A few months ago, I’ve already written about the messier format of the World Test Championship or #WTC21, and how it became even messier with post-Covid changes in it. However, I now feel that it was a tiny bit of a problem, w.r.t the bigger picture that ICC needs to address. Or do I say that a bigger issue that ICC consciously created – for better earnings? Whatever it is, but the ultimate thing is that ICC needs to take immediate steps to grow the game of cricket.
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The staunch efforts towards safety from Covid, cutting down senior members’ Pakistan tour – to be in the early quarantine – and rigorous conversations with the other party involved. These are a few steps by Cricket South Africa to host a Covid free test series against Australia. However, Cricket Australia announced the tour cancellation at pretty much the last moment. No doubt Graeme Smith – the Cricket South Africa director – was extremely disappointed with Cricket Australia’s decision.
The bias of Big Three
Yes, we all know that ICC earns most of its revenue from the big three countries – India, Australia, and England. But, should it come at the cost of a bias towards these countries? “NO” is the plain and straight answer. Irrespective of the revenue share, the ICC’s treatment of every cricketing board shall be the same.
In spite of the chorus to grow the game by cricketing boards and fans alike, ICC isn’t really revamping its strategies to give an equal chance to all the cricket boards. A primary reason behind the lack of growth of our beloved game.
Recently, I came across a very interesting stat about how Australia has played only one game against West Indies in the last 4.5 years – a World cup 2019 league match. Not just that, since last year they’ve canceled all their tours to Bangladesh, West Indies, and South Africa citing Covid-19, but chose to play England, India, and allowed the players to play in IPL. For a reference, check this out:
Grow the game – That’s basic
A most basic expectation from any international council – a governing body – is to grow the entity. Yes, the money matters, but it must not come at a cost of the game’s growth. For some reason, that looks like a distant responsibility as far as ICC is concerned.
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The cricket’s elite body is more than a century old. In all those years, it has managed only 11 test playing nations. The governing body has lacked in performing its most basic responsibility. All that is due to the revenue numbers, which is hard to believe.
Even though the methods of playing cricket grew over the years, the operations at the cricket’s elite body still haven’t. Through this blog, I just want to do my bit in the chorus of “Grow the Game”.