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Is this the beginning of the end of ICC's power?

Last updated on: April 22, 2013 09:40 IST

Is the beginning of the end of ICC's power?

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Faisal Shariff

Last week, England and Wales Cricket Board CEO David Collier pushed for the Indian Premier League to be held in March-April so that English players could play a bigger role in the IPL.

This proposal raises question marks about the attempt to reduce the importance of the ICC or its events, notes Faisal Shariff.

This past week, while the Indian Premier League has chugged along like it always does in April and May, an important news story came through which slipped under the radar.

It was about the IPL, but curiously did not find any mention in any sort of medium.

England and Wales Cricket Board CEO David Collier came on record about how he was pushing for the IPL to be held in March-April, rather than in April-May.

This, he felt, would help benefit England players who can then play a major portion of the IPL rather than just a handful of matches like they do right now.

That statement has a lot of potential to impact international cricket, rather, the major events being conducted by the International Cricket Council.

But it eluded mention in the Indian media for some strange reason.

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Image: Chris Gayle in an IPL game


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What the change in schedule would mean will be two-fold: No international cricket will be possible between March and April every year and more importantly, no ICC tournament can be held in this period.

If you remember, the last ICC cricket World Cup was held in this time frame: February to April 2011. The next year's ICC World Twenty20 is being held in this time frame and the 2015 ICC cricket World Cup will also be held in this time frame.

What's more, the scheduled ICC World Twenty20 for 2016 will be held in this time slot and that too in India!

What the ECB chief's proposal effectively means is a huge question mark on the timing of ICC events.

In effect, it raises a bigger question mark about the contrived attempt to reduce the importance of the ICC or in this case its events.

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Image: Events like the World Cup, won by India in 2011, may get secondary importance
Photographs: Getty Images
Tags: ICC , ECB , India

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The ICC events will therefore, in effect, only be held in September-October in South Africa and the English summer.

But you have a bigger problem because September-October has already been earmarked as the month for the Champions League Twenty20, which England wants nothing to do with.

What this effectively means is that if you are keen to host an ICC event, please look at the months between June and September.

With India already deciding to look at having a more organised home schedule like Australia and England -- between September-March -- it effectively leaves the ICC with very little time.

Of course, the last has not been heard on this, but the proposal is the first step towards effectively following the football model in cricket. League football taking precedence over national team football.

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Image: ICC CEO Dave Richardson has a lot to ponder over
Photographs: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

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This is what the purists had feared would happen. In this case, it only affects ICC events or rather the world events that it conducts.

Ultimately everyone -- especially cricket's administrators -- are being practical about looking at ways in which money can be generated for bills and salaries to be paid.

If the ECB request does find favour from India, then there would be rejoicing in some English households. Kevin Pietersen would finally be able to show his teammates why he is so much more in demand than them.


Image: A shift in focus from international cricket to domestic leagues is likely
Photographs: BCCI

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