Sunday, 19 January 2014

Cricket's governance coup: A disgrace but not a shock

We've failed. News that cricket's financial Big Three are planning a coup is a disgrace. It's hopefully a call to arms too. But it's certainly not a surprise.

The signs were clear when the BCCI severed India's tour to South Africa. They were clear when the ECB and CA watched on silently as it happened. They were clear when the only five-Test series being scheduled involved India, Australia and England; when cricket's potential Olympic participation was quietly aborted; when the Woolf Report was ignored.

The Big Three had veto power in all-but name already. Now they are formalising their grip on the game and forcing an even greater concentration of wealth upon themselves. In effect the seven other Test-playing nations – including the best team in the world – are being flung onto the scrapheap with the ICC's other 96 members.

All the while, bar some very determined and important exceptions, much of cricket's fan base and press have stood by idly. Maybe governance just isn't interesting enough, maybe the news cycle is too immediate, maybe it's just easier not to bother. But as a cricketing public we've failed to hold the powers that run our sport to account.

The Guardian's cricket coverage often sets the bar to which others to aspire. According to Mike Selvey, they had this story for a while, but didn't feel it newsworthy. Really!?

There would outrage if the Premiere League proposed a rule preventing the biggest three clubs from ever being relegated. Yet even now there is very little comment on this ICC story.

Broadcasters, meanwhile, are more the partners of administrative power than they are its investigators. Skysports are entirely silent on this news and the BBC have barely raised a whisper.

Maybe it's as much our failure as it is theirs. If we care about our sport we should be screaming from the rooftops. Or at least Tweeting about it.

Jarrod says all that needs to be here. And there is a petition to sign here.

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