Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

Cricket ‘champions’ for beating 1 team?

August 24, 2008

Pakistan may find themselves playing just India over the ODI knock-out Champions Trophy, if other teams follow the lead of South Africa. The Africans have just announced they will not play in Pakistan, where the tournament was due to be hosted.

With International Cricket Council ceo Haroon Lorgat declaring it too late to swap venues, there is a real prospect of the Trophy descending beneath the level of farce the ICC managed when they finished last year’s World Cup in near-darkness.

Hopefully Pakistan will unbend their stiff backs and shift the venue to Sharjah, where successful tournaments have been held, and which offers the cheapest airfares for Pakistani’s to see the games. A large quota of seats for Pakistani fans would create the advantages of home matches as much as possible, and the bulk of the revenues could still go the Pakistan Cricket Board.

NZ Cricket should show some balls and also boycott the tournament unless shifted to a safe venue. NZ teams have twice (in Sri Lanka) and once (in Pakistan) been close to bomb attacks. Wouldn’t a venue shift be better than having a (good) possibility of cricketers limbs being blown off?

Update: The ICC have announced the Champions Trophy will be postponed – good! Better still, work to have an alternative venue ready in case – as is likely – Pakistan is still unsafe next year.

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Making a monkey of the game

January 11, 2008

I’ve finally got over my shock (though not surprise) to comment on the drama in the Australia-India test series being played out over the ditch. To recap events from the 2nd test:

  1. Oz win test 2 using dubious umpiring decisions, claiming dubious catches, and generally pysching the Indians out, not least by charging Harbhajan Singh with racism for allegedly calling Andrew Symonds a ‘monkey’.
  2. BCCI (Indian cricket board) spit the dummy, suspend the tour, demand removal of West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor and that an appeal against Singh’s 3 match ban must find him innocent.
  3. ICC (international cricket board) boss Malcolm Speed drops Bucknor from the Perth test, appoints an appeal judge (literally – a Kiwi high court judge) and generally prostrates himself before the dollar signs. Then claims new-found courage … see how long that lasts!

To this punter, the ICC board must fire CEO Malcolm Speed immediately, censure the BCCI, and run a proper appeal for Singh. The BCCI have brought the game into disrepute (as has Ponting and team with their antics) by trying to blackmail an appeal outcome, and engineer the removal of a neutral umpire.

Far worse though, is the gutless, craven cowardly actions of Speed in giving in to the BCCI bullying. He has actually broken his own organisation’s rules (which prohibit countries demanding removal of neutral umpires), and exposed the ICC to legal action by Bucknor (similar to that of axed umpire Darryl Hair).

None of this is to say Bucknor (or Hair) should not have been axed – just that the ICC should have rapidly followed their employment agreement with the umpires to do a performance review, and sack if they failed to be up to scratch.

As for Ponting – don’t sack him, but Cricket Australia should make it clear to them they don’t want a repeat of silly and crude efforts to pressure opponents, and they expect a higher standard of honesty in claiming catches!

If the BCCI don’t like it, cancel the tour. They cannot be allowed to hold sway over all other cricket countries, even if the Oz team behave badly. 

A humorous montage and quotes are at Tumeke, while Cactus Kate offers an insight after the last NZ-Oz ODI:

The good news is that we avoided the follow on. The bad news is that it was a one day match.

But the best article about the whole messsy business is this Indian correspondent’s view. Suresh Menon correctly highlights the danger Speed has put the ICC in; cricket may truly suffer if this is not sorted carefully.