ICL: Indian Cricket League

Rights sale key to future of cricket: Sonn


Percy Sonn was installed as the International Cricket Council (ICC) president on Friday and predicted that the next 12 months would be extremely important for the game’s future.

“During that time we will be negotiating the sale of our commercial and broadcast rights for the next eight years to 2015,” the 56-year-old South African told the ICC’s Business Forum at Lord’s after taking over from Pakistan’s Ehsan Mani.

“The last time we did that in 2000 we received $550 million and that money has benefited every one of our members. It provided financial security that has allowed us to develop plans to take the game forward and the next agreement will do the same.”

Sonn said the ICC must not let financial matters completely dictate its long-term strategy. “While commercialism is important, we must not let it dominate the landscape or lose sight of what this great game is all about,” he said.

“Financial considerations cannot be our only driver and cricketing considerations must also play a vital part in any decisions the ICC makes,” he added. The players’ representatives say cricketers are being pushed to the limit because of their huge workload of Test and ODIs.

Sonn said he had accepted an invitation to travel to Zimbabwe, who in January suspended their Test status until early 2007. Leading Zimbabwean players have been at odds with the country’s cricket officials over their running of the game. “Zimbabwe has seen many of its leading players walk away from representing the national side over the past few years and that has led to an inevitable weakening of cricket there.”

“We are now at a stage where Zimbabwe has voluntarily stepped back from its Test commitments and they will only return to that arena when they are ready to do so,” he stated, adding, “By travelling there, talking and listening, I believe we will be in a better position to support cricket in Zimbabwe at a time when such support is clearly needed.”

Source:The News

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