Tag Archives: ICC

player power loses to boards’ might (there is no politics in cricket)

The ICC press release on the new members of the cricket committee said: “Kumar Sangakkara and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan were recently elected by a vote of the 10 Test captains, and will serve on the cricket committee for a three-year term from 2013-15.”

Sangakkara’s name was written in the text of the entire email – Helvetica, size 13. Sivaramakrishnan’s name was written in Georgia, size 16. It looked out of place and was very hard to miss.

Sangakkara is stately and respected, and was a natural fit. The players’ choice for their last representative on this committee was between Tim May and Sivaramakrishnan.

Tim May is the CEO of FICA, the players union. He is more than its CEO: he was its very impetus for existing in the first place. Since 1997, he has fought for player rights with cricket boards. He has pushed for better security. He has been involved with care programmes for cricketers with emotional problems. And he has fought for better pay conditions, and even upfront pay, in haphazardly organised T20 tournaments.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan is a BCCI-contracted commentator.

So 10 Test captains had the choice of who to vote for. They chose the commentator.

Perhaps the players who voted against May were sick of having an independent voice on the committee. Maybe what they really wanted was an inside man who had the ear of the king. I doubt Tim May can chat with N Srinivasan anytime he wants to. Sivaramakrishnan can.

That is democracy at work. When given two choices, the players voted with their conscience and picked the person they wanted to represent them. Of course the basic problem with democracy is that people can be stupid, selfish and easily manipulated. Not that this is a democratic situation anyway. The international players of the world don’t vote on their Test captain, their Test captains are appointed by the boards themselves.

As ESPNcricinfo understands, the four votes for May were from his home country of Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. All have strong unions and are part of FICA.

But what of the rest of the world?

The BCCI is always cast as the ogre in situations like this. But MS Dhoni was the only person who would have possibly voted for Sivaramakrishnan regardless of Tim May’s history. The Indian players have no union and are not involved with FICA, and with Sivaramakrishnan being so heavily involved with Chennai – the city, at the very least – you would assume he and Dhoni have a relationship.

Misbah-ul-Haq may have been swayed and may have also responded badly to Tim May suggesting international players boycott the yet to exist Pakistan Premier League.

The Bangladesh Premier League was given an almighty smacking by May for the fact that it regularly didn’t pay its players, or paid them really late. That might have concerned the Bangladesh captain.

And Angelo Mathews might not have taken well to Tim May also making a big deal out of the fact that players in the Sri Lankan Premier League were not paid on time.

Of course, it is more likely that these three votes were not by aggrieved players, but from their boards. Boards who have been embarrassed by Tim May regularly (as he has the nerve to point out that there may be financial or security concerns) and who probably don’t want him on an ICC committee.

Zimbabwe’s vote is always a swing vote, and talking about it in any real sense would be a waste of time. With all the other votes being fairly obvious and predictable, even the swing vote, the casting decision ultimately came down to Darren Sammy’s West Indies vote, which went to Sivaramakrishnan.

Perhaps it is a play for power by some to control the message. Tim May is independent of all boards. In his role at FICA, there is probably no board he has not annoyed. His job is to get the best deal for the players.

That said, if cricket boards are involved, this is not a player vote. And the entire position should be scrapped immediately. It’s not even like there are no other players on the committee. The entire committee is made up of former players, apart from Sangakkara. Anil Kumble, Dave Richardson, Andrew Strauss, Mark Taylor, Ravi Shastri, Trent Johnston, Clare Connor, Gary Kirsten, Ranjan Madugalle and John Stephenson are all there. They may have many different masters these days, but they are all players.

The ICC did instruct the boards not to interfere with the process, which is similar to when the ICC wanted politics out of cricket. It’s a nice idea, but spectacularly unpractical.

Perhaps these players voted on conscience. Perhaps their boards pushed them that way. But why would you want to twist any arms? What is the benefit you get from replacing May with Sivaramakrishnan?

There is talk, of course, that the BCCI is trying to stack the votes of the ICC cricket committee and that is why all these votes dramatically left Tim May. It seems odd that the BCCI would stack this committee, given that they have full control of the two committees above it; giving Sivaramakrishnan a vote hardly changes the power dynamic of the committee. And even if it did, the vote would hardly matter.

The cricket committee unanimously recommended the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) in all Tests in 2011. In 2013, we still don’t have that. We may not have it for years. So why stack a board that you ignore quite easily? That already has, as its chairman, a BCCI official in Anil Kumble and another paid BCCI commentator in Ravi Shastri, as a media representative?

If it’s not about votes on this fairly unimportant and easily ignored committee, what is it about?

Perhaps it is a play for power by some to control the message. Tim May is independent of all boards. In his role at FICA, there is probably no board he has not annoyed. His job is to get the best deal for the players.

May speaks his mind at all times. His job is to call out these boards. His job is to do what is best for the players. He is no board lackey or stooge, but his own man who believed so much in players having a unified voice that he created one for them.

What better way to embarrass this man, and FICA itself, than to have him ousted from his ICC role as the player’s representative by the same players he works for.

With that in mind, I wonder if all international players of 2012 would have picked Sivaramakrishnan over May if they were allowed to vote in a completely anonymous fashion. Not that a vote like that would ever be allowed to happen, it’s nothing more than a naïve utopian dream.

In cricket, the power is never with the people who play or pay, but always with the boards. It’s not a democracy, it’s a decadarchy.

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The new chief warden and his brown gloves: Dave Richardson ICC CEO

America gets to vote on whether they want to be run by a Mormon with a cricketers name or a guy some of their country is convinced is a suicide bomber in waiting. But if they get off work on stupid Tuesday they can waddle down to their local booth and vote based on how much they care about gay marriage.
It’s democratic, when they count all the votes.
People even get to vote on Eurovision, even if occasionally they get beaten for voting against national interests.
Cricket is getting a new ICC CEO soon as well.
Haroon Lorgat is leaving; he’s tired of doing a job where everyone hates him and he can’t do much to change it. He left with a dainty air punch called Woolf.
So who decides who should be the new face of the ICC?
N Srinivasan, Giles Clarke, Julian Hunte and Sharad Pawar are four of the people looking for someone.
Like most people, I see these guys as characters from an American prison drama.
Julian Hunte is the old guy who runs in the library. Sharad Pawar is the guy who runs the mostly ineffectual white guy gang. Giles Clarke is the Latino big man. And N Srinivasan is the man in charge of the blacks who make up %70 of the prison population.
That makes Haroon Lorgat’s job essentially the head warden of a prison that is run by the inmates.
To take control of this sort of environment you need to be an extremely smart guy who shakes things up and have the body odour of pure confidence.
But in cricket’s prison drama it’s the most powerful prison inmates who vote on who the next warden is. So no one like that was going to get the job.
Which means that the short list of four candidates we got a largely silent ECB (one of Giles’ gang) executive. A mystery Australian who is either Cadel Evans’ agent, me or Lalit Modi in white face. An ex Adidas exec who left in a hurry. Or Dave Richardson.
They’ve shortened that list down to Dave Richardson. Some will applaud the fact a cricketer has got the job. That means little to me, the best person should get the job whether they were a kleptomaniac professional ballerina who suffers night terrors or a cricketer.
I appreciate Dave Richardson as a no nonsense wicket keeper who thought raggedy brown gloves were a must wear item while still finding time to learn lawyering while being a professional cricketer. It’s also nice that the ICC is being run by a keeper, as I was always told keepers couldn’t captain.
I interviewed David Richardson only a couple of months back.
What I found was a nice intelligent patient man. He was also someone who was extremely worried about what he’d said straight after the interview. His main problem seemed to be that I’d asked him too many questions about the political side of cricket.
That seemed like an odd position for a man who earlier that day was involved in the testing of the DRS, cricket’s onfield political nightmare.
Back then he was essentially the ICC’s person in charge of making sure the trains ran on time, a professional ICC type. Now his job is the most political in cricket. A job where he will be abused for the stupid decisions of mostly unpaid power hungry people who appointed him. All he can do is try to calm down the cricket public and hopefully convince cricket’s elite to occasionally think of the game rather than their own board’s self interests.
Whether you think Richardson is the right person for this extremely diplomatic position or not, you don’t get a say. Richardson is chief warden, and if he does anything the inmates don’t like there will be a riot. It’s a tough place behind the electrified fences of cricket administration.

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silencing ottis

Ottis Gibson wakes up and knows something is wrong.

It all feels different now.

He checks his wallet; it’s lighter than he thinks it should be, but it’s still there.

His phone is switched off, but it hasn’t been taken.

His clothes have been pressed and are hanging up in his stylish and comfortable modern-looking hotel room that has a view of the ocean.

All of his belongings are neatly stacked in the corner.

His computer is charging on the desk next to a complimentary fruit basket and two bottles of water.

Still he senses something is wrong.

His mobile phone won’t turn on.

The hotel room phone has no ring tone.

No matter how much he tries he cannot get the mobile Wifi code to work.

His door is locked shut, more than locked, it’s like there is a dead bolt from the outside.

The balcony of his room is at least 12 stories high, and it is far from any other balconies for him to jump to.

Ottis is trapped.

He picks up the folder with the hotel’s amenities list in it as a last ditch effort to escape or contact the outside world.

There is none.

As he closes the folder in a defeated way his hand runs over the raised lettering on the front. His hotel is called the International Continental Club.

In a dramatic and slightly over the top way his eyes put together the first letters of each word.

I

C

C

He now knows why this has happened to him, he screams in a masculine but still fairly high pitched way as he looks straight up for inspiration.

Ottis is then back on his bed, sweating, panting, and clutching ferociously at the sheets. It was a nightmare. None of this really happened.

Just to be sure Ottis checks his mobile, which is still on and was locked mid-way through a rooftop level of plants v zombies. The hotel phone has a dialtone. And his front door is easily opened.

Sure his wallet is still a bit lighter. That makes sense though.

Ottis relaxes and prepares for another day as coach of the West Indies cricket team.

He runs some hot water and puts some toothpaste – the white stuff that helps people with sensitive mouths – on his toothbrush, and runs it under the warm tap to move it evenly over the brush.

Then he instinctively raises the toothbrush towards his mouth to brush his teeth, only for the brush to crash into his face, he tries it again for the same result.

The hotel bathroom is now fogging up, so he has to wipe at the mirror to see his reflection, he sees that his mouth cannot open, that his lips have literally been sewn together.

He slowly runs his hands over his lips and he knows who did it.

“I should’ve never doubted the efficacy of the obviously flawed, untested and inconsistently implemented DRS. I knew they’d make me pay, but I never knew they’d go this far. Damn you, ICC” is what Ottis Gibson would have screamed in that foggy hotel bathroom had his lips not been surgically sewn together.

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Occupy Lord’s

 

Whilst I was lost in Lisbon I found a whole bunch of unwashed people sitting in front of some big old building.  At first it seemed too random a place to be occupied, but after a quick look at their shoddily drawn 99% signs, it was clear I had walked into the small, smelly and shabby Occupy Lisbon group.  These people believe that by not washing and stinking out the people in power, they will abolish capitalism.  Maybe they will, deodorant sales certainly seemed low in that area.

 

Mind you, I can’t help but admire people who choose not to wash for political reasons.  Even if beating a system probably requires more than a twitter hash tag and sitting out the front of buildings.  Things like guns and pitchforks, or those guns with stabby bits on the end, might help too.   

Cricket is also run by the 1%.  It’s about as far from as democratic utopia as you can get.  The decisions in cricket aren’t made by democratic organisations, they are made by earnest power hungry administrators, shady former politicians and the TV network executives.  There are good eggs in this group as well, but they don’t act for us or have our best intentions at heart.  As fans we don’t vote, or generally have any say, the best we can do is ignore a series we think of as meaningless. If the horrific re-animation of the Champions Trophy has proven anything, it’s that even our global cricket fan indifference can’t effect Cricket’s 1%.

The ICC, cricket’s United Nations, is made up of a Eunuch like governing body and the individual cricket boards.  Those boards are chronically indecisive, occasionally corrupt and tragically incompetent. Their latest world cup backflip shows that this is not an evil organisation intent on squeezing every last dollar out of cricket, but a disorganized group of people who are lost, out of their depth or caught up in petty feuds.

Ofcourse, I’ll still watch the Champions Trophy. A tournament that I openly despise, because while I want cricket to have better governance, or actual governance, I’d watch a tournament staged by Rupert Murdoch featuring spoilt rich children of American millionaires forced to play a community service match on the road into Auschwitz, you know, if it were televised.

I realise that makes me sound like the protester who argues against the WTO before using the McDonald’s drive thru. But I’m a cricket fan, and this is my sickness. I pay my TV subscription, wear more than a few replica shirts, have memberships to cricket grounds, and, before some boards let me into their grounds, paid to watch cricket on four continents.

And as a paying fan I have several grievances with how cricket has been run by those in charge.

Cricket Australia have finally joined the franchise T20 bandwagon, allowing overseas investment even though their own review suggested this was a mistake.  Last year they completely overhauled one day domestic cricket in such an odd way that it lasted one season in that format.  They picked John Howard as their next ICC president even though New Zealand had a man in mind and knowing that John Howard’s previous political record might mean that a fairly easy appointment would never go through.  And right now they are censoring Simon Katich for talking about what he believes the reason for him not playing for Australia.

In some ways the ECB is a model of competence in modern times.  They sell out their international matches, have fans who actually watch all forms of their domestic cricket, and look after their women’s cricketers like no one else.  Ofcourse just below that exterior is their ill thought out deal with Allan Stanford.  The ECB’s deal with SKY is a financial windfall, but in a country where cricket has always been seen as an upper class game, is it a good idea to keep the game away from free to air TV and new audiences?  And why hasn’t England pushed for Ireland to be a Test playing nation, is it easier to not push and poach their best players?

The BCCI are seen as the cricket world’s big evil empire, and anything I write in this paragraph will annoy everyone.  But forget about the BCCI being evil, and think of them more as a group of often-incompetent infighters who don’t seem to agree with each other all that often, let alone anyone else.  They ban some media from their grounds, and give others contracts stating what they can or can’t say.  Rather than relying on creating a better tournament than the ICL, they used their muscle to crush it and the players who participated in it. Their players are shipped around the world like expendable commodities when it suits the BCCI, or banned from competing in certain competitions on a whim. This is as far from an evil organisation as it is from a unified one, but in either case it’s far from looking out for Indian cricket.

Cricket New Zealand don’t get much more than local press.  Yet, perhaps they should. This is a group who use capital letters when referring to BLACKCAPS in print as a bizarre and migraine inducing marketing tool.  They very nearly ended the career of their most devastating cricketer of this generation, Shane Bond, when they told him it was ok to sign a contract before then changing their mind and banning him.  Of very recent times they have got involved with a cricket board poorly run that even the ICC had to deregister them once, and will shortly be deregistered again by the look of their recent activities. The joint USA Cricket Association and NZC T20 cricket competition shows us that cricket will do almost anything to try and pry open the American market.

Pakistan Cricket Board have finally ousted Ijaz Butt from their head offices, but what damage has he left behind.  Intikhab Alam called the players mentally retarded and suggested they were not toilet trained.  Yet under his watch these special needs cricketers managed to group together to plan on fixing key elements of the cricket without the PCB stopping them. One of their players trusted them so little he fled mid tour.  Another had a personal medical condition fed to the media.  They were in charge when players and officials were shot.  And these are just the instances I can remember off the top of my head. This is a Cricket Board that gets to vote on the future of our game.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board lost 20 million dollars after the world cup.  So they had an audit.  Then they lost the disk with the audit on it.  There seems to have been no back up.  Either this is a corrupt cricket organisation, or a comically poor one. This year saw Sri Lankan cricket used for political points scoring as Sanath Jayasuriya was given a bizarre send off after his retirement.  You can’t get much more political than letting your politicians play in your national side.   This was followed by Kumar Sangakkara giving the Spirit of cricket lecture and choosing his words as wisely as he could.  You don’t have to look too far between the lines to see how disappointed he is with cricket in his country.

Cricket South Africa is currently in the middle of corruption allegations on an almost daily basis. Money seems to be going missing, and accusations are being flung at the CSA all the time.  Far right supremacists who troll on the Internet are using this as proof that government officials are mismanaging the countries resources for their own gain.  It’s hard to see how greedy cricket for are claiming this is a black thing, unsurprisingly.  While CSA might have some serious problems, greed trumps race in all situations, as a certain disgraced South African captain let us see. On top of that South Africa seem intent on playing the smallest Test series possible, two against Australia, often two against India, and now only three against England, but as long as their share in the Champions League is ok, who cares.

The West Indies Cricket Board is currently asking for Chris Gayle to apologise.  But have they apologised for their board members using funds for burger king and TGIF dinners?  Have they apologised for unleashing Allan Stanford onto the game? For the debacle that is the Sir Viv Richards stadium? Making their players travel to Durham at last minutes notice for an abridged Test series? Using strike breakers?  Or letting key players pay their own physio bills while under contract.  Perhaps Chris Gayle was wrong to say what he said about Ottis Gibson, but where are the WICB apologies, we’re are they being held accountable for their actions?

Then there is Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, two young test countries who are trying to overcome huge hardships to even make it at the elite level.  One is held back by a country with little resources, they other is pushed forward by politicians.  These are two countries I love watching play cricket, but I’d be lying if I thought there cricket was in the best hands.

So what did these associations do when they came together, they made a decision to isolate the top nations from the minnows in the next world cup. This came about not from planning, development and wisdom, but on a whim from two countries who liked the idea of a shorter more exclusive world cup and suggested it.  Shortly after, with what insiders say was not even a vote and no vocal opposition from the few minnows lucky enough to get an invitation, the World Cup had been made into an exclusive member’s only club that ignored your ICC world ranking.

Then we the fans made some noise.  It wasn’t an organised effort, or a global uprising, there were no pitchforks or gatherings outside cricket grounds. It was just people saying online, “Hey, you know what, we think sides should at least get their chance to qualify in a world cup.” and then the ICC did some pretty back peddling, and the world cup was changed again.  Perhaps it wasn’t a victory of the fans, and maybe someone in the ICC, Sharad Pawar maybe, just looked at the proposal and thought it looked kinda stupid.

I hoped it was a moment of clarity, sadly, the ICC have now sat back and watched the Test cricket championship die so a tournament absolutely no one on earth has ever cared about can be brought back. The Champion Trophy coming back is not a victory for anything other than confused bumbling.  The ICC allowing this look like a far less cuter version of Wile E. Coyote.

Cricket could not be further from our hands now were it given back to the Gentleman and Lord’s.

Maybe it’s time cricket’s 99% had more say.  Maybe it’s time we Occupy Lord’s.   Let us  show those in charge know that we are the people who finance this game, and our voices should be heard.  Sure Lord’s isn’t really the ICC home anymore, that’s now nestled in cricket’s heartland, but it’s the ground that calls itself the home of cricket, and it’s a far more grand statement than occupying some soulless building in a non cricket loving country.

However, the good news is you don’t have to travel down to St John’s Wood with your sleeping bag, a few tins of fair trade baked bins and a guitar you can’t play.  You can just email the ICC’s independent governance review here governance.review.icc@uk.pwc.com

We can all sit around with our friends lazily whining about the abominable job the ICC has done to run cricket, or we can type down our thoughts on just what we think they should be doing.  We can ask for minutes of their meetings to be made public.  We can ask for a fans associations to be allowed to represent the fans.  We can mention that the world cup is for the world.  We can tell them the true marketing value of Tests. And we can remind them that this is a game that people only make money from this game because of our love for it. 

 

Sure, this could be a waste of time, and even your best suggestions could end as little more than an automatic reply.  But I’m not asking you to recite Woody Guthrie lyrics at 3AM, I’m just asking for you to put your best suggestions into an email before the 9th of December and press send. It will mean that when your suggestion is overlooked you can rightfully scoff and feel morally superior as cricket continues to stumble into its way into an uncomfortable and hostile future.  

 

So, yeah, email this and get it on governance.review.icc@uk.pwc.com

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The official ICC guide to cricket formats

The ICC contacted us so that we could come up with a detailed explanation of all the cricket formats.

Test Cricket:

It’s sort of like long term relationship sex. Sometimes nothing can happen for five days, or even for a few weeks. It can feel like the game is choking the life out of you as you pointlessly plod away with often lifeless encounters that don’t really thrill you. It’s monotonous and predictable at its worst. Then something clicks, and it’s the best damn thing you’ve ever seen, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a climax out of it that will stay for you for a lifetime. Or at least until the next great one.

One Day Cricket:

It’s a series of largely unfulfilling one night stands. The big problem, other than the fact that most of the encounters are pointless and forgettable, is that the conversations to get to any sort of climax is just horribly dull. You do it because of the odd occasion when the climax is worthwhile, and because they’re easier and less effort than a relationship. That said it’s always helped by booze. 40 over cricket is still a one night stand, but with a fair chunk of the boring chat cut out.

T20:

It’s like a trip to the strippers. If you don’t go that often, or think you’re going to pick up, it’s ok once in a while. Especially with friends. However, if you start going to it instead of trying to pick up, or turning up on your own, it feels a bit wrong. Drinking seems like a good idea, but due to various problems it’s best to get drunk before you go. And if you don’t, you’ll probably wonder why you went at all.

Cricket Maxx:

It’s more like a random fingering in the back of a cab with a slightly more attractive than average married co-worker that you sort of remember fondly even if all details are a bit hazy.

Sixes:

It’s like fucking your cousin with down syndrome. Any involvement with this should result in you going to jail you sick fuck.

Last Man Stand:

It’s masturbation, in the end.

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God hates the associates claims the ICC

The latest ICC press statement is rather clear:

“For such are false apostles,…. Such as those he had in view, who sought an occasion to depress him, and exalt themselves, and to get money from the ICC; these were “false apostles”, or apostles falsely so called; they had the name, but not the thing; they were not called and sent forth by Haroon; they had not the grace of apostleship, or gifts qualifying them for that high office; the power and authority they exercised was usurped by them; they could not prove their mission by true and real miracles; nor had they any seals of their apostleship”

God hates the Associates according to the Westboro Baptist branch of the ICC.

Ofcourse, the ECB hate the Irish. They’ve gone all colonial on them.

Kicking them out of the world cup, then banning the players they helped turf from speaking up out their injustice.

These days it’s called code of conduct. You may speak up, as long as we agree with what and how you say it.

I doubt Surrey, Glousteschire and the rest really care if their players are getting a little angry on twitter about a grave injustice, but the ECB is a fully fledged bureaucratic empire, they’ll strangle you with red tape.

And we now know that all ten test nations have a dagger in the back of Ireland.

This democratic institution that no cricket fan votes on, yet all fund, didn’t feel the need to vote Ireland out, they just all nodded their heads and it was done.

Ireland weren’t one of the associates at the meeting, I’m sure Bermuda and Scotland fought hard for them though.

The important thing is the next tournament will be shorter, if they go ahdead with their 92′ style ten team tournament, with each team playing nine games in qualifying, plus two semi finals, and one final.

That makes the 2015 world cup potentially one match shorter than the 2011 world cup.

THAT MAKES THE 2015 WORLD CUP POTENTIALLY ONE MATCH SHORTER THAN THE 2011 WORLD CUP.

THAT MAKES THE 2015 WORLD CUP POTENTIALLY ONE MATCH SHORTER THAN THE 2011 WORLD CUP.

This actually makes it all easier to take.

All the test playing nations are equally to blame, they’re all assholes, and the tournament has been shortened by a game.

If you still can’t take all this, feel free to continue to contacting the ICC, enquiry@icc-cricket.com or @cricketicc.

Or their corporate partners, pepsi, hyundai, castrol, money gram, reliance or reebok. (Thanks Gary)

Then there is the online petition, which you should all sign and send to friends. (Thanks Tim)

Everyone who is on facebook should also like the Cricket Ireland facebook page.

And if you do facebook, twitter, blogs, myspace, bebo, or anything like that, pimp out all this information, it might all be in vain, but perhaps a viral campaign will annoy them, make them think straight, or just get them thinking about things that happen outside their business class lounges.

Also feel free to use this, it’s ugly and badly made, but it does make a point.

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The ICC takes the world out of the World Cup: Fight for your right to Borren

The ICC is a group of upwardly static fools that make cricket administracrats look like an inbred cult that only feed on farm animals with manners. These people shouldn’t be allowed to watch the cricket, let alone over officiate it.

They don’t hate the associates, they hate cricket.

And if they thought that by banning associates the chance to even try to qualify for the next world cup everyone would roll over and play dead, then they are even more incompetent than every other stupid decision they’ve made shows them to be.

Only the ICC could ruin a tournament this well just because of a simple inability to plan it better.

The ICC is giving the ten test nations automatic entry into their invitational ODI tournament, even if they don’t deserve it.

Ireland are the 10th ranked ODI side in the world. That isn’t my ranking, or yours, or even Casey Kasem’s, it’s the ICC’s.

The ICC thinks Ireland is the 10 best ODi side in world cricket, but they can’t play in the world cup, they can’t play off for the world cup, they probably can’t even mention the word world cup without paying the ICC in the blood for a pre-teen virginal boy.

Ireland, The Netherlands, Kenya and Canada might as well quit ODI cricket for the next eight years, they clearly aren’t wanted.

Why funnel money to them, why encourage them, why even call them cricketers.

Let’s stop trying to grow the game, and just lock up shop.

I think we can cull it further though. Why do we need zimbabwe or bangladesh, and England has never even won it.

Pakistan without Imran are no hope, West Indies are finished, New Zealand just clog up the semis.

Australia, Sri Lanka and India all get in for winning in modern times, and South Africa get in just for laughs.

That seems as fair as what the ICC has done.

I’m not about to sit around while cricket turns itself back into an incestuous fascist dictatorship run by a bunch of semi professional failed wannabe politicians.

We’ve been there, it wasn’t that much fun.

So here is the email address of the ICC, enquiry@icc-cricket.com it says it is for enquiries, so enquire why they thought it was a good idea to take the world out of the world cup.

Ofcourse, being the modern cutting edge dynamic enterprise they are, they also have a twitter feed. Their current question is what is the best game of the tournament. Tell them what you really think about them and what the best game of the tournament was including the associates.

You might be saying, contacting them will do no good, why bother.

That is fine, and you’re more than welcome to do nothing at all, but if the ICC are going to be this arrogant and stupid, I think the least we can do as cricket fans is make sure how many of us actually feel this way.

Remember this, the next world cup may not have the world’s tenth ranked side or Peter Borren.

So do whatever you want with the two links I gave you, but don’t find yourself mumbling in a few years…

First they came for the associates and I did not speak out because I was not an associate.

Then they came for the Zimbabweans and I did not speak out because I was not a Zimbabwean.

Then they came for the Bangladeshis and I did not speak out because I was not a Bangladeshis.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

That is how Fascists work, and that is what this is. This may not be about saving your life, or the lives of jews, communists or trade unionists, but it is about saving a piece of your cricket.

Or at the very least, letting the bastards in charge know that you are angry.

Put on your best Borren face and get in touch with them.

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Pinch the ICC, because this aint real

The ICC host their most important tournament.

Along with the local authorities, they do everything they can to make sure the players and officials are safe and secure.

Then a guy walks in who speaks English and the let him out on the ground and give him a press pass.

The guy, Syed, just walks into a ground, says Pakpassion and it’s all ok.

You can read his account of it here (EDIT: Quite smartly this guy has taken this link down, proudly announcing you’ve tricked the ICC the day before the game is not the smartest move) he relives it in minute detail, even about his trip to Kandy to see Buddha’s tooth and how they wouldn’t let him in with shorts on (same thing happened to me).

Syed has some courage, and I love the story, but what does this say about the security at these grounds when this guy is out in the middle, taking photos of the players and the pitch,without a press pass, and then is given one because well, other journalists who had just met him have asked for it to be pushed through.

He could be a date rapist, or a Christian rapper, the ICC don’t know, all he used for ID was the name of a well known website.

So if you’re at to the World Cup, and you’re thinking of using my site’s name to get into the ground illegally, go for it.

The ICC now condone this.

All I went is pictures of you sniffing Ramiz Raja’s hair on the ground.

Ofcourse, if you get arrested, shot or beaten by Peter Borren, the comments about you going into the ground an saying cricket with balls was meant purely as a satirical joke on the afore mentioned incident.

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The ICC win even before the world cup

There’s no need to imagine, the truth is out there.

The ICC have released a PDF that hundreds or thousands of people have read the exact text that the ICC were asked to cover up by the police.

The black bars on the PDF do nothing in the words of Rainier Wolfcastle.

How many well known organisations in the world could release a easily hackable PDF of information that the police asked them to withhold from the public and days later still have no mainstream press cover the story?

Blogs have covered the story.

Facebook has covered the story.

And twitter has covered the story.

Soon I expect a youtube video with someone explaining exactly how to do it for the few people who want to know what appears behind the black line and haven’t seen it yet.

Personally, I don’t really care about reading the blacked out or not blacked out areas, plus I’m in the UK so legally I’m not supposed to.

What bothers me is the police and ICC haven’t said anything. Do the police even know that their case has been compromised?

Are the ICC going to release an apology, or even a press statement about this massive mistake? Have they changed the PDF to make it more secure?

Or are we all to close our eyes, put our fingers in our ears, and pretend it didn’t happen?

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Imagine if the ICC made a major error

We all know that in this perfect world the ICC never make an error.

Imagine that this isn’t a perfect world and that they did make errors.

Imagine that in this error riddled world the ICC had to release certain information via the internet.

Imagine that they might redact certain bits of this information for legal purposes.

Imagine that you could actually read behind these redactions if you knew how to work computers in a hot shot manner.

Imagine then how silly and stupid they would look if the information they were legally obliged to hide could be read.

Imagine the furore.

Not that any of this would happen.

The ICC is too smart for that.

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