International Cricket Council: Indecent proposal

International Cricket Council: In the movie Defiance, in the Bialowieza Forest, Tuvia Bielski’s word is law. He issues commands and ‘rules’ with a firm hand.

It’s not a perfect system of governance by any means, but it is arguably the best in the circumstances. It is a necessary, benign dictatorship.

On the whole, Tuvia and his brothers preside over an egalitarian community.

The scarce food resources are rationed equitably. But with Tuvia sick, Arkady and his acolytes seize power and change the rules to suit their interests.

They argue that fighters and those who risk their lives to go and forage for food should not only be served first, but deserve bigger portions.

Word that he has been deposed reaches the ailing Tuvia, who summons all his energy and goes out to confront Arkady.

To preserve the community’s egalitarian foundations Tuvia shoots Arkady dead and a semblance of normalcy and relief return to the community.

The verdict on India, Australia and England’s bid to gain greater control of the game of cricket has been deferred. If ratified, the move will effectively emasculate the International Cricket Council and put control of the game in the hands of the three countries.

The Big Three want a bigger share of the ICC revenues.

There is considerable sympathy for India’s argument that because she generates almost 80 percent of the ICC’s revenues she should therefore receive a much bigger slice of the pie.

India and her co-conspirators are within their rights to instigate for a revenue regime based on the notion of commensurate reward. But surely there is another way The Big Three can extract favourable concessions from the ICC without resorting to a coup?

What the three countries are proposing will accentuate the tiers within the ICC Test structure and increase the gap between the haves and have-nots. Australia, England and India will be in an affluent league of their own. If approved the proposal will effectively take food out of the mouths of smaller ICC nations and put it in the giant silos of the Big Three.

Could cricket learn from football? The Big Three’s preference would be the Spanish La Liga model where the country’s two mega clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, get the lions’ share of the TV revenues leaving the rest of the clubs to feed on crumbs.

The big English Premier League clubs have resisted the temptation to go the same route, opting instead for a more egalitarian structure that is generally accepted to be for the good of the game. They see their destinies as intertwined.

If the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal

allowed selfish instincts to take over and demanded more, then the smaller clubs would be forced to fold.

Cricket needs a controlling body that is seen to advance the good of the game and not the parochial interests of the elite member countries.

Usurpation of the ICC by The Big Three will put more money in the coffers of the usurpers in the short term, but drive a nail in the game’s coffin long-term.

This proposal sets a dangerous precedence and puts cricket on a slippery slope. I sincerely hope that the forces opposing this move prevail.

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