Since the International Cricket Council's controversial revenue-sharing restructure in 2014, which essentially shared revenue back towards the three wealthiest members (India, England and Australia), international cricket competition has actually gone backwards on a global scale.
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On 4 April 2011 the ICC Executive Board talked glowingly about the World Cup that had concluded in Mumbai two days earlier. Among their remarks:
"This ICC Cricket World Cup has been very successful and memorable....
"...the event was the most successful in history.
"The tournament reinforced the attraction of 50 over cricket and showed the enthusiasm and excitement generated by nation v nation cricket.
Kenya's upset of the West Indies. Ireland's giant-killing of Pakistan. Moments in the sun for Canada, Bermuda, the Netherlands and others. Sri Lanka's rise from minnows to champions. Even Afghanistan's near-miss at joining the club. All these things could be consigned to the trashcan of history with the ICC approving a recommendation to downsize the Cricket World Cup.
"John Howard for President". It makes about as much sense as "Joh For PM" and now looks just as doomed. The supposedly-innocuous bid to parachute Howard into the vice-presidency of the International Cricket Council from July this year, and by virtue of succession, its presidency from July 2012, appears dead in the water.
The International Cricket Council is one of those organisations which will never truly satisify its public with the way it runs the game. No number of ex-politicians fed through the presidential revolving door will change that, but not all of the criticism is warranted. However, the ICC's approach to player discipline seems to win very few friends indeed.
"Howard's future in retirement? I've come up with three options:
(a) A ceremonial role (eg: patron, no.1 ticket holder, mascot) with one or more of the Australian Rugby Union, Cricket Australia or the Australian Olympic team...."
- Rick Eyre, 1.12.07
We're hours away from the opening of the 2009 Not-So-IPL. Australia has, shock horror, won an ODI against South Africa, and will choof off to the Home Of World Cricket which will host its first official one-day international next Wednesday.
It's a warm welcome to Bulgaria, Estonia and Turkey. One of the more sensible outcomes from this week's ICC meetings in The Home Of Cricket, Dubai, was the expansion of the governing body's membership by three, to now encompass a total of 104 countries.
This represents cricket's biggest incursion into eastern Europe to date. Estonia is the first state of the former Soviet Union to attain ICC membership, while neighbours Bulgaria and Turkey join Croatia and Greece as south-eastern Europe's representatives in the cricketing community.