Another ICC Meeting – Guest Post by Simon H

We asked our resident commenter in chief, and ICC scrutineer, to update us on the latest machinations at the ICC. And he agreed. Take it away Simon.

Another Bloody ICC Meeting

Another ICC meeting? Yawn…. Hang on, folks! Shit just got real – as they say in the Long Room. Some important decisions have just been made, not that you’d know it from the UK media. Cricinfo and Tim Wigmore have been excellent, but the rest? The BBC managed to cover both major decisions, the DT and the DM covered the elevation of Ireland and Afghanistan but not much else, the Guardian…. well, Selvey may have gone but his spirit of ignoring governance lives on.

Some of us have been commenting away BTL as the decisions have unfolded – but for anyone who’s missed it all, here are the main points pulled together:

1.Revenue-sharing. I’m old-fashioned enough to start with the money. The new revenue-model is:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/image/1105340.html?object=297120;dir=next

In percentage terms: India 22.8%; England 7.8%; Australia, Pakistan, SL, SA, Bangladesh, NZ and WI 7.2% each; Zimbabwe 5.3%; the 90-odd Associates 13.5%.

Why are teams getting these amounts? There’s no formula based on need, contribution or anything else. Countries have grabbed what they can. Why does small, rich NZ get the same as large, poor Bangladesh? Don’t ask me. Why does medium-sized, rich England get more than large, poor Pakistan? Er….

Is it a good and fair resolution? Well, it’s better than the 2014 deal that was the best that anyone could hope for (TM Selvey). A punch in the face for everyone outside the Big Three would be a better deal than 2014. Is it better than the pre-2014 arrangement? Possibly – I can see different sides to that debate. Is it as good as what they agreed just a few months ago? Well, another 112 USD have been thrown at India that was conjured up out of somewhere (the Associate budget, mainly).

Is it the basis for a long-term solution? Countries have grabbed what they can based on their power at this moment. When the power balance shifts, expect us to be here again with this.

  1. Test status for Ireland and Afghanistan. This has received most MSM coverage so I’ll say least about it here. Read Tim Wigmore on Ireland and Afghanistan’s promotion, if you haven’t already:

https://twitter.com/timwig/status/878307065378201603

Two points about it though – i) the Test challenge proposed for 2018 has been scrapped so Ireland’s first Test is now likely to be not against England at Lord’s but whatever they arrange (which means probably they’ll play Afghanistan… and again and again) ii) although Ireland and Afghanistan can now play Tests, for funding purposes they are still regarded as Associates so they will receive less than half the funding of Zimbabwe and the funding increase they will receive eats into the Associate funding for everyone else. The big losers from this meeting are the other Associates. A good definition of the ICC could be “a body set up to screw cricket in the Netherlands” because that’s all they ever seem to do.

  1. Test and ODI Championships. After much talk, one has finally been agreed…. to start after 2019:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/story/1105371.html

The Test Championship involves each nation playing series (minimum of two Tests) against six teams over two years with points awarded and the top two playing a Final (with Lord’s, Eden Gardens and the SCG mentioned as possible venues …. because nobody else has an iconic venue). It seems an absolute nonsense to me that we can have a league where some teams don’t play each other.

The proposed schedule for 2019-23 gives some idea where things are heading. To take just England, England will not be playing Bangladesh at home at all in this period and won’t play NZ until 2023. India look like they’ll be keeping five-Test series in England. Another back-to-back Ashes looks dead. SA look as if they will be further downgraded with their next winter against England shared with India and their next summer in England six years off and shared with NZ.

Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan have no regular fixtures and no means of promotion. Why would, say, WI arrange matches against Afghanistan when they won’t make much money and victories for Afghanistan would just underline the stupidity of WI having all these agreed fixtures and Afghanistan having a few crumbs.

  1. The ICC Constitution. Perhaps the most under-analysed part of the changes is the new constitution and what it means for future ICC decision-making:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/story/1105387.html

As I understand it, that means it will need two-thirds of 17 to carry significant future changes. This would appear to make it harder for a small group of nations to form a dominant bloc on the ICC.

Another change is the creation of a deputy chairman who will preside when Manohar is absent – and the good news is this post hasn’t gone to you-know-who but to Khawaja from Singapore.

Sundries (as our Australian friends might say).

Various other changes have been agreed (have a drink every time a UK MSM journo shows no awareness of these):

  • a) A World XI will tour Pakistan for three T20s later in the year as part of re-introducing international cricket to the country.
  • b) Teams will not have DRS topped up after 80 overs (because no-one will be able to bat that long anymore?) but will not lose a review for ‘Umpire’s Call’.
  • c) The bat-size restrictions and red cards for misconduct proposed by the MCC were adopted.
  • d) A batsman won’t be run out if their bat bounces up after having been grounded.
  • e) USACA were booted out. USACA gave their usual response that everyone else is wrong. This is worth keeping an eye on as there are some in the ICC desperate to get the T20 WC in the USA before the end of the next decade.
  • f) Radical measures were introduced to improve over rates. Oh sorry, no they weren’t!
  • g) What else wasn’t discussed? Well, there’s nothing about the Olympics, nor about the future of the CT, nor about the future structure of tournaments (in the name of God, won’t someone do something about this disaster of a World Cup that’s getting closer and closer….).