What you need to know about the Position Paper

“I did say that the ‘Brown Ultimatum’ would have been a better idea…”

What better way to break a self-imposed blogging exile than to write about something that I have no idea about? The ‘Position Paper’, a leaked ICC draft about proposed changes to the structure and governance of the game internationally has sent the cricket world into a tizzy over the last few days. Journalists, administrators and even players have had their say on the issue, which has been roundly criticized as a naked power grab by the BCCI, with its two sidekicks in CA and ECB along for the ride. These were my first thoughts when the story broke out…

1. What kind of name is ‘Position Paper’ for a draft?

2. How did the Big Three think they could even get away with this?

3. Even by BCCI’s standards, this is preposterously ballsy. It’s as if Srini and co are seeing how far they can go…

Ultimately, we should have seen this coming. Most administrators, if not all, look after their own interests; and that is precisely what these three cricket boards are doing. Now, I am not particularly nuanced with details of finances and administration matters pertaining to the ICC and thus I am not going to attempt to explain this latest outrage; what I do care about is how this will affect me as a cricket fan. Will I still be able to follow high quality cricket between different teams? Will I still be able to follow my favorite cricketer in action in Tests? Will this finally put an end to the overkill of India vs Sri Lanka ODIs?

The following is a selection of my favorite articles on the ‘Position Paper’. These helped me to get a clearer picture of what international cricket is going to face in the coming months; and these are all that you need to read on the whole matter.

You’re welcome.

  1. My all time favorite cricket writer Jarrod Kimber in, “Tell the administrators you’re watching them
  2. Harsha Bhogle on how the “Decision to run cricket according to commercial interests will cause inequity”
  3. Russell Degnan on “Cashing out the future of cricket”
  4. “And then there were three” by Sharda Ugra
  5. Devanshu Mehta’s “The End Game”
  6. Kartikeya Date asks “What is the ECB, CA and BCCI’s Game?”


Lessons from Adelaide

  • Shane Watson doesn’t like to score centuries. He is satisfied with 50s.
  • Simon Katich might have just played his last Test innings, and the innings itself was typical of the man: stubborn and workman-like.
  • The last time, Ponting struggled so much to score runs in a series, was way back in 2001 against India. That didn’t end well.
  • The last time Clarke got out in the last over of the 4th day in an Ashes match, was back in Edgbaston 2005. In both matches, Australia lost. Just shows how crucial, Clarke’s role is going to be in the coming years; especially in the absence of battle hardened veterans like Ponting and Hussey.
  • Michael Hussey continues to be the man in form for Australia. It is hard to imagine, how they would have fared if they had dropped him before the Gabba test.
  • If North is retained for the next test, Australia deserve to lose the Ashes. If the likes of Johnson, Hauritz and Hilfenhaus can be dropped after unconvincing performances, I wonder, based on what criteria, is North still surviving?
  • Haddin put up a decent performance in front of the stumps, but his work behind it, still needs improvement.
  • Harris would not like to remember this match for his batting, or for the lack of it; but he was the best bowler in England’s only innings. That is not saying much about the Aussie bowling.
  • Doherty was picked purely in the hope, that Pietersen would gift his wicket to him, considering the fact that he is a left arm spinner; but now that he helped KP regain his form, and put up a terrible performance in the field, it is hard to imagine, that he will play the next test; given the whimsical state of the selections so far, that cannot be ruled out either.
  • Siddle has come back to earth with a thud, after THAT hat-trick. He is still searching for a wicket, since he got the scalp of Broad on Day 1 of the Gabba test.
  • Much was expected of Bollinger, after many felt that he had been unfairly dropped at the Gabba. Once selected for the 2nd test, though, he proceeded to demonstrate, how much worse  Johnson could have bowled.
  • Strauss played all of three balls in the match, and then sat back to enjoy a masterclass from the rest of the batting line-up.
  • Once the least threatening batsman in the line-up, Cook has firmly established himself as the prize scalp. If Australia don’t get a measure of him soon, he might end up breaking Bradman’s record for most runs in an Ashes series.
  • Trott is turning out to be the rock of England’s batting. He brings a sense of calm and stability to the batting order, and looks in great touch. Also, his run-out of Katich in the first over, well and truly set the cat among the pigeons.
  • The ego has returned to the building. KP is back with a bang, after a typically belligerent innings. As much as his return to form will please the English fans, the intact penchant to keep going, even after reaching a ton, will be more pleasing.
  • Collingwood has not been required too much so far, but his presence in the field, cannot be understated.
  • When Bell is scoring so consistently at each opportunity that presents itself, you know all is well with the England team.
  • Prior went un-noticed throughout the match; just the way a keeper likes it.
  • Broad’s series has come to an end; his contribution being two wickets in two matches and being the third victim of Siddle’s hat-trick at the Gabba; I’m sure that it will hurt him not to be part of an historic Ashes triumph, after his performances over the last year.
  • Swann has come to the party, and showed why he is considered to be the best spinner in international cricket right now. After a rough test at the Gabba, the  team joker learned quickly, and going by his performance in the recent test, will prove to be a thorn in the flesh of the Aussie batsmen for the rest of the summer.
  • KP might have walked away with the MoM, but no player made an impact on the match in the manner Jimmy Anderson did. Bowling with pace, swing and an aggression, which is at odds with the persona in Swann’s video diaries, Anderson was responsible for putting Australia under pressure immediately after they won the toss and chose to bat. Once and for all, he has put to rest, all the talk over his indifferent performances in the last tour. He has also risen to the 3rd position in the rankings, just behind Steyn and Swann.
  • Finn continued to enhance his knack of taking wickets of crucial batsmen at crucial junctures. In the absence of Broad for the rest of the series, his performaces will become more important in the coming weeks.
  • It is hard to see Australia coming back in this series, considering the shambles, in which the batting, bowling and fielding is in; but then again, this is Australia we’re talking about. It isn’t over till its over.
  • England have prepared meticulously for this series, for a long time now, and the rewards are paying off. Despite Broad’s absence for the rest of the series, they have the players to fill the vacancy, and march forward to one of their most important Ashes victories in recent memory.