The End Game?

Your Next President Of The ICC

This blog is absolutely no fan of Giles Clarke. His appearance in Death of a Gentleman was perfect pantomime villain, except he was deadly serious. He wasn’t playing for laughs or entertainment, he was self-justification personified. I’ve talked to a number of journalists, cricket writers and bloggers on line and it seems that he is the one subject that unifies all of them. I’ve hardly heard anything good about him.

The carving up of the ICC into the Big Three was something that got us all going. We aren’t alone, but one thing running through this blog and with our commenters is the love of much overseas cricket. Blackwash evokes the memories of the great West Indian teams. New Zealand are, in recent times, a thrill to watch. Pakistan evoke great passions in the commenters, Sri Lanka as well, especially with Sanga and Mahela. There is nothing but huge praise for Dale Steyn, and anger that we play a great team so infrequently. There’s unanimity on the need for a larger World Cup.

The justification Clarke raised was that when the ICC was being carved up, it was he who got India into the tent and not left outside to effectively go it alone. For this the ICC tournaments were handed exclusively to the Big Three for the next decade. Clarke got on the side of Srinivasan, despite his travails at home with the betting crisis involving his son-in-law at Chennai Super Kings. Srini became ICC Head Honcho, and Clarke got to be his replacement in 2016. It was neat, it was tidy.

Then Srini fell, and the game changed. I remember asking a source what the impact of the new broom in Indian cricket would have on the ICC. At the time he was non-commital but had some views…

He thought the grounds had shifted but had no idea if Manohar was going to be pro- or anti-Clarke.

We believe that the election was a fudge, to prevent a bloodbath at the ECB. That’s an accepted view.

He stated that if the BCCI professed to not knowing everything about international cricket, Clarke would be in the room as a loud voice telling them. But he was certainly of the view that Clarke’s position looked less solid.

I might bring some more, but need to speak to the individual first.

It appears as though Manohar has indicated he’s not sold on Clarke’s charms (backing the wrong horse I would imagine, Giles) and now we see the intimations that the vote will be open, there will be freedom to choose (I wonder if there will be an Indian candidate) and that some of the Big Three grab will be returned. These sound like good stories.

The Telegraph is all over it. Nick Hoult is doing great work. The Independent is silent. Andrew Miller has run this prominently on Cricinfo, the Mail is silent. And The Guardian. The Guardian is silent too. The Guardian is not interested. The Guardian does not mention it. The Guardian doesn’t really do ICC business unless it’s internet rights for the Beeb and something that tried to paint Giles in a good light. I think their coverage is shameful on the future of the sport.

Now the ECB has a dilemma. They created a post which would allow Clarke to go to the ICC and do his thing. Now, on initial assessments, he looks as popular with India, Australia and South Africa as a rat sandwich, and now we are faced with a man in a position where he’s a liability and not an asset, and there is no clear path on what to do with him. The ECB’s next move is going to be extremely interesting….he doesn’t look the sort to go quietly.

It was said by Clarke that no-one should be interested in sports administration. Look over there, that implied. People aren’t “looking over there” but the Guardian, for one, is. I don’t have time to dedicate to this post now, but hope it gives the flavour and welcome insights and views (and please add related links when you come across them – who knows, there might be a Guardian one there one day).

Come hither, Al, and look at my soul….er, I mean this is all David Collier’s idea!