ICC

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?”

 

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If I were N Srinivasan

“Hmm….go on…”

These days, the most hated person in the cricket world is not a non-performing cricketer or a bumbling umpire; that privilege goes to a soft spoken, bespectacled business man from Chennai. Narayanaswami Srinivasan, or N Srinivasan (or, Srini mama as “affectionately” known throughout the social networks) is the current BCCI chief, which in turn makes him the overlord of all international cricket bodies (allegedly). It takes a special kind of talent (sorry, Rohit) to be universally disdained by anyone related to cricket. Indian fans hate him for reasons pertaining to IPL, DRS and an autocratic approach to governing the Board. Non-Indian fans hate him for reasons pertaining to IPL, DRS and an autocratic approach which influences the governing of other national cricket boards. It is nice to know that in a cricket world divided by misplaced nationalistic fervor, we can all agree that the BCCI chief is a tool. And that Jade Dernbach’s tattoos make Mitchell Johnson’s look like a work of Picasso. Don’t even get me started on that.

“Cool story, bro….now get to your point!”

Anyway, I was thinking about it and it led me to wonder what I would do if I was the BCCI chief. If Twitter and Facebook is to be believed (and when are they ever wrong?), Srinivasan has unlimited powers through which he can fix IPL games in a way that the Chennai Super Kings make it to the final every year, bully other boards into selecting/dropping certain players, ensure that Dhoni remains the unquestioned ‘Super King’ of Indian cricket and fit in enough time to destroy the game of cricket as we know and love. If all that is there to it, I think Srini mama is selling himself short. Here is what I would do if I was the former Honorary Sheriff of Madras (see, you learnt something new today!):

  • First step – through brow beating, arm twisting and using Navjot Sidhu to make prank calls every day to each board chief, grab control of the ICC presidency (officially). Welcome to the era of Srini.

“Change you BETTER believe in”

  • Make MS Dhoni the Vice President. Well of course.

“Together we shall rule the world!”

  • Make some changes to the ICC constitution (if they have one!) and give myself unlimited powers to affect the internal functioning of all member boards. All with their “permission” of course.
  • Let’s turn to the Black Caps. Who is this Hesson fellow? Remove him and appoint Stephen Fleming as coach. Also, ask “Where the heck is Daniel Vettori?” More importantly, arrange for two series every year between India and New Zealand. There is bound to be some morale boosting wins. For one of them.
  • Australia. This John Inverarity makes Srikkanth look like a genius. Sack him and appoint Warne as chief selector. Give Elizabeth Hurley a role – perhaps fashion consultant? Most importantly, make sure to “rest” Michael Clarke from series against India.

“For Mitchell Johnson, I’m thinking….plastic surgery would be a good choice”

  • Next, Sri Lanka. They have already done their part by selecting a politician as their chief selector. What could go wrong? Go one step further, and ask the Lankan president to be the honorary coach of the team. Also, offer the post of fielding coach to the Sports minister. That is one way of bringing the Lankan fielding to Indian standards.
  • Moving on to South Africa. I love Dale Steyn. He is the future of fast bowling. Heck, he is the future of bowling. A legend of his quality needs to be preserved well. It is important to balance his workload and he should get rest from time to time. Ensure that his rest coincides with India’s tour to South Africa. Also, appoint Faf du Plessis as captain in all formats.

“psst…want to join the Super Kings?”

  • England has troubled us for too long. Time to bring them down a notch. Make Kevin Pietersen the captain again. Remove Andy Flower and bring back Peter Moores as coach and appoint Nick Knight as assistant coach. Make sure that Bopara and Dernbach get to play in every game. Also, give Alastair Cook mandatory rest during series against India and grant Indian citizenship to Monty Panesar.
  • Allow Pakistani players to feature in the IPL. Sign up Junaid Khan, Hafeez and Ajmal for the Super Kings. Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal will go to the team that annoys me the most. Shah Rukh, I’m looking at you.

“Ok…these impromptu dance performances SRK keeps asking us to do, is too much now!”

  • There are no entertainers like the West Indies cricket team. Allow them to feature as the 10th team in the IPL.
  • MS Dhoni will not only be captain, but will also be the chief selector of the Indian team. Say hello to RP Singh again! Make India Cements the official team sponsor. Grant Suresh Raina the “honorary” number 6 spot in Tests and assign R Ashwin as the “honorary” first choice spinner in all formats; no to forget, the official spokesperson of the team after every defeat. Also, replace Fletcher with John Wright.

An overjoyed Fletcher, on hearing the news

  • For my dear CSK, appoint Mike Hussey as the coach and ensure that they get to play all their games on slow tracks, be it home or away. Make a special allowance for the team, so that they get to play 6 foreign players in the XI. Rule of thumb: Chennai Super Kings shall always win the IPL.
  • Remove the DRS and institute “SRS” – any time a player wants a decision reviewed, the umpire shall call a special number through which the calls are routed to my private phone and I get to take the final decision depending on my careful analysis as to how the dismissal would affect Indian cricket. Even if the game does not feature India.

“but, Sir…we can only give one batsman out at a time!”

  • Appoint personnel to follow Twitter and Facebook for any unfavorable mentions of me; any culprits found besmirching my name will be spammed to eternal banishment from the World Wide Web.
  • After I’m done enjoying the fruits of my “labor” for a few years, I will go on Oprah’s talk show to confess that I had taken all the previously mentioned actions under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs (I foresee a drop in sales of my “What Would Srini Do” wrist bracelets). I will leave the public eye gracefully; but in one final act of defiance, I will ensure that Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar become the new ICC and BCCI chiefs respectively!

“You get a Shastri…you get a Sunny G….everybody gets a one-eyed BCCI puppet free!”

PS: Mr Srinivasan, if you’re reading this by any chance……I kid, I kid! I’m a big fan, sir. Please don’t banish me from the World Wide Web!  

“I’m watching you…”

Dravid for President (ICC)

Class. Insight. Humor. Vision. Solutions.

One of the more eloquent players in international cricket today, Rahul Dravid delivered a masterclass at the Bradman Oration in Canberra, as he has done so many times with the bat for India. Following on the heels of an equally impressive speech by Kumar Sangakarra at Lord’s earlier this year, Dravid addressed all the key concerns facing the game today, and more importantly laid out solutions for them. Is it too much to expect him to rise to the top annals of ICC, after his retirement?

Full text of the speech and audio of the Bradman Oration

Analysis by CricInfo

ICC bows to public pressure…..now, thats change!

Well, well….I didn’t see that coming. The ICC have decided to re-assess their decision to remove the Associates from the next World Cup. It could all end up to be an eye-wash with no major changes to the original decision; but the very fact, that the ICC could be shaken out of its perpetual slumber due to popular opinion is a lovely thought.

Here’s to hoping that they choose any of the options listed in this article.