Thursday, 12 May 2011

The ICC Cricket Committee

I think I am developing a man-crush for a large black man.

Clive Lloyd was the chairman of the cricket committee which has come out with more sense in one statement than the rest of the ICC has managed in the last year combined. Here are their recommendations, and why I agree.

1. Allow associates into the Cricket World Cup.

The idea of a world cup is that it is a world competition. Ideally you want teams form all over the world to have a chance to play in it. This tournament, like at least the last two, was seriously enhanced by the associate nations. Can anyone say that all the matches involving Netherlands and Ireland were duds this year? I certainly will not be saying that. Canada and Kenya were disappointing, but this is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water.

2. Recommend the universal application of UDRS.

Unfortunately this one is likely to meet with opposition from the global bullies when the recommendation goes to the part of the ICC that has power, and does not really care about cricket as much as their own political ambition, but it is a very sensible suggestion. The games that have it are fairer, more watchable, and have less exhibition of bad behavior. I"m not sure how these three things are bad.

3. Getting rid of runners.

Running between wickets is an essential part of batsmanship, and if someone is not fit to run, then they are not fit to bat. If they can't run, they can still go out and hold up an end if a game needs saving, but at the moment players with an injury are at an advantage over players without one, which encourages dishonesty.

4. Looking at the option of day/night tests.

I live in Auckland, where we don't get test cricket. If I want to go to a test match, I have to drive to Hamilton, about 1 and a half hours away. If I go after work (I can normally sneak away at 3:30 if I need to) I get one session in. It's a big gamble to decide if one session is worth the entry fee, three hours in the car and the cost of petrol. However if I could get two sessions, I would be twice as likely to attend one of the midweek days. Better for the players to have a crowd. Better for the sponsors to have a more audience friendly product.

There is also the potential to have a more interesting game. One of the things that makes test cricket awesome is that the conditions change, and managing that is part of the skill of test captaincy. Replacing the early morning swing with the different challenges of playing under lights needs to be looked at seriously but it is an option that has the potential to have cricket benefits.

5. Stricter over-rate penalties.

I think that if we are going to have required over-rates, then we need to enforce them. I can not remember a game where MS Dhoni has been captaining where a team has met the required over rate. We need to either change the rules, to say that it is alright, or enforce it correctly. Again this is unlikely, as the chief perpetrators are from the same nation that wields undue influence.

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