With all the hoo-ha surrounding the ECB, Cricket Australia and the BCCI's move to take over world cricket, many hoped that the ICC would at least show some sort of backbone.
Yet, they have done the complete opposite. Alan Isaac, the ICC president, revealed last week that the whole plan for a coup was all because he asked the three countries involved to come up with a plan to save the world game. Isaac said that he asked the "big three" to work together on finding a resolution for "commercial and governance issues facing the game", according to ESPNCricinfo.
Isaac's comments were released in a statement following the quarterly ICC board meeting where the position paper was discussed. Cricinfo quoted him as saying:
Several months ago I encouraged the BCCI, CA and the ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game. These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions.
It seems an odd decision. Isaac has seemingly put the future of the game in the hands of three men who perhaps don't have a past record of thinking about the good of the game. Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, once got into a cricketing bed with Alan Stanford. Stanford ended up being convicted of fraud and sentenced to 110 years in jail. Srinivasan, meanwhile, was embroiled in controversy, as India Today reported, involving his son-in-law. Last year, Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi's legal counsel lodged an FIR against BCCI president N. Srinivasan and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan at a local police station, charging them of fixing an IPL match.
Some might say that Isaac made his statement in an attempt to save the ICC's bacon, bending over backwards to ensure the big three stay on as part of the ICC. Because those nations contribute such a massive amount of money to the ICC, without them, cricket faces financial hardship. Because of the criticism the position paper received for seemingly being done in secret, perhaps Isaac was trying to make it sound as if it was all part of the master plan and all was well and good.
Alternatively, perhaps Isaac did indeed ask the big three to step in to try and save world cricket. If that is the case, then his character judgement has to be questioned. Equally, his decision making for the greater good of the game also has to be assessed. How does one appoint people with a dubious history act in the best interest of the game?
Whichever way his comments were made, they were embarrassing. As the president of the ICC, the supposed governing body of the sport, he should know better. Isaac is world cricket's clown of the month for his inability to take responsibility for the greater good of the game.
Right on his heels is Dave Richardson, the CEO of the ICC. Mike Atherton, the former England captain, referred to Richardson as "a chief executive without a shred of executive power, and chief executive of a body with no function," in his column for The Times.
He also added:
Laughably, there were some quotes from Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the ICC, saying that he hoped to be able to help "bring to fruition the principles that have been proposed and accepted".
But the ICC, as a true, independent governing body, will no longer exist once the proposal is voted through. Its authority before stemmed from its supposed independence and ability to organise world events, and from sharing out the proceeds, but these will now be run by a department off-shoot of the ECB and BCCI.
World cricket is at a tipping point at the moment, and it speaks volumes that the ICC start the year by finding themselves in this column.
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