Now I’m cross

The ICC are a bunch of craven, short-sighted idiots. Which goes without saying, really, but once again they have thrown that fact into sharp relief. Yesterday they decided that the DRS would not be mandatory. This after making a bizarre half-DRS mandatory last summer. This despite that the single biggest problem with the DRS is not it’s accuracy (which is not perfect, but is quite high and higher than that of the on field umpires) but the inconsistency of it’s application. The ICC have responded to this problem by making it worse. It also begs the question of why, when all the major boards except India support the DRS, does the DRS fail a simple vote by the boards? The amount of short term, selfish thinking on display is staggering.

That happened yesterday. Today they decided to postpone the test championship until 2017. The rationale is that they promised ESPN Star Sports (in India) a Champions Trophy in 2013 and couldn’t back out of that. Which I understand and is certainly true. This isn’t entirely their fault, even. The fact that ESPN insist on a one-day tournament is infuriating, but unsurprising. There’s no guarantee that India would even qualify for the test championship, and it would not be as popular in any case. One cannot expect a corporation to act against it’s own interests. But the ICC should have seen this coming. By signing a deal with ESPN Star Sports they must have known that they would be putting themselves under the control of an organisation that does not have the best interests of cricket at heart. By allowing ESPN to dictate terms the ICC guaranteed they would be preferentially staging ODI tournaments. They must not let this continue. When the rights come up for negotiation again they must give themselves some flexibility. Unfortunately the odds of this happening are lower than the odds of a whelk surviving a supernova.

This does not fully explain the ICC’s decision, however. The fact that they must stage a Champions Trophy does not mean that they could not stage a test championship. It would give them four major tournaments (test championship, 50 over World Cup, T20 WC, and Champions Trophy). It’s more than are needed but all four could still be staged with one every four years. Except the ICC decided to make the T20 WC once every two years so as to squeeze every penny out of it. The upshot now is that in order to stage the test championship in 2013 it must conflict with the CT. In 2014 it must conflict with the T20 WC, in 2015 the ODI WC and in 2016 the T20 WC again. The ICC could have just bitten the bullet and staged two events in a year. But they didn’t. They chose the solution best for their coffers instead of the solution best for the game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s