A day after the cricketing world seemed split wide open, the ICC have come out and insisted that their house was in order and that all’s still well within the sport’s governing body. Tuesday had witnessed a monumental fracas with a number of the member boards insisting that the ‘unanimous support’ that the ICC claimed to have procured for the draft proposal were indeed not accurate. Some of them had even shunned that declaration as being ‘misleading’.
But ICC president Alan Isaac insisted on Wednesday that the two-day meeting in Dubai had been a success and that all the directors of the board representing the various cricket boards around the world had reiterated their united backing to the ‘key principles’ of the redrafted ‘position paper’.
“We had a board meeting today. And we reconfirmed that the agreement to those principles was unanimous. Where there is perhaps some confusion is that when the detail is put to those agreements and they become resolutions. The directors reiterated this morning that their agreement to the principles was unanimous,” the Kiwi said.
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Isaac also pointed out the reasons for why the much-debated proposal didn’t go to vote during the meeting with all board members present.
He also insisted that the draft paper had changed in significant ways since it was first penned but it still remained a work in progress.
The president in fact expected it possibly to be tweaked even further before the ICC calls for a follow-up meeting sometime next month.
“There was no voting on the resolutions because the content and the detail behind them are still being discussed. Nothing to vote on. We’ve agreed principles at the moment, we haven’t adopted resolutions or recommendations from the draft report subsequently negotiated,” the Kiwi added.
While most conspiracy theorists have pointed as BCCI being the brains behind the draft proposal that would ensure a structural overhaul, Isaac was adamant that the idea had come instead from the ICC and that it was he who had approached the so-called ‘Big Three’ to start with.
“I encouraged them. We’ve had a situation at the ICC where we go from one meeting to the next three months later and make no progress. So we thought you can get a smaller group together you can often make progress. We could have added extra people to it. I just felt that the CA, ECB and BCCI we could make more progress more quickly,” he explained.
“You have to start somewhere. To have the three bigger and stronger members in a room coming up with a basis for discussion. That’s what the draft was about,” he added.
Isaac also believed that the incessant criticism that had come the way of the ICC for allegedly having allowed the big three nations to have their way was uncalled for and that if anything the present scenario only seemed set to strengthen cricket around the world. “It’s interesting that before January 9 everyone was saying the BCCI runs the ICC and world cricket. After the proposal was leaked, they were criticizing that three boards now want to run the game. Australia, England and South Africa are probably the oldest boards. But it has no relevance here. It’s just a question of us having to start somewhere,” said Isaac.
Format woes led to dropping Test Championship: richardson
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson revealed that the scrapping of the World Test Championship was more to do with the failure to come up with a suitable formula or format to conduct a global Test event.
“We’ve seen numerous formats tried in different countries where you have a final for your domestic four-day competition, or whatever. And those finals tend to be damp squibs really because one team will inevitably play for a draw, happy with a first innings lead,” said the former South African wicket-keeper.
Richardson did beleive that the Test rankings though had grown in prominence since their introduction and that the prestige involved with finishing on top had become a major incentive along with the prize money. “The Test Match Fund will enable countries who are really, at the moment, playing Test series at a loss. It will go a long way to ensure Test cricket doesn’t get jettisoned in favour of ODI series, as is happening at the moment,” he said.
He insisting that there might come a time for a play-off between the two top-ranked Test nations but for now is pleased to retain the Champions Trophy. “The champions trophy has proved a great event. It was very popular last year, and it seemed like a sensible decision to change,” he said.