Sunday, 2 February 2014

Stand up to Bullies

Last week was a sad day for cricket. There was news coming out of the ICC meeting in Dubai where the school bully (the BCCI), along with sneering sidekicks (Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board) finally stole the lunch money off the poor kids in the class, just so they could stuff double desserts down their throats. The time has come for the cricket world to stand up.

Cricket fans...take note
At a meeting in Dubai last week, the big three decided that they wanted to be part of an Executive Committee meaning that they would have control over world cricket, with one more being allowed in on an electoral basis.The BCCI (India), ECB (England) and CA (Autralia) would all get one vote at the new committee, whereas the rest of the world will get one between them. In my mind, this is bollocks. This means that they control the rights, would play each other more and could not be relegated from an elite division in world cricket. Quite frankly, it is carving up cricket just for their own personal wealth without a thought as to the future. India apparently control up to eighty per cent of the wealth of world cricket, and the other two boards have basically crapped their pants following the might of the BCCI. It is India's bat and their ball, and only them and their friends are allowed to play.

This attempt by these three bullies to take control of the world game stinks and cricket should stand up against this bad smell. Yet again money talks, and as Scyld Berry pointed out in an excellent piece in the Sunday Telegraph today, "the Executive Board have made the ICC financially buoyant but morally bankrupt". Every country will get more money they argue from broadcasting rights so they say, but CA and ECB will get a lot more, whilst the BCCI will get hundreds of millions more.

Second Division?

When I was growing up as a child, the best team bar none was the West Indies. I loved the stroke play and the genius of bats such as Greenidge, Haynes and Richards 'givin licks' to balls that no other batsmen would play an aggressive shot to. Watching Mikey Holding run in, or seeing the Oval packed out with throngs from neighbouring Brixton, was cultural experience that enforced my love for the game. I loved a tour to the Caribbean, Chicky's Disco, the Trini Posse, cross dresser Gravy, Sabina Park, Bridgetown, the Lara Love In's at Port of Spain, the waft of Jamaican Woodbines wafting around the grounds. Under the new regime, we might not play them again.

As a child I loved watching the all rounder, Richard Hadlee or bats such as Geoff Howarth and John Wright. Again under the new regime, those fantastic, beautiful islands in the southern hemisphere which offer so much, may not stage major Test matches.Who would love to see India v Pakistan? It might not happen in the future, for reasons other than security.

One of the best...Sir Richard Hadlee

Cricket Australia and the ECB have sided with India as they will no doubt say, that India, should they not get their own way will pull out of future events such as next year's World Cup, thus costing them fortunes in broadcasting rights. I can't see the Indian fans letting them not defend their trophy, can you? This blog has many fans and supporters in India, and they are some of the most knowledgeable and wonderful supporters in the world. They deserve better than to be represented by this spoiled brat. Meanwhile the other two boards have caved into the pressure, like Adele and Vaenessa Feltz' boyfriends when they get on top of them.

Another aspect is it will be boring. As an Englishman, I know we have been spanked in the Ashes but playing ten Tests, plus ODI's and T20's in seven months against the Old Enemy has become a tad tedious. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Another thing to consider is that it wasn't so long ago that we were bottom of the world rankings. Imagine if we had been relegated? Or look at Zimbabwe who would no doubt ply their trade in the second tier. Would the future Flower, Houghton, Hick or Fletcher come through the new system?

The Big Three should stand for the Board of Cosseting Cash Incessantly, Extreme (and Worthless) Cresomania Board and Crawling Arsekissers. Saying that they should not get relegated from the new elite league is seriously looking after their own interests. So should the likes of Pakistan finish above England, Australia or India and they finish in the relegation spots, Pakistan would get demoted on the basis that they do not have as much dough as the others. What happens eventually? Do England, Australia and India just play with each other. And what happens when India throws the next tantrum?

The new ICC mantra?

The time has come for the rest of the world and the cricketing community to stand up to these bullies. Cricket is a game that should be inclusive to all, should not be partial or discriminatory, and should not depend on how much money you have, or can bring to the table. South Africa quite rightly, were kicked out of world cricket for having a selective system forty years ago, but instead of being decided on the grounds of race, this new one would depend on how deep your pockets are. Like slum landlords bullying their tenants, the Big Three need to be taken down a peg or two, but they won't because the whole system has become obsessed with cash. It is corporate greed squeezing out the small guy, so the rich get richer. And that sucks.

It is our game, not the game of just a few.

As the late, and great Bob Marley said, "Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights". Cricket fans across the world, take note.


  1. There's very little a mere Cricket fan like me can do. I've read a lot on the same and I've opened eyes of many of my friends. But what actually matters is what the bosses decide. Pathetic I feel about NZC, WICB and BCB. Hope is all we can do. Hopefully CSA, SLC and PCB stay put. Hopefully, Cricket do have a future.

  2. This is only stage 1. Stage 2 is when the BCCI decide they want all the money and the Big Three becomes the Big One.

  3. Nandu, thanks for your comments and I agree that money will always outweigh the average fan. Stage 2 Fred is a dangerous concept. Imagine a country having so much power, that every player eventually plays domestic cricket in that country alone, as they can afford the best. Hmmmm....

  4. The game has been dying for a while at the top. The only place to see the original game is at your local club or County. Just don't watch the game on TV or at the ground. If you do you're complicit in the whole sorry charade.

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