‘World cricket all but paralysed’

You know your sport’s in a real mess when, in the space of 12 months, it can host a disastrous World Cup; investigate a murder; have an umpire take the game’s governing body to court; host a much more successful World Cup six months later but not call it a World Cup. Oh, and racism has popped up its ugly duplicitous head again.

The ICC has lost all credibility. I don’t know of another governing body in any sport which is quite so dysfunctional, and this latest spate of racism will further divide the Members unless the ICC – and India – act now. I refer you to Patrick Smith’s excellent column:

WORLD cricket is all but paralysed. The ruling body cannot make a decision that is not compromised. Bowling has been reduced to throwing, umpiring to the art of convenience, racial abuse to a point of view. Player behaviour teeters on the brink of violence.

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralidaran is outside the law, so change the law and not the action. The ICC considers Darrell Hair umpires by the book and is not a buddy of the players. Sack him.

Pakistan and India refuse to appoint officers to investigate racism in the sport. The ICC has been reduced to writing letters that are ignored and beating the heat in Dubai. Apparently Pakistan and India players and supporters can only be offended and never offensive.

Racial vilification has been redefined. What is said is no longer critical, but who says it to whom is at its heart. So Symonds is vilified by Indian supporters and it goes unheard and ignored. CA whimpers its concern but fails to report the matter officially.

I don’t believe any sport is rife with racism. Not at all. But sportsmen are as much members of society as the rest of us, and we are living in a confused and fragmented world these days. Sport can reflect that with uncomfortable clarity.

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