I was chatting to someone tonight about the ICC and their hopelessness. He, a cricket supporter of some 30+ years, told me that the ICC have ruined the game he once loved. I’m not quite there yet, but I have certainly fallen out of love with it and, moreover, I am worried for its future. Cricket is less about the players, less about the theatre on the field, and much, much more about money. The ICC’s greed is the game’s principle problem and it shows no sign of abating whatsoever.
What saddens me most is their stance that everything they do is for the greater good of the sport. And those who disagree are not only wrong, but idiotic (and need silencing). This is a billion-dollar organisation who hand out peanuts to the likes of Ireland and Kenya, and millions ($9m this year) to Zimbabwe. A company who steadfastly deny accusations of ambush marketing, yet continue to ban non-ICC-affiliated merchandise, drinks and so on from the grounds. Salesmen (peanuts, drinks, gimmicks – whatever) in the Caribbean are being charged obscene amounts for entry into the grounds and can hardly break even. When did all this happen, and who the hell is going to stop it? Using this farcical World Cup as a perfect example, surely it would have been in the ICC’s interest to make it a success, and not for its accountants but for enhancing their own image. Instead, they have ruined a tournament; ignored a prime opportunity to regenerate interest in one of cricket’s oldest, most passionate territories; left a vast public questioning their every move – and will leave with egg on their faces.
What troubles you about the ICC? Are you as enchanted with this sport as you once were as a kid? Are you (perish the thought) in support of what they do? Do you even care? I’d be fascinated to hear your opinion.