ICC shamed into rethink

As a straight living guy who can sleep easy at night, I’m thankful to be able to say that I have no knowledge of what drives the politics and make up of ICC, so I am not sure what the significance is of the president, Sharad Pawar asking the board to reconsider it’s original decision to boot the associate and affiliate nations out of the 2015 world cup for money, sorry, I mean the good of cricket.

Two comments I have read and heard in the aftermath of the announcement today pretty much sum up the ICC and it’s decision making process and the lack of regard it is held in.

“The sporting world we live in now is driven by greed, money, and television holds the key to everything and no doubt that was the basis for a lot of their decisions.” Irish spinner Andrew White.

“I would like to think that the decision has been revisited as a result of a reflection on their duty to the sport as a whole but I suspect the reaction and the condemnation has had something to do with it.” Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland chief executive.

I believe both to be correct, there isn’t much doubt now that this was a purely financial decision, as White basically says.

While Deutrom believes that ICC are only looking into the decision because of all the fuss kicked up, rather than their duty to the good of the game – I couldn’t agree more.

More Criticism of ICC

Malcolm Speed and Michael Vaughan have now added their voices to the growing list criticisng FIFA, sorry I mean ICC, for their decision to gerrymander the qualifying rules for the 2015 world cup.

Sorry to bang on about this, but I do have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this one.

There seems to be two schools of thought in the criticism of ICC. One is the ‘it is out of order on Ireland’ line, the other is that it is just ‘a bad decision for cricket in general,’ as it isn’t going to help promote the growth of cricket on a world level.

Vaughan seems to be in the Ireland camp, Speed the cricket in general camp.

Malcolm Speed said it was an “insular and backward looking” decision and that it is in keeping with the way things where going towards the end of his tenure.

Cynics – and I may be one of them – may say that it is convenient for Speed to get himself back in the public eye as he is currently releasing his memoirs.

Where both Vaughan and Speed agree (and me, for what it’s worth) is that the ten world cup spaces should be made up of the top 8 ranked countries, with two qualifiers from the remaining test sides and associate nations.

I’m also pleased to see Cricket Ireland’s justified tantrum throwing continue with another attack on ICC, with Cricket Ireland claiming that ICC are “unfit for purpose or governance”.

I’m not sure it will do them any good in the long run, but it is funny seeing someone pan ICC in this manner, keep up the good work lads.

Warren Deutrom hits back at ICC

I was delighted to hear Cricket Ireland, chief executive, Warren Deutrom, on the radio today confirming that he intends to fight ICC over their ridiculous decision to exclude Ireland from the 2015 world cup.

As more information seeps out about this, it seems more and more like it is a purely financial decision by ICC, or BCCI – whoever runs cricket these days.

The stories now seem to point to 2015 being a 10 team ’round robin’ format with no ‘meaningless games’ involving non test playing nations who would apparently weaken the tournament – or weaken the TV deal as it is otherwise known to the cynics.

Unlike Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, who clearly wouldn’t weaken the tournament in the eyes of ICC.

Contradictions? Yes, in my opinion.

This is starting to look like a FIFA style carve up, the sort of scratching of backs we are used to seeing from Sepp Blatter and co.

The Daily Telegraph are claiming that Ireland are considering legal action, Deutrom didn’t say that in the interview that I heard, but he did say he was going to explore all avenues and fight the decsion.

For what it’s worth, I certainly back Warren Deutrom and Ireland in their campaign to get this decision reversed. I’m glad they are fighting it and I wish them every success.

I don’t though hold out much hope for them. If this is a decision by BCCI, which is an accusation already made in a roundabout way, then what chance do ‘little old Ireland’ have?

Not much.

Closed Shop ICC a Disgrace

I have to say that some things that happen in the world of sport disappoint me, but don’t surprise me.

Today that was all surpassed by ICC’s decision to kick the Associate Nations out of the 2015 (50 Over) World Cup.

It disappointed me and is that bad a decision it even surprised me. I know full well that ICC are capable of blundering, I’m not naive, but even by their standards this is something else.

I accept that decisions are taken in which – we the public – aren’t privy to the reasons why. To the average guy in the street, it makes no sense, but behind the scenes there are good reasons why a particular conclusion is come too.

But on what level can there be a logical reason for this decision?

I have read reports that it is down to playing only competitive matches in the next world cup, to stop the farcical one sided affairs that Kenya and Canada were involved in, as a new TV deal is up for negotiation after the 2015 tournament and ICC want to be in a position of strength going into negotiations.

Surely games involving Ireland and Holland aren’t that damaging to the TV contract? Or to put it another way, are they any worse than games involving Zimbabwe or Bangladesh?

Anyway, at what stage of the last competition did Ireland embarrass themselves any more than West Indies, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh did? Or even England for that matter.

I can also understand that the tournament is too long and too many meaningless matches were played. Yes, I agree with all that, I agree changes had to be made, but this is going way too far.

Maybe just cutting it to 12 teams would have been much fairer, with the top 10 ranked ODI teams and 2 qualifiers taking part.

It is also outrageous that only the 10 full members will be the teams taking part. This is an ODI tournament, not a test match one.

If it is to be 10 teams, then it should be the best 10 ODI teams – made up of either the top 10 ranked, or the top 8 ranked with 2 qualifiers.

On every level I can think off, this decision stinks.