure there are many who agree. But rather than everyone writing something separate, can we organise some sort of petition or letter en masse? I guarantee you'll get far more people to sign it. Cricinfo is in a great position to do this.

Posted by ab_cricket on (January 18, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

Great one Jarrod, am already writing to BCCI!

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 18, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

great idea Jarrod and we should be using sites like this and also other electronic systems..Personally i have to say to the ICC that this is a really stupid idea based on greed rather than the betterment of cricket. I hope that they see sense and abandon this silly idea. Glad to see that fans from all over the world, including from India,Australia and England agree also...

Posted by dcglynn on (January 18, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

Great article. Yes, this is a shameful proposal - still likely to go ahead though given the grip the big 3 boards have on cricket.

Posted by Stuart_Watson on (January 18, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

Thanks for a timely call to arms, Jarrod. I have written to Giles Clarke to urge him to abandon these proposals. I hope many others will do so too.

Posted by nav84 on (January 18, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

Just get CSA in this and I am good with cricket. Rest can keep playing whatever they call cricket in UAE or Colombo or wherever.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 18, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

I agree with most points of the article. Lets be honest and realistic, Cricket in future will become ruined or who knows extinct if such crazy proposals of the way the game is run happens. Cricket is the only sport which looks to me has no plans looking after the interest of the game itself especially in terms of development and no wonder most countries on the planet are not to keen in Cricket because they know its a waste of time in order for the game to truly thrive in their respective nations with the way it has been run. It would be best for the good of the game and fans if we had the people who love Cricket in charge of the game rather than you know whom...

Posted by mqry on (January 18, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

BCCI isnt even professionally run.. It doesnt even have an email id with its own domain name

Posted by mqry on (January 18, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

BCCI isnt even professionally run.. It doesnt even have an email id with its own domain name

Posted by tickcric on (January 18, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

Whoever leaked this document deserves a big thank you. Because of that person (s) we can at least raise our voice against this blatant discrimination against 7 full member nations and the rest of the cricketing world. We thank you, whistleblower.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (January 18, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

All fans who really care for International cricket and Tests must respond to this grave situation in whatever way they can. It is a game worth preserving.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

I'm actually going to follow your suggestion Kimbo. I wonder if it will make the blindest bit of difference to anything??...

Posted by jimmypicks on (January 18, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

Great article Jarrod - a new low point in the history of cricket administration.

Posted by jimmypicks on (January 18, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

Great article Jarrod - a new low point in the history of cricket administration.

Posted by ygkd on (January 18, 2014, 9:50 GMT)

As an Australian, I too am unhappy about this. I want Australia to be a respected citizen of the cricketing world. I don't think that this move will win too many friends in low places, like the Netherlands, in the long run, however much it might appeal to some at first! Short-term thinking is often best thought about for a second and then ditched. In a country where drainage rules, there are probably plenty of spare Dutch ditches into which this proposal could be dumped! Please give the associates a proper go instead.

Posted by British_North_America on (January 18, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

If we stop playing cricket, will cricket remain the same.By beating whom, Indians will be proud of themselves.Now, they have got something to be proud of.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

This was masterfully written and hits all the notes needed. Well Done.

Posted by Pippy_the_dog on (January 18, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

Great piece! Its time for all true cricket lovers to stand up and be counted! The administrators have been showing utter disdain for cricket followers for years. We have to show those in charge that we aren't going to just sit back and except this.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

Great article/rallying cry. Count me in.

Posted by jimmypicks on (January 18, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

Great article Jarrod - and I've emailed all three boards. Cricket administration has a sordid history but this is a new low. These proposals cut the head from the body of international cricket. One of the great beauties of the game is the variety of the competing teams and the different playing conditions in different countries. Endless Ashes series or Indian tours are enough to sicken the sweetest tooth. And the game is hardly impoverished - there's more money in the game now than at any point in its history. So administrators can afford to accomodate the idea of 'principle' as well as the dollar. These proposals are chilling.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

We need to look ourselves in a mirror to know how we really appear to others. In essence, as I see the proposals, are based on the same principles cricket administration is run today. 1) The trio proposes the they will have veto rights to everything. Now, the Associates hardly have any voting rights. 2) The revenue will be distributed unequally and will favor the trio. Today, 75% of ICC revenue is taken away by 10 Test Nations where the rest is given to the Associates. 3) The trio will never be relegated. Today, there's no way a Test nation can lose its status and due to #2, no new nation is awarded with one. In 2003 World Cup a Test nation lost all matches and an Associate went to the Semis. But none were relegated, none were promoted. Why are we suddenly so fussy about it? If we need to fix the system, we need to take Associates into account. The Woolf Report came to solve that issue but was too "optimistic" one. We need to save cricket from profit-mongers at any cost.

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