With the fifth Test due to get under way, the ECB have been slapping themselves on the back at a job well done and as usual the media have been all too complicit in ignoring the wider issues.
There is nothing quite so important, nor quite so scandalous, as the power grab by the Big Three of world cricket, to take over the ICC, and to award themselves the bulk of the revenues, while emasculating every other cricketing nation whether Test playing or Associate. It is the subject of the recently released film, Death of a Gentleman, for which you can read our review both of the film and the issues it raises here:
Those who have seen the film are angry. Those who know what it’s about are angry. Those who read our post on it are angry too. Yet the constant frustration has been that the authorities neither listen, nor care what the fans think. As Gideon Haigh pointed out, supporters are there purely to be exploited.
Jarrod Kimber and Sam Collins, who made the film always intended it to be the catalyst for those who love the game and who have supported it both financially and with their time to raise their voices in protest at what our own boards, created to protect the game, are doing in their own selfish interest and with no regard for anything or anyone else.
The film was the first step, the creation of the http://www.changecricket.com website and @changecricket Twitter account another.
The cry of the disenfranchised is always “what can I do?” so to that end, this Thursday on the first day of the fifth Test at the Oval, there will be a silent protest mourning the death of cricket as we know it.
All who wish to register their objections to the theft of our game by those who care only for power and money are invited to attend. At 10am, a three minute silence (one minute for each of the England, Australia and India boards) will be held at the Hobbs Gate outside the ground.
The protest is being supported by Jamie Fuller and Damian Collins MP, both of whom have been part of the campaign against corruption at FIFA in recent times. Paul Burnham of the Barmy Army will also be there.
Even if not attending the match, the organisers ask that anyone in the area who can make it for an hour come along and show support for this most important of causes. Sam and Jarrod have suggested fans wear their country’s colours, but the most important thing is to get a good attendance, and then maybe even the cricket press who have in large part (the exceptions know who they are) remained silent.
This is our game, and while we might argue until we’re blue in the face about issues like Kevin Pietersen, the point is that we want to be able to argue about it in the future, and there’s no guarantee we will be able to.
The greedy, self-interested bastards at the BCCI, ECB and CA are stealing our sport. It’s time to stop them.