ICC gets a few things right at least
The ICC's board met yesterday and there were quite a few significant announcements
- It emphasized that bilateral series commitments would take precedence over IPL. Now will the WICB do something about Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan who say they will play in the IPL rather than against Australia? I suppose player contracts would have clauses that prevent players from plying their trade elsewhere when they are required to turn out for the national side. That aspect can and should be enforced against Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan. Unlike the bans imposed on ICL players, I don't think this is a restraint of trade situation.
- The Zimbabwe Cricket Union gets away scot-free despite the continued scrutiny over the handling of ICC-released funds for over three years now.
- The format for the 2011 World Cup is finalized. My post a year ago or so proposed only the top 8 teams having an automatic qualification while the remaining teams play against the ICC trophy finalists in a round-robin manner with the top 2 making it to the main draw. The main draw would have 2 groups of 5 teams each, played in round-robin. The top 3 from each group qualify for a Super Six round with the top 4 being the semi-finalists. There'd be a total of 42 games played, 32 of them being in the main tournament. Subsequent comments argued (rightly) for the second stage being a quarter-final knockout. This'd reduce the number of main draw games to 27. The ICC's thinking is on the lines of all 10 full ODI playing countries being joined by the top 4 finishers from a qualified (presumably the ICC trophy). The 14 teams are split into 2 groups of 7 each. The top 4 from each group go on to play quarter-finals and the winners of the quarter finals play the semis. This means there'd be
28 47 (2 x 7C2 + 4 + 2 + 1) games. Perhaps, in the interest of 'inclusivity' in cricket, the ICC's format is acceptable. That's far too many games!
- Player referrals will be trialled from South Africa's tour of England this summer. I eagerly look forward to player revolts, especially by lower order batsmen and part-time bowlers, against captains and team management, who discourage them from appealing against on-field umpire decisions so that the better batsmen or bowlers can benefit, just in case the appeal isn't worth it.
- Darrell Hair, who was hung out to dry in around November 2006, has been reinstated and will be eligible to umpire games between full member teams until March 2009, when his contract expires. This was always the right thing to do. Darrell Hair is a good umpire. He isn't incompetent, when you compare him with Bucknor or Benson. He took a harsh decision on 20 Aug 2006, but it was the right decision.
- Imtiaz Patel has been 'selected' as the CEO, but the negotiations are not yet done. Last year, we saw a similar situation with the farce around Graham Ford's appointment, and subsequent withdrawal, as India's coach. Why did the ICC put its foot firmly in its mouth by prematurely announcing Imtiaz Patel's name when he hadn't even agreed?!
Labels: 2011, 2011 world cup, ball tampering, forfeit, hair, icc, indian premier league, ipl 2008, oval 2006, pakistan, reviews, scheduling, twenty20, west indies, world cup, zimbabwe