|Lone Woolf Cries Out For Reform - Peter Frawley|
The short-termism that has afflicted banking Boardrooms over the last decade rears its head again as the ICC belatedly realised that a Test Championship held in 2013 would eat significantly into the broadcast rights fee that was on the table for another event, the Champions Trophy, whose death rattle we all thought we had heard back in 2009.
This last point informs another of the legitimacy/authority issues the ICC faced last year. Having boldly announced at the end of the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai, that the next tournament in 2015 would be a 10 team event, an embarrassing volte-face was witnessed at the AGM in Hong Kong two months later as pressure from the Full Members and leading Associate nations forced the ICC to agree to a 14 team 2015 World Cup.
The World Cup itself was not the treasure chest for all of the host countries it promised to be. Hosting the World Cup and providing brand new facilities as part of the bargain for doing so left Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) unable to pay its players post April 2011. The Sri Lankan players initially asked for assistance from the Federation of International Cricketers and concerns were expressed as to the future member status of SLC within the ICC.
Elsewhere on a national level, questions have been raised in South Africa as to Cricket South Africa’s, and specifically Gerald Majola’s, efficacy in the financial management of the IPL in South Africa in 2009.
The debate, tussle, obstinacy over the use of DRS continues unabated; India tours Australia again which makes its 11 times in 9 summers that one of these two teams has toured the other; Giles Clarke takes a stand against the streaming Jack Sparrows of the internet waves which is apparently the scourge of our times (a reasonable new rights deal just concluded with Sky explains that); and John Major resigns from the MCC’s main committee over the lack of pace on the Lords redevelopment vision.
Dysfunctional or what? No reference yet to spot-fixing.
Any international sporting administration will be faced with a situation of regular crisis management. There has been too much money at stake, too many conflicting stakeholders and the addition of politics into the mix on too many occasions. But as Lord Woolf presents his reforms, is it reforms that are needed or a transformation in the administration of the sport of cricket. Should the International Cricket Council move from a council to a full governing body?
The ICC has done some fantastic things for the development of the game and the World Cricket League has been an energising platform and ladder on which the non - full members can climb and qualify for the big tournaments (witness Afghanistan at the last T20 WC).
But returning to the temporarily aborted Test Championship in 2013, the ICC Executive, of which Haroon Lorgat is the head, did not have the power to fight its corner against the might of the ICC Board. Mr. Lorgat commented, “It is not ideal when you are not sufficiently empowered to undertake or implement what you know is correct and must be done. But I understood that when I entered the ICC and it is why the ICC Board rather than the Executive would be held accountable for the future of the game”.
Peter Frawley: After a law degree read at the University of Kent at Canterbury, Peter worked in the sales and marketing side of the international business and academic publishing sector including time at Macmillan and Thomson where he was on the Board as Sales and Marketing Director. Following a full-time MBA at Henley Management College, he briefly entered the strategic digital consultancy world before deciding that the sports business was where he wanted to be. As a lover of most things sporting, Peter has focused on the business of cricket through the company International Cricket Group which focuses on development consultancy and events.