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  1. #1
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    "Ind, Eng and Aus retain a disproportionate control over cricket’s finances" : Fazeer Mohammed

    In his latest blog for PakPassion.net, Trinidadian cricket commentator and journalist Fazeer Mohammed writes about the efforts being made to restart international cricket with the imminent tours by West Indies and Pakistan of England, and why cricket's long-term sustainability is challenged by the refusal of the Big-3 to facilitate a level playing field for all.


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    In the ongoing effort to get major sporting competitions re-started even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to present a major threat to health and safety worldwide, cricket has emerged with a distinct advantage, one that we never thought would have actually been viewed as an advantage.

    While players, fans and officials of other disciplines cringe at the prospect of games being reduced essentially to made-for-TV events with no-one in the stands and therefore no atmosphere or background noise to give context to the action, Test cricket suffers from no such challenges because it’s been played for decades around the world against the backdrop of rows and rows of empty seats.

    Except of course for England, the birthplace of the sport, where full houses for the traditional format of the game are standard, whether it is an Ashes battle or a duel with one of the lower-ranked teams. Now though, they are set to join the family of nations for whom Test cricket in deserted stadia is standard fare, assuming that the postponed series against the West Indies and then Pakistan do go ahead.

    At the time of writing, it looks as if everything is being put in place to facilitate what is being described as a “bio-secure” environment for both teams to play three Tests each in a country where the impact of the coronavirus has been the most devastating in all of Europe. However, there is still no guarantee, even with a provisional squad of 30 named, that the Caribbean side will embark upon this unique campaign given the lingering concerns about players being exposed to the virus.

    Whether or not the series goes ahead, with the Pakistan series expected to follow close on its heels, the main driving force for this contest – certainly from a Cricket West Indies point of view – is the same issue which is prompting sporting administrations throughout the world to explore every which way they can get competition going again: money.

    Cricket West Indies is in deep, deep financial trouble to the extent that they were late in making payments to players and staff coming into the new year. Ricky Skerritt, the president of the organisation, has described its financial state as the equivalent of being in an intensive care unit while his CEO, Englishman Johnny Grave, underscored the grim reality in an interview on May 5:

    “We are no different to any other business or organisation and if we are not able to play cricket, we’re not going to get the revenue…so our ability to continue to operate as we would normally becomes increasingly challenging.”

    What this situation highlights is the continuing unsustainability of the global financial model for international cricket, which is presumably overseen by the International Cricket Council but in reality is determined by the three major powers in the game – India, England and Australia. Having backpedalled from the shameless attempt to hijack the sport five years ago, they retain a disproportionate control over cricket’s administration, including its finances.

    While many readers may be tired of me highlighting this point, it doesn’t change its relevance or the reality that it ensures a continuing imbalance which inhibits the development of a more competitive environment for international cricket on and off the field. So let me leave it to two respected cricket broadcasters, two former England captains, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton, to give their perspectives in the context of the efforts to have the West Indies and Pakistan series played in England in the coming months.

    “I find it ironic that the two sides who’ve probably been hard done by the most by the Big Three, two great cricketing nations – Pakistan and West Indies – who have been hardest hit, now we’re asking them to come over to England,” said Hussain on Sky Sports on May 14.

    Atherton went into greater detail in his column in “The Times” of London that same week:

    “…West Indies and Pakistan find themselves in an unusually strong bargaining position. Top of their wish list would be two things: Pakistan want to see a return of full international cricket to their country and would like to persuade England (and Australia) to end their long absences from touring, while West Indies have been pushing for a more equitable distribution of television monies in order to sustain international cricket’s competitive balance. As yet there is no sense that either wish to leverage their advantage.

    “It is a hypothetical question, of course, and impossible to know the answer, but would England be so swift to help if the situation were reversed? If West Indies and Pakistan do travel this summer, their generosity should not be forgotten.”

    So, while there are issues about the administration of cricket in Pakistan and West Indies and quite a few other Full Member nations, we cannot simply ignore the continuing imbalance which puts the other nine Test-playing nations at a distinct disadvantage.

    Will this change in the aftermath of the unprecedented impact of Covid-19? Will we see a real effort to create an environment, both in terms of the financial structure and international itinerary, which treats every nation equitably?

    I doubt it. All this talk of a “new normal” will not be extended to cricket’s global governance. Yes, there may be further disruption to come with the Men’s World T20 scheduled for October-November in Australia and the Inaugural World Test Championship, but these are logistical issues which will eventually be resolved.

    Cricket’s biggest challenge for its long-term sustainability, with or without the coronavirus, is the steadfast refusal of the game’s powerbrokers to facilitate a level playing field for all participants.


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  2. #2
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    I don't think anything will change soon honestly, this is the sad state of world cricket at the moment.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  3. #3
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    The BCCI, ECB, and ACB look after their cricket and find ways to earn revenue. They have put themselves in good financial positions. Why do other cricket boards always complain about it? These 3 boards aren't responsible for the failure of other boards.

    These same comments from Fazeer are getting rather boring. West Indies are in the position they are in now due to their own failures. It isn't the big 3 responsibility to give handouts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    The BCCI, ECB, and ACB look after their cricket and find ways to earn revenue. They have put themselves in good financial positions. Why do other cricket boards always complain about it? These 3 boards aren't responsible for the failure of other boards.

    These same comments from Fazeer are getting rather boring. West Indies are in the position they are in now due to their own failures. It isn't the big 3 responsibility to give handouts.
    Yet the "failures" are now helping the Big 3 to keep their ships afloat - that is something they didnt have to do.


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  5. #5
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    The West Indies and Pakistan situation will be interesting.

    ECB need them in England this summer, but what will they give in return to WICB and PCB.



  6. #6
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    Speaks his mind does Faz.

  7. #7
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    There are only 3 countries which have a trillion dollar plus economies in ICC. India UK Australia. So ofcourse they have more financial muscle.Whats their to complain? These boards do not have the responsibility to give handouts to the other boards.

    If other boards have failed to manage their finances its not their fault. Everytime boards are in financial trouble its the Big 3's fault.

    This is just useless finger pointing.


    aaj mujh ko bahut burā kah kar
    aap ne naam to liyā merā
    -----Jaun Eliya

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Yet the "failures" are now helping the Big 3 to keep their ships afloat - that is something they didnt have to do.
    Fazeer needs to stop being bitter.

    The success of the big 3 has nothing to do with the failures of the other test playing nation. They aren't holding the other countries back from having success.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Yet the "failures" are now helping the Big 3 to keep their ships afloat - that is something they didnt have to do.
    Im sorry what?

    Last time i checked BCCI donated $500K to WICB, not the other way around. WI visiting UK tour is part of FTP which they can pullout if they want. Typical of Fazeer to cry about Big 3 this big 3 that but never want to suggest ways of improving cricket in West Indies.

    Please point me out when exactly did WICB helped BCCI?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Fazeer needs to stop being bitter.

    The success of the big 3 has nothing to do with the failures of the other test playing nation. They aren't holding the other countries back from having success.
    Smaller nations dont want to work hard but just want free handouts. When they are in all sort of trouble, lets blame big three for the mess.

    Is it also fault of big three that 40% of the total income of WICB depends on ICC. Why aren’t they able to generate revenue?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Smaller nations dont want to work hard but just want free handouts. When they are in all sort of trouble, lets blame big three for the mess.

    Is it also fault of big three that 40% of the total income of WICB depends on ICC. Why aren’t they able to generate revenue?
    You are right.

    Big 3 have earned their positions and wealth. Nothing is stopping the other nations from improving. It isn't the big 3 fault if companies and broadcasters want to give them more revenue compared to the other nations.

    If I'm honest even if Sri Lanka and West Indies were earning more than they are , they still would not be able to compete with the big 3. They lack world class players. They need to find a way to produce more world class players rather than crying about the success of others.
    Last edited by MenInG; 23rd May 2020 at 03:18.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianG00se View Post
    Im sorry what?

    Last time i checked BCCI donated $500K to WICB, not the other way around. WI visiting UK tour is part of FTP which they can pullout if they want. Typical of Fazeer to cry about Big 3 this big 3 that but never want to suggest ways of improving cricket in West Indies.

    Please point me out when exactly did WICB helped BCCI?
    Keep up with events please.

    CWI are ready to send their team in a covid infested country to help out (and also help themselves)


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  13. #13
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    Unfortunately all this will fall on deaf ears - money and covid - 2 things on people's head at the moment.


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  14. #14
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    They also contribute disproportionately more

  15. #15
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    The ICC has got its priorities totally wrong with its funding model. Those countries that generate more will want a bigger slice, it may not be palatable to us but thats life. But what I find galling is millions have been given to Zimbabwe and that has been stolen by Mugabes henchmen, it has no future at all because cricket is not part of the black African culture and never will be and the Whites have left for Aus and NZ. They spend millions on Women's cricket, again outside the traditional countries it has no future, it costs millions to host tournaments involving Fiji etc. What an utter waste of money. The ICC should be spending money on WI and Afghanistan, in the WI because it is part of the culture and Afghanistan as the country has real passion and talent. But they should spend the money themselves as we know any money given to the Afghan board will into the Dubai property market sooner or later.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    The ICC has got its priorities totally wrong with its funding model. Those countries that generate more will want a bigger slice, it may not be palatable to us but thats life. But what I find galling is millions have been given to Zimbabwe and that has been stolen by Mugabes henchmen, it has no future at all because cricket is not part of the black African culture and never will be and the Whites have left for Aus and NZ. They spend millions on Women's cricket, again outside the traditional countries it has no future, it costs millions to host tournaments involving Fiji etc. What an utter waste of money. The ICC should be spending money on WI and Afghanistan, in the WI because it is part of the culture and Afghanistan as the country has real passion and talent. But they should spend the money themselves as we know any money given to the Afghan board will into the Dubai property market sooner or later.
    Excellent points. My only disagreement is with giving money to WI. There is rampant corruption there. The ICC should closely monitor and audit all $$ given. Put them on a path to self sufficiency.

    Give them a 5 year time limit to get their house back in order. They should give them the first two years to implement changes. At the end of two years the ICC makes a detail followup to make sure things are progressing in the right direction. After second year, they should do it once a year for the next three years.

    At the end of five years if WI are almost at the finish line, give them another 1-2 years of $$. If they do not get any changes done by year 6 or 7, then time to close shop in the WI and move on. Because at that point it will be a money pit. No amount of $$ can help.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by U$ofA View Post
    Excellent points. My only disagreement is with giving money to WI. There is rampant corruption there. The ICC should closely monitor and audit all $$ given. Put them on a path to self sufficiency.

    Give them a 5 year time limit to get their house back in order. They should give them the first two years to implement changes. At the end of two years the ICC makes a detail followup to make sure things are progressing in the right direction. After second year, they should do it once a year for the next three years.

    At the end of five years if WI are almost at the finish line, give them another 1-2 years of $$. If they do not get any changes done by year 6 or 7, then time to close shop in the WI and move on. Because at that point it will be a money pit. No amount of $$ can help.
    WI board is rubbish and although there is corruption, its on a low level, mismanagement is a bigger issue.


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