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….).
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87 thoughts on “Another ICC Meeting – Guest Post by Simon H

    • SimonH June 26, 2017 / 8:13 am

      It’s a fair cop! I had seen about this, but didn’t understand its significance because I didn’t know about the 36 promised FM fixtures.

      Like

      • Styxwade June 26, 2017 / 4:27 pm

        Was 30 when they were promised, plus three each from IRE and AFG. Looks like they’re fiddling with those now as well – league may not be a round-robin. For the Dutch though the really galling thing is that they’re currently winning the WCLC, and with 2 rounds to go, and with a one match cushion v Scotland and PNG massively unlikely to win all their remaining games they’re huge favourites.

        Now it looks like they’re going to get hosed again. Atmosphere at Voorburg after the ZIM win was apparently pretty grim.

        Like

  1. d'Arthez June 26, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Yes, the Dutch got screwed over. Again.

    Also note, that if reports are to believe, that the funding for Afghanistan and Ireland are probably in the region of $54 million, meaning that the 88 Associates have about $132 million to share between them. Even in a low-cost country like Kenya $1.5 million, that won’t really get cricket that far.

    On the bright side, if the US can actually form a governing body, they’ll be going straight into World Cricket League one, because all the other teams will have folded / stopped participating due to lack of funding.

    Well done ICC.

    Like

  2. Mark June 26, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Well done Simon for putting this together.

    The media don’t cover it because…….

    A they don’t think their readers care.
    B they don’t care themselves
    C they agree with anything that the ECB is happy with.
    D they care not one jot with growing the game.
    E they can’t change any of it anyway.

    As to why each country gets the % of revenue……who knows? I guess it has something to do with who raises the most money. So India get the most because they raise the most money. India think they should have even more because they bring in the most cash. England has the second most because they bring in the second most amount of money. NZ getting the same as Australia and Pakistan seems bizarre as they only have 3 million population. (Same as Wales) On the other hand do the ICC want to destroy another one of the bigger so called cricket teams? They have already seen the collapse of WI cricket, can they see another one go down?

    Money raised, rather than eyeballs watching seems the most important criteria. So for example I would guess that more people watch cricket in SL and Bangladesh than in England. However England monetise their eyeballs more than those nations.

    I still maintain that the longer form of the game is dying, and they are mearly managing that decline. While looting what they can in the short term. Cardiff looked full yesterday on the tv unlike for the CT. This seems to be what the people want, and so this is where cricket is going. Hence why 39 tells those who don’t like the trend that they are dinosaurs who should go away.

    Quite how the ECB can charge the sort of prices for the test matches when you look at the number of players opting out seems something that is only going to get worse.

    Like

  3. Andy June 26, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Whats the deal with USA cricket? I’m not up to speed with their ‘usual’ arguments etc. Why have they been thrown out?

    Like

    • SimonH June 26, 2017 / 9:56 am

      USACA (USA Cricket Association) were kicked out for chronic mis-governance (including $4m worth of debt) and their “usual” argument is to blame everyone else (often taking it to court, the costs of which accounts for most of their debt).

      Here’s a good summary:

      http://www.espncricinfo.com/usa/content/story/1105349.html

      Like

    • d'Arthez June 26, 2017 / 10:00 am

      For one, bad governance. They can’t account for several millions. Not that that has stopped Zimbabwe Cricket from getting their share, but hey … Since then they have struggled to send teams out for competitive meetings, due to lack of funds. Needless to say, some of the selections of players / selectorial processes were farcical.

      Those shenanigans started, when fearing for their re-election they threw out 32 out of 47 cricketing leagues (with voting rights). So, the incumbents won the election, but of course, that led to a rival governing body being set up by those leagues that were thrown out. And since being in office is way more important than you know, the actual cricket.

      For another, adopting a constitution for USACA (earlier this year) that was not ICC approved. They had been warned about that as well, by the ICC.

      Like

  4. Benny June 26, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Hey Dmitri that’s a superb photo up top

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus June 26, 2017 / 7:19 pm

      You got a like from Peter Borren on the Outside Cricket Twitter feed.

      Like

    • d'Arthez June 27, 2017 / 12:01 am

      Have a look at those pics. In effect the ICC has slashed the funding for all the (remaining, thus minus Ireland and Afghanistan), by a mere 75%, in absolute terms. And the administrators wonder why cricket cannot replicate the successes of growing the game of say rugby. Maybe because World Rugby does not try to steal every penny they can from the likes of Japan, Georgia and so. And lo and behold. The Japanese even managed to beat South Africa in a World Cup game. In the twisted logic of the ICC that would be a disaster for any tournament they organize.

      That ICC funding for the Dutch probably does not even cover running KNCB (the Dutch cricket association) (you have to have a few people, doing some basic organisational stuff; or do fixtures, permits and such come falling out of the air?).
      So to pay for anything, they merely have to bleed the players and cricket enthusiasts dry. So why play cricket again, when the governing body is completely unsupportive, and does everything in its power to make certain that the sport remains invisible in Associate countries? Why would people take up a sport that is excruciatingly expensive to play, when there are cheaper options out there, that could actually also allow you to make a living out of the game, if you’re good enough?

      Slashing WCL. Check. Any bets on there barely being 2 divisions left by 2022?
      Making it impossible for Associates to qualify for the World Cup. Check. The only thing of interest is whether the qualification tourney for 2019 gets cancelled, or becomes a straight elimination between Zimbabwe , West Indies, Afghanistan and Ireland (based on current rankings)
      .
      Refusing to get cricket, in any form into the Olympics. Check.This would merely help in terms of exposure, as well as funding from countries’ Olympic committees. And we can’t have that! Any penny that cannot be pinched by Giles Clarke and co. better not exist.

      Check for every penny of Associate Countries, whether it is spent properly. Check (Not bad in itself, but Zimbabwe Cricket probably spent $20 million on a re-election campaign of ZANU-PF; which somehow does not strike me as proper governance either).

      Are Dave Richardson and his ilk that stupid, that when Preston Mommsen announces LACK OF FIXTURES as a reason for him to retire, that that means slashing budgets for these teams is wise?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Andy June 27, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Wow, just wow. It is definitely worth zooming in on those pie charts for a closer look.

      The numbers are just obscene. I knew the ‘Big 3’ was bad – but didn’t appreciate how bad India screwed everyone over (and have again with the June 17 model).

      I’m guessing teh ‘development budget’ has been folded into individual boards funding?

      I like how the associates funding went from 280 – 160, despite only 80 mil being taken by IRE & Afg…

      It is so stark how much the ICC don’t care about teh associates.

      I think seeing those charts has actually just killed off my love of teh international game

      Like

  5. Mark June 27, 2017 / 11:16 am

    I don’t know how many of you have ever listened to Flintoff, Savage, and the worlds greatest ping pong player podcasts?

    But last night they talked about team bonding trips. What a joke! Fair play to Flintoff for saying they were completely pointless. He was telling some quite revealing stories about bonding trips to Sandhurst, and not taking them seriously so the army guy was screaming at them, and had them carrying stretchers with dummy’s on them around for 2 days on 20 mile hikes. Absolute nonsense. Then there was the story of them being sent to Stoke to do some bizarre task using Walkie talkies to stake out a building and with Trott, Bell and KP playing as spies checking the joint out, Unbeleivable.

    Freddie said the players who can motivate themselves don’t want to be on these trips, and the ones that need motivating you don’t want them in the team in the first place. He also said the ones who excelled at these tasks could be relied upon to do absolutely nothing out on the cricket pitch to save a game. Very interesting. He also made the point that coaches arranging these trips were effectively getting someone else to do the motivating for them.

    It reminded me of an interview I saw with Alan Sugar a few years ago when he told the story of getting consultants in to look at his business. After a few weeks he had these 22 year old experts telling him this is wrong that’s wrong, and he thought ……..wait a minute, I have build this up from nothing, and now I have a guy who has never built any business telling what to do.

    Message to the ECB, can you stop spending money on this clap trap, and perhaps reduce the ticket prices for the fans instead of funding a bunch of get rich quick merchants? Do the British army charge for these courses? Do they pay tax on the money coming in?

    If I was a wee bit cynical, it might explain why Her majesties govt dish out all these gongs and medals to English cricket!

    Like

    • SimonH June 27, 2017 / 11:28 am

      I’m not defending everything he did, but Flintoff was stitched up over the pedalo incident. The official story (please correct me if I’m mis-remembering it) is that he was seen by some “tourists” in the early hours and these “tourists” just happened to have the phone number of one of the London rags and rang them right away.

      The whole thing reeks of controlled leaks and news management.

      Like

        • Mark June 27, 2017 / 12:03 pm

          One of the stupidest things I ever heard, (not said by Flintoff) was that the he should be made captain for the Aus trip of 2007 as he was Harrmisons mate, and therefore would get the best out of him. (Said by a Sky commentator at the time)

          He is quite amusing to listen to, although the wannabe Peter Kay impression gets a bit weary after a while. I just think it was too much to have him as captain on top of his bowling and batting duties for a tour where he needed to produce if England were to have any chance of success.

          Like

          • Rooto June 28, 2017 / 4:45 am

            I hope that comment came from someone outside the team, Mark. I say that because Harmison has just opened up (in order to sell his book) about how it was never ‘homesickness’ when he was playing – he was clinically depressed! If the England team thought that making his darts buddy skipper would cure his depression, then they really weren’t paying any attention to player welfare. And that’s putting it kindly.

            Like

      • Mark June 27, 2017 / 11:52 am

        He has talked about the pedalo incident in a previous podcast. The irony not lost on him was he was forced to attend a press conference where he was hung out to dry for being on a pedalo the night before. Then the team had to go and listen to a motivational speech by Stephen Redgrave….. On how to win a gold medal for being in a boat. He admits his relationship with Duncan Fletcher was not a good one.

        Flintoff is similar to Botham. Larger than character that makes his own decsions. I have to say the intake of booze and food may not be really compatable with a professional sportsman. How much better would he have been if he had drunk less? How fewer injuries would he have incurred if he was a belt thinner? Who knows! And would you have killed off the natural talent?

        Warne was another who was sent off on bonding trips into the outback who didn’t think much of them. But the England model now is that that those kind of characters are not wanted.

        Like

  6. SimonH June 27, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    So what’s this week’s The Spin on?

    Something parochial and nostalgic for a change….

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus June 27, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Reading the Yallop book you recommended, Simon. I don’t want to ever hear about “whingeing poms”.

      Nice little nugget about a certain TMS doyen sconing Mike Brearley in a net.

      Like

    • Mark June 27, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      And speaking of which……

      This tweet from Newman the other day………”And while on broadcasting deals, hope ECB aware young people like ‘free to air’ on phones and tablets – not traditional terrestrial stations”

      Can anyone translate this into English? What does he mean? Does he want the tv contract to go to a phone company so we can all watch on a 2 inch screen? And how does he know what young people like? Has he asked them all? And are these young people even interested in cricket?

      As Peter Kay joked once…..”old people and technology…….it’s not a great combination!”

      Like

    • d'Arthez June 28, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      Maybe CA need to be getting a clue or two. That international sport is something different from unskilled labour, that can easily be replaced by foreigners, or people can learn the skills involved in the course of a few weeks. If they would, then this would not be happening.

      http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/1107173.html

      CA have decided that if they cannot be bothered to actually be reasonable (and be fair to CA, where in this whole saga have they been reasonable), the players, who will be out of contract from July 1st onwards, are not allowed to enter contracts with third parties or play exhibition games, despite CA having no contract with those players anymore. Oh, and there were also threats with regards to handing out NOCs. Sounds like the lawyers will have a field day with that nonsense. Which somehow strikes me as illegal.

      And it seems like CA rather embarrass themselves by picking a squad that is not even C-grade. How about we’ll let the CA board do the batting and the bowling?

      Like

      • Mark June 28, 2017 / 5:39 pm

        CA are showing their true colours now. There has to be restraint of trade issues here? It confirms what I have suspected for some time that the governing bodies of cricket are moving to a slave plantation model of employment. Do what we say, when we say it or else.

        The attempt to stop players from earning a living outside of international cricket boards seems to be a top priority. Restraint of trade. These scum bags are not running cricket. They are trying to own it. Cricket does not belong to a bunch of corporate thugs.

        I hope the Aussie players tell them to fuck off, and go and play 20/20 for a few years. People come to see players, not bully boy ex minning executives.

        Like

  7. d'Arthez June 27, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Katikeya Date has dug up some numbers, with regards to ODI cricket. Lo and behold, it is not pretty. Rather than a contest between bat and ball, it is now a contest between the two batting lineups.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/1106140.html

    Now, maybe it is a silly question, but what was actually wrong with ODI cricket in say the 1990s? (In terms of the actual quality of the cricket and the contest within – sure Australia were dominant for nearly a decade, home and away, but that was due to having a group of exceptional players).

    Oh yes, I know! It is the same bunch of retards that profess their undying love for Test cricket, but want to T20-vise everything, because people “have the attention span of goldfish”. Maybe the middle overs were a bit boring – but so what?

    Just the other day, I was subjected to West Indies conceding 300+ in 43 overs to India, and not even trying to go for the target. The only West Indies batsman who got the memo was Shai Hope. The rest was just pottering along at SRs of 50 or 60, when 80 or 90 was the bare minimum to actually stay in the chase. How that is “more exciting” is beyond me. And this is not unique – because of this retardisation of ODIs, nearly 60% to 80% of the playtime in the game is utterly predictable, boring, and increasingly meaningless. But 4s! 6s! So all is well …

    Needless to say, the upcoming World Cup may prove to be long, and excruciatingly boring, under the current rulesets and cricketing paradigmas.

    The ODI series I have enjoyed most have usually had par scores in the range of 220-240. Why? Because even if you reach 10/3 you’re in with a shout, and even if the opposition races to 80/0 after 15 overs or so, and the pitch is assisting the spinners, the fielding side is in with a shout.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. d'Arthez June 28, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    Unrelated note, but the World Cup game between New Zealand and South Africa, held in Derby has been washed out. Again, why no reserve days can be set is perplexing. It is really not rocket science.

    Like

  9. Nicholas June 28, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Assuming the ECB have stuck to their (leaked) schedule, the TV bids are in and we will find out on Friday evening where things are going. I wonder how they can disappoint us this time?!

    Like

    • Mark June 28, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Are we really expecting any surprises?

      Sky to probably keep the main bit, with perhaps the free to air stuff going to something new, and funky, and not one of the major terrestrial channels.

      Newman was on about this, and backed up by Selvey that free to air can mean Internet. (They seem to be very keen that the traditional free to air like the BBC don’t get it) BT might even get the free to air stuff if they put it out on their sports channel when it’s free access.

      Interesting if Sky does get the rights in light of the news that they are ending their numbered sports channels…..Sky sports 1 etc, and replacing them with themed channels. Football channel or Cricket channel. Customers will be able to just pay for one channel (say football) and ignore the others for a cheaper price. It will leave cricket exposed if the viewers are not paying for cricket?

      Like

      • SimonH June 28, 2017 / 10:13 pm

        Hoult reckons the BBC are certain to get the FTA package.

        My guess is that it’ll stay on Sky and that BT are only being used to ramp up what the ECB can squeeze out of Sky.

        Like

      • Nicholas June 29, 2017 / 9:41 am

        I’m not expecting any surprises, but with the ECB anything is possible. Anything less than the BBC getting the new FTA package would be a disappointment to me. Now, you and I both know that Paul Newman is talking bollocks, but even if his point had some merit, the point is that the BBC is right across social media and apps – so if they get the FTA rights they can target smartphone users and TV watchers. Genius – why didn’t you think of that one, Paul?!

        As I’ve said before, my guess would be Sky get the international and county package, Channel 5 retain FTA highlights of internationals, BBC get the FTA pack that contains live T20. The only uncertain is whether the ECB want to give the new T20 to BT – there’s an argument that this keeps Sky on their toes for the next tender as it keeps BT in the game. But #39 told us that the ECB would rather deal with only one of Sky and BT, so perhaps the new T20 will go to Sky too.

        Then again, if BT blows Sky out of the water, as they did with the Champions League, then who knows. But, I think cricket is such a vital sport for Sky’s business, they’ll have fought tooth-and-nail to keep it.

        Like

        • Mark June 29, 2017 / 11:30 am

          Would it be wrong to suggest that Newmans position is in part pushed by the anti BBC bias of his paper? Perhaps he needs to keep his bosses sweet these days?

          And Selvey seems to be have become bitter to the BBC since they booted him off TMS.

          Would it be wrong to say that these two have an agenda?

          Like

      • AB June 29, 2017 / 1:41 pm

        “It will leave cricket exposed if the viewers are not paying for cricket?”

        More likely the exact opposite – cricket fans will no longer have to subsidise football fans.

        Like

        • AB June 29, 2017 / 1:50 pm

          Something like 90% of sky sports expenditure is on football rights – but are 90% of subscribers there for the football? I very much doubt it.

          Most people I know – admittedly not an unbiased sample – watch the cricket, golf and rugby. I’ve had sky sports for 12 months and haven’t watched a single soccer game.

          Like

  10. Mark June 28, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I bet this Confederation match on ITV between Chile vs Portugal is going down a storm with the usual ITV audience. Show started at 6.30, and it’s still 0-0 in extra time 3 hours later.

    Sorry ladies, no Coronation street tonight!

    Like

  11. Andy June 29, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/29/wimbeldon-reinvented-how-sw19-ahead-game-tennis

    The Guardian has an interesting article about how Wimbledon has attempted to stay relevent and modern, how it has updated its thinking etc.

    Its interesting to draw parallels with cricket, a few highlights are;

    recognising tradition, but seeing that change is necessary
    recognising that the fans & punters were guests not ‘interlopers’ (or commodities perhaps…)
    Staying FTA in a mutual relationship with the BBC (not chasing the short term £ even when offered)
    recognising that the grass courts were making matches too one sided so slowing them down. Perhaps cricket could recognise teh odd duff wicket or two….
    Then there is a few smaller things that can be classed as attention to detail or providing a damn good experience

    Then they talk about the relevance of social media and the reach it gives, but while its all well and good that ‘snapchat can reach 600 mil views’, you have to have something of interest that drives the viral nature of the clip. I guess that is what they are addressing with teh initial things they do. The social media aspect can only come if the initial product is engaging in the first place.

    Worth a read, especially if you have an interest in tennis

    Like

  12. Sean B June 29, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Well that told us then. Dare I say like father, like son…

    Like

    • Mark June 29, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Nothing they ever do is to enthuse fans. Their whole model is based on force feeding the fans a giant shit sandwich.

      June 29th, and still no Test cricket…………….

      Liked by 1 person

  13. d'Arthez June 30, 2017 / 6:11 am

    I see Essex won another game. Notice that South Africa cannot be represented by Harmer. He has been kind of useful in the County Championship.

    Bizarrely, if plenty of injuries do hit the South Africans, they can call upon Marchant de Lange, who simply had played too few international games to qualify for a Kolpak (he got to England on his wife’s passport after the Kolpak route proved to be impossible). But yeah, not that the ECB cares too much about diluting the international game.

    And although the law is not on their side with regards to banning Kolpaks, they could easily set strict conditions on such signings, since they’re giving the counties quite a bit of money courtesy of the Sky deal ….

    Like

  14. SimonH June 30, 2017 / 8:46 am

    It’s almost a relief to turn to the usual idiocies of selection:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/29/jake-ball-england-south-africa-one-day-cup

    “what Trevor Bayliss has described as the toughest selection meeting of his two years as England head coach”.

    Which is because of the record number of defeats in 2016 (I know that figure is somewhat misleading because of the number of games they played – but, hey, they quote “records” based on volumes all the time so can have a dose of their own medicine). Still, it’s another “new era” so we’re supposed to forget recent history.

    “It’s a good problem to have when you’re struggling to know which guys to put in.” [Bayliss]

    Really, a set-up with 18 f/c teams is patting itself on the back that there’s anyone in contention? Haven’t we been told for years that their mega-buck structure identifies the next=best talent?

    “To be honest, I haven’t seen [Stoneman] play”. [Bayliss again]

    They should be ripped apart right there. It isn’t like Stoneman hasn’t been around for ages – how can the national coach not have seen him?

    “Stokes having undergone an injection to ease a knee problem”.

    An injection of what – puppy love? They should be ripped apart there as well (Stokes. bowling was carted all over in the last CC game).

    ” it is a worry when Mark Wood is suddenly the seamer in the rudest health”.

    I really hope his injury troubles are behind – but he’s hardly proven that he can get through a Test series.

    “Spin-wise, Moeen Ali will be naturally be first choice”.

    Not even worth discussing is it?

    The thread has some priceless comments (one regular appears to think Harmer is English and another wants Ali at No.3. One refugee from the DM thinks SA are on the same playing level as Zimbabwe because of the “racist quota system”).

    Pity the weather’s so poor or I’d have been at Worcester today for the Lions’ match.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather June 30, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Ah..StraussLogic and the ECB future planning
      Where the head-coach knows nothing about current players spanning
      Further afield than those faces that fit thus are Flower filled
      Now the tv rights give the populous just 20/20 thrills
      Occasionally.. and in three years time
      Buddy, please spare the ECB a dime….

      Like

    • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 10:44 am

      “BBC director general Tony Hall said: ‘The BBC is delighted. And the public will be too'”.

      Isn’t it great to be told how you feel? Do these [expletive deleted] have any idea how they sound?

      “It’s long been our ambition to bring live cricket back to BBC television”.

      Hang on – I thought the narrative was they weren’t interested unless there was a new tournament?

      “the BBC will be putting its full weight behind the nation’s favourite summer sport”.

      Is this the same game that was dying on its feet before the new tournament?

      “Our aim will be to make the new T20 competition a huge success”.

      So every other format of the game can do one.

      “”Existing cricket fans – and the millions more who will discover a new love of cricket – have a huge amount to look forward to.”

      Is that promise about “millions more” legally binding?

      “It is likely the BBC was outbid by other free-to-air rivals but they cannot compete with the corporation’s combined audience across its channels”.

      Pue conjecture – let’s have the evidence.

      “Sky will launch a standalone cricket channel”.

      As widely predicted here. Will its finances be standalone – or is it essentially Sky Sports 2 renamed?

      “the new contract does not begin until 2020 when [Sky] will have to share live coverage with a rival broadcaster for the first time since 2005”.

      For a dozen T20 matches – it’s hardly the Bolshevik Revolution!

      “For Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, returning cricket to the BBC and persuading the counties to agree to the paunch of a new Twenty20 competition are two big achievements even if it turns out the broadcast deal falls below the board’s initial hope of being worth £1bn”.

      So, buried at the end, they didn’t get what they’d been bragging about?…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 10:50 am

        Cricinfo says it was worth £1.1b.

        They also quote Tom Harrison –

        “”ECB has secured the reach, revenue and relevance the game deserves, to help it to grow. Together, these new deals will deliver the partnership, distribution and investment that will fuel the future of our game, driving recreational, professional and international cricket for years to come”.

        I think part of me just died..

        Liked by 1 person

        • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 10:54 am

          What exactly does Booth mean by this?

          The main place we were hearing it from was the ECB!

          One great response to that Tweet already….

          Like

          • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 10:56 am

            Always nice to read some sceptical and cautious journalism –

            Like

          • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 10:59 am

            #39 Tweeted that highlights will be on BBC2 at 7pm.

            Like

          • d'Arthez June 30, 2017 / 11:21 am

            7 pm? Why, oh why do I doubt that?

            Seriously, if these pundits were to pay a fine for every time they got it wrong, they’d be declared bankrupt every other week.

            Like

          • Nicholas June 30, 2017 / 11:55 am

            Quite a few thoughts with this – firstly, I think cricket on BBC TV is a Good Thing (usual caveats employed, of course) – it is better than not having the FTA presence. Who knows whether or not the new T20 will take off and go well, but I think having it on the BBC will give it the best opportunity to resonate with the public. Of course, they could have just done the same with the Blast, but that’s another debate…

            On the international highlights front, I do feel a bit sorry for those at Channel 5 and Sunset and Vine today. Amidst all the ‘cricket is back on the BBC’ headlines, people are not mentioning that a very well scheduled and produced highlights package has been lost. Channel 5 guaranteed when the highlights would be shown (7pm without fail, with the obvious exception of day-night matches) and gave us an extremely well produced package that told the story of the day absolutely perfectly. The BBC will not be able to better Cricket on 5 – I hope that they match it. Their best option is getting the Sunset and Vine production in lock-stock-and-barrel and just continuing that programme. But I doubt they will, somehow.

            One wonders if the Beeb are committed to that 7pm start time. If the ECB continue to operate in their ‘silo’, scheduling test matches and ODIs against other sport as if it doesn’t exist (see the 2015 Ashes starting at the same time as the business end of Wimbledon!) then the BBC will be between a rock and a hard place. They won’t drop out of live coverage of Wimbledon to show an hour of cricket highlights, so which will it be? Will the ECB be more thoughtful with their scheduling (which would be a good thing, IMHO) or will we lose our primetime highlights?

            A further thought re the production – there was talk of the ECB taking up the production themselves – I’ve not gone through the press releases with a fine tooth comb yet, but I haven’t seen any indication of that. It will be interesting to see how it works between the BBC and Sky on the occasions that they are both live. You would assume that Sky would do the production (if the ECB haven’t taken it in-house) and the BBC would take their feed, but you never know.

            Also, you have to wonder if BT will continue showing interest in televising overseas cricket. They have a couple of years left on their contract with Cricket Australia – they pumped lots of money and production into their coverage this winter, almost as a demonstration to the ECB what they could do. One wonders what their incentive would be to continue with this after they’ve shown the Ashes this winter.

            Liked by 1 person

          • thebogfather June 30, 2017 / 4:14 pm

            7pm…so the new comp that has no teams yet, no players yet, no confirmed grounds (yet) will have no evening matches……? Well done #39!!! (and as for Selfry ‘gettin’ dahn wiv da kids’…FFS)

            Like

        • Mark June 30, 2017 / 2:19 pm

          My take is the BBC is being used to launch the new 20/20. (By all accounts they didn’t bid the most money) The ECB have ripped up most of cricket for this enterprise (potential white elephant) and they want to give it the biggest push going. Whatever you think of the BBC they do get viewers watching free to air stuff. (Olympics etc)

          If it’s a big success I bet in 4 years time the BBC will be dumped for a more lucrative deal elsewhere. The BBC will have served their purpose. So I wouldn’t get all gooey eyed about all the syrupy stuff about cricket returning home etc etc.

          If it goes t*ts up then the BBC will be both blamed, and will have paid for the circus. I wonder how much BT bid for the rights to Test cricket? Sounds like the ECB got what they wanted. Sky and the BBC.

          So new deals for premiership football and cricket on Sky. Prices are going to have to rise to pay for this. And I wouldn’t be too sure that the individual channels will be very cost effective. If say you want the cricket channel, and the golf channel and F1 channel but not football it could end up costing you a bundle. Probably better to just pay for the whole lot. We will see.

          Like

          • SimonH June 30, 2017 / 3:19 pm

            How is this “standalone channel” going to work when there’s, say, more than one Test on at the same time? This is going to be quite common with “blocking” of the international schedule.

            I get that England’s game will all be on the one channel (as they are anyway) – but won’t cricket fans (as opposed to England fans) have to watch other teams on other channels when there are fixture clashes?

            Like

          • AB June 30, 2017 / 3:25 pm

            Indeed – it was nice, recently, to have the option of avoiding the IPL snoozefest and watch the West Indies Pakistan test series instead.

            I can guess which of these they would show if they had a single cricket channel.

            Like

          • Mark June 30, 2017 / 3:34 pm

            I seem to remember Sky rebranded Sky sports 2 “the cricket channel” a few years ago. It was pretty lame, and not very official. It lasted a couple of months until they needed to put some other sport on there.

            I think the need to break up the channels only shows the cost of sports rights rising. More and more people will not be able to aford all the channels. And that is before you take out a BT subscription as well.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus June 30, 2017 / 4:06 pm

            We have endless repeats of “cricket’s greatest players”, the hagiography on repetitive loop. We can watch the Natwest challenge tie with Australia or Karachi in the dark until we memorise the commentary. It’ll be great (and a terrific waste). Let’s see if they fill the cricket channel with county cricket on quiet days!

            Like

          • AB June 30, 2017 / 3:41 pm

            I don’t want all the channels. I want cricket, rugby, and at a push, golf. Darts and rugby league I could take or leave. Don’t mind pool. I’m extremely unlikely to sit and watch tennis, wrestling, F1 and soccer.

            Like

          • AB June 30, 2017 / 4:09 pm

            I’m curious as to what they will show from October to March. I hope its not just endless bloody T20s.

            Like

  15. thebogfather June 30, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Dear ECB
    Thank you for feeding the loyal Cricket lovers with dregs after all these years
    Goodbye
    Until
    It’s Good Riddance
    To your greed, ignorance and complacency
    #DeathOfOurGentlemanByCluelessCNuts

    Like

  16. SimonH June 30, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus June 30, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      I suppose that’s why the voice, xfactor, I’m a celebrity, eastenders etc are all carried inn YouTube et al.

      Would you rather appear on YouTube than BBC?

      Like

    • Mark June 30, 2017 / 2:03 pm

      FFS he sounds like a cranky Bill Gates!

      He’s obsessed with tablets, and phones and getting down with the hippity hopity kids. Memo to Selvey… If the kids wanted to watch cricket, they wouldnt wait for it to legally come on their phones. They would be downloading it from illegal sites like many football fans who watch live premiership games on Saturday afternoons.

      Thruth is, they don’t give a shit about cricket. And can someone at Lords force Selvey to watch cricket on his phone, instead of giving him a great seat, and endless hospitality. Make him watch a 6-7 hour test match on his 3 inch phone.

      The bright spot of The BBC getting some live cricket is it pisses off grandpa Gates. That alone is worth it. And please BBC, don’t re-hire him or 39.

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez June 30, 2017 / 2:06 pm

      Let’s assume that Selvey is right (obviously he is spectacularly wrong). Which begs the question: where would the kids get the interest from? The internet is a big place. What makes cricket more special than nyan nyan cat? Or whatever the fad will be at the time?

      So what is cricket to do to get some likes and such? Hour long clips of batsmen hit in the box? Andrew Strauss smashing his sunglasses while fielding? Someone losing the grip on his bat, and the square leg umpire being hit by it? Yeah, that is going to get kids playing cricket.

      Like

      • AB June 30, 2017 / 3:06 pm

        The thing that winds me up is this insanely patronising idea that kids are this totally different species of human, fundamentally different from kids 10 years ago, whose tiny brains can only be satisfied by 10 second clips of extreme violence and loud music played over only the latest technology (as misunderstood by a 65 year old man)

        Obviously, kids have more distractions nowadays and are thus more easily distracted. But fundamentally, they are still interested in the same things that kids 10, 20 years ago were interested in. Kids today still have the same hobbies and interests that I had when I was a kid.

        Cricket is an endlessly fascinating sport, that, given exposure to a decent game, tournament or series of games, and a bit of helpful encouragement and explanation, is actually very easy to fall in love with. Actually the easiest format to get into as a kid is test cricket – it has the most natural emotional swells and troughs, and the most variety of play.

        Your typical 10 year old will want to know how England are doing and what they need to do to win. Once they understand what is going on – which doesn’t take long, 10 year olds are smarter than most people seem to think – they live every single ball with far more emotional intensity than an adult could muster.

        Liked by 1 person

        • oreston June 30, 2017 / 5:05 pm

          If you were (say) a 15 yr. old in 2005 and were inspired by Channel 5’s coverage of that year’s Ashes then you’d only be 27 now – so it’s hardly just the older generation who’ve been disenfranchised by the loss of FTA coverage. Yet Selvey, Harrison et al always hark on about “the kid’s” (who are, as you say, described as though they’re a different species) being the only audience that matters. Implicit in this is the notion that anyone who thinks that FTA coverage is essential to the survival of the game is some sort of out of touch, fuddy-Diddy coffin dodger and very much in the minority. This is a contemptible straw man argument and they should be called out on it. The truth is that there are potentially many millions of people – of ALL ages – who would watch Test cricket on TV if it was accessible to them.

          Like

          • oreston June 30, 2017 / 5:08 pm

            “Fuddy duddy” I meant.

            Fuddy diddy sounds like an octagenarian gangsta rapper…

            Like

          • Mark June 30, 2017 / 5:48 pm

            The funny thing is that for all his getting down with the kids he was still harking on about how the music was better in the old days.

            His love of the kids only extends so far….

            Like

      • d'Arthez June 30, 2017 / 4:53 pm

        The thing is you have to grab their attention. Waiting for a minute for a ball to be deadbatted in front of the stumps is not that exciting – it might be once you know the game, but we’re talking about children and people who have generally been starved from cricket for pretty much their entire lives.

        It might have worked 15 or 20 years ago, when there were not that many alternatives compared to now. Many people got into cricket, simply because there was no alternative to whatever the BBC put on. Snooker might be an interesting case to study for that as well.

        That is not the case nowadays. What makes cricket so special compared to the millions if not billions of alternative things kids can be watching or learning about? Why would cricket be more special than rugby, show wrestling, hockey, lawn bowls, Frisian handball or name your niche sport? Why would kids not be watching any of that? Why would cricket be the default go-to sport for kids?

        This has nothing to do with being patronising of kids. This has everything to do, with acknowledging that the world (especially the web) is an insanely big place. And that cricket has no divine right to be the first among non-footballing sports anywhere. But no, let’s pretend that the media landscape is the same as it was ten years ago, and that the internet is just a glorified version of the television. That will work well.

        If kids were interested, we’d run into them on illegal streams for cricket. The evidence of that happening is basically non-existent.

        Like

        • AB June 30, 2017 / 8:37 pm

          As I say, kids will get into cricket given the five e’s. England, exposure, enthusiasm, encouragement and explanation.

          There are still plenty of people out there who would happily provide the last three, if only ecb would provide the first two

          Like

  17. SimonH June 30, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    “It is a game-changer for cricket in this country” {Harrison].

    Seriously, we’lll have a dozen men’s T20s live on BBC and Test/ODI highlights have moved from C5 to BBC2 .Oh, and Sky Sports 2 has a different name. That’s it. Game-changer, my #$£*. Do they believe their own bullcrap?

    Also, it’s noticeable how they’ve been phrasing things very carefully so as not to admit the patently obvious – that their strategy since 2006 has been a disastrous failure. A cricket media that wasn’t so craven might pick them up on this.

    Like

    • Mark June 30, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      By not having any live test match or county cricket go on free to air, they can continue their bullshit narrative that putting cricket behind a pay wall has had no effect on viewers or interest in the sport.

      What they are doing is hedging their bets. They are putting onto free to air the bit they want to now sell for all its worth. This is the bit they think will make themselves rich. Namely 20/20. This is the garlic bread of English cricket. “It’s the future.”

      Which is why Selvey is so obssesed with the kids. They are the consumers of tomorrow. Notice they couldn’t give a shit if these kids take up the sport. Only that they become paying customers.

      Like

    • oreston July 1, 2017 / 2:55 am

      This treatment of the Associates is irresponsible, self-interested governance (if that’s even an appropriate word to describe what the ICC does these days) at its most cynical and brazen. Maybe there’s a case for the remaining 93 (since at this stage they have almost literally nothing to lose) to seize the opportunity to set up their own governing body – one that would actually give a shit and which would articulate and pursue their collective interests. Perhaps there could even be a structure with a number of regional/continental federations (like football’s UEFA, CONCAFAF, CONMEBOL etc.) It’s not as though the ICC “owns” global cricket. It doesn’t even have custody of the Laws, so why should it continue to dominate the landscape when it’s failing so many people so badly? (At a national level, all of this could equally well be said of the ECB.)
      Meanwhile, granting Ireland and Afghanistan a kind of grudging Test status lite (in which, with rare exceptions, they’ll only ever get to play each other and Zimbabwe) is really tantamount to shafting them too.

      Like

  18. Mark June 30, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    The new Sky deal is having The champagne corks popping in all the private run management training seminar courses.

    Assault courses and problem solving outfits employing smiling faced dorks with clipboards, are salivating at the various new products of clear blue sky thinking they will be able to sell to the ECB.

    3 days Strawberry picking in Kent with motivational speeches from a range of ex strawberry picking champions of the world. A demonstration on how to make strawberry jam, and then a set of tasks where the players will split into groups to find the best fruit, and come up with their own specialist jam brands.

    Like

    • Northern Light June 30, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      I wish you wouldn’t send me to the Daily Mail without a warning first!

      Like

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