Cricket’s carbon footprint

The fresh sea air has made me think. Maybe the ICC should be put under pressure for cricket’s ever increasing carbon footprint as a way to persuade them to play less cricket. With the exception of Zimbabwe, and other minnows, I don’t think a host nation should play more than one country in any one season. Stage five or six Tests, six one-dayers and keep it at that instead of three and four-match series involving two countries. The current set-up provides masses of cricket, not all of it as intense or enthralling as the public deserve.Never thought the damned carbon footprint hype could prove useful to cricket, but maybe it can!

Well, something has to be done so that’s my solution. What’s yours?

May criticises cricket’s schedule

Tim May has criticised the ICC regarding the sheer number of matches countries are expected to play, highlighting the ridiculous schedule facing Australia and India later this year. The two sides will face each other 21 times in 8 months, but their packed intinerary is just the peak of the mountain. We’ve known this would happen for years yet the ICC continue to pile on the matches and honour the boards’ and TV companies’ greed, at the players’ and spectactors’ expense.

“They were already playing each other 18 times and now they’ve thrown in another three (in Ireland),” May said. “We’re concerned about that. Players have a passion for the game and want to maintain that passion every time they play. But it’s becoming harder to play every game as though it’s their last.

“No one wants a two-bit product where blokes are only giving 75 percent because that’s all they’ve got left. Or because they need to pace themselves for more games coming up.” May, who has criticised the heavy workload on players in the past as well, also took a shot at the upcoming World Cup, arguing that it dragged on purely because of TV broadcasters.

“Our World Cup is too long,” he said. “Everybody bar the people who sell the TV rights believe we could compress it. The ICC sells the rights for significant amounts of money and obviously the broadcasters want to get their money’s worth.

One-day cricket is the commercial world’s gem. Short, fast, glamorous, colourful, loud, they are a huge revenue-generator for TV companies and the ICC. But with excess comes complacency, comes boredom. Do the players really want to be playing this amount of cricket? Of course not. Do the public care enough to sit through a seven-match humdrumathon after witnessing a Test series which, with the exception of India, remains the game’s pinnacle of entertainment? I doubt it. One-dayers should be the icing on a series’ cake, not a whole extra extravagant meal in itself.

One-day cricket is a victim of its own success, its shelf-life coming to an end. If nothing is done to address the sheer quantity of matches being played, we could well see strike action from the players in a desperate attempt not only to remain fit, but mentally sane. I hope so, too, because the ICC are far too one-eyed to see sense unless a problem smacks them in the chops.

Patrick Kidd has his own thoughts over at Line and Length. Offer yours below.

Future Tours Programme 2006-2012

Who says they’re playing too much cricket?

Absolutely crazy. Now the ICC aren’t a bunch of suits sitting around a table. Well, that they are, but they are comprised by the member countries who play this game. So it’s they who have agreed to play all this cricket and it’s they who will have to answer the inevitable call from players regarding burnout. My boss says:

If anyone doubted the influence of the Indian board, look at the FTP and ask yourself why Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not down to tour India. That will not go down well in Bangladesh whose election to Test status in 2001 was so staunchly backed by Jagmohan Dalmiya, then the BCCI supremo, and yet, according to the FTP, a decade on and they will still be waiting for their first invitation.


“India, you selfish big beast, you!”

Well well well. Mike Atherton, whose excellent column you can read at the Sunday Telegraph, has branded India the ‘big beasts’ of cricket following their withdrawal from the Champions Trophy in 2007, and their general mucking around of the Future Tours Programme (FTP). I’ve written it up on Cricinfo, so will summarise:

“India’s announcements last week as to their future playing arrangements, meekly confirmed by England, has left no one in any doubt who is now master and who is servant,” Atherton wrote.

Atherton added that India’s behaviour toward the ICC conveyed an image of a country `acting as superpowers tend to act: self-interest first and last and bugger the rest.’

“Last week, Malcolm Speed, the chief-executive of the ICC, found himself in a position much occupied by Kofi Annan and the United Nations in recent years: being bullied by a superpower for whom the notions of international law and collective responsibility have long ceased to have any meaning.

“He needs to stand his ground and we need to support him.”

A very strongly worded and angry attack, which will make for a fascinating response by the BCCI. Or indeed, any Indian cricket fan…