Stakeholders to stakeholders: yay for context
Russell Degnan

How pleasant, this morning, to wake up to an email from Cricket Australia telling me that Cricket Australia CEO, James "Stakeholders" Sutherland, himself was going to speak about ICC reforms to test and one-day cricket. "Finally", I thought, "someone privy to ICC decision making is going to stand up in front of a house-trained, internal CA journalist and bunt back some softball questions on why these decisions were made".

Naturally, we learned very little about the thought process behind the decisions, though neither can it be ruled out that we learned everything about that thought process.

What we did learn was illuminating however. Sutherland had "no doubt" that a test league would bring context and interest to every game, because they all "count for something". Yet, challenged to show appropriate contextual concern for Australia's current position on the rankings (which by the by, are fundamentally not a league table) he said he wouldn't be worried until 2012/13. The anticipation of that period when every test will be brimming full of context, unless a team is already knocked out, or has already qualified, is killing me already.

We also learnt that every match in the one-day league championship will be equally contextual, with games affecting league position and "perhaps qualifying for the world cup". That must have been a slip, because it sounded like an admission that only teams playing one-day cricket, and involved in an as-yet unspecified league will get the opportunity to qualify for the world cup. And that there will be no "world cup qualifiers"; the sort that might accidentally involve an important nation missing the world cup.

A real interview might have asked about that, but the closest we came on that front was the blanched face and stumbling attempt to respond to having the ten team world cup described as a "disgrace". Apparently that decision shouldn't be isolated from other, better decisions [a 16 team T20 cup], but "balanced in a broad sense" [whatever that means], and that there is merit in having more or less teams [though no attempt was made to explain what particular merits led to adopting a smaller tournament].

But the overall message was clear enough: T20 is for developing nations; leave the real cricket to real teams, with real players. I mean, why would an associate cricketer want to play test cricket anyway? Don't they realise the format is fundamentally doomed?

Idle Summers 22nd October, 2010 12:58:10   [#] 


Stakeholders to stakeholders: yay for context
Tsk. So cynical.
Tony  22nd October, 2010 15:52:09