ICL: Indian Cricket League

Cricket, Not A Sport Anymore

Written by F Mirza on August 23rd, 2007   (825 views)

International Cricket is no more a mere sporting event. The over commercialization of the game pertaining coverage rights, advertising, match fixing and the rise of illegal betting market with the possible close connections with the under world, has made it a lucrative place for all kinds of people and organizations to get involved.

The sport regulation bodies and authorities, on the other hand, are weaker in capacities and capabilities to first comprehend the challenge and then respond to it through different kinds of regulatory and administrative measures. Cricket is played in every diverse region and therefore has very complex national and international legal and administrative and cultural contexts.

The mammoth challenge of arranging and playing an error free sporting events in 21st century is not something for which the game governing bodies and especially the International Cricket Council (ICC) is trained in dealing with. In the past, ICC has struggled miserably in keeping pace with the change which market and media brought in the way the game is played and regulated.

Whether it is the Kerry Pecker Series in Australia late 70s or issue of media coverage and its royalty distribution issues or the match fixing rows or the interpretation of ball throwing laws on especially Asian cricketers, or the murder of Bob Woolmer the former Pakistani Coach, or the mismanagement of World Cup in Caribbean, or the recent matter of Indian Cricket League, ICC always find itself at the back foot and reactive and late in apprehending the challenges and responding to it.

WADA, the world governing body on anti-doping also has its dissatisfaction with the way ICC has been able to institutionalize drug test in its extremely limited test playing nations. That provided opportunity to individual boards to deal with its own suspects in their own way (like Pakistan did with Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar).

Cricket is a beautiful game, which warms the hearts of billions of people around the world, but when non-sporting issues start getting in the way of the game, it really hurts the fans across the fans. ICC needs to drastically change its approach and should go proactive from reactive, and dynamic from passive.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2007 and is filed under General.

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