One of the biggest tasks for David Richardson when he takes over in July as chief executive of the ICC will be to secure the best possible rights deal for 2015-2023. The future of the ICC’s development programs will be financially secured, but could the evolution of the sport be locked away for eight years?
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The 2011-12 season saw the transformation of Australia's state-based "Big Bash" competition into the franchise-based Big Bash League. Here are a few points which I think can be taken away following the inaugural Big Bash League:
My second column for iSportConnect can be read in full at http://www.isportconnect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11342&catid=74&Itemid=193
Over and above all the usual tiresome attempts at April Foolery, this two-minute video from the England and Wales Cricket Board is one of my favourites this year (along with 8-bit Google Maps). An "innovation" almost plausible enough that it wouldn't surprise me if the IPL tried to adapt it for real.
Here's the ECB's accompanying statement on the balldogs innovation, post-edited to partly wimp out of the April Fool's joke.
Sachin Tendulkar is surely cricket's greatest batsman of the past twenty years, and maybe (in competition with Vivian Richards) the best of my lifetime. His genius, longevity and durability have given him records that may prove impossible to break. But the farcical pursuit of his "100th international hundred", which climaxed at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Mirpur yesterday, is a blight that his illustrious legacy can do without.
Rahul Dravid is to Sachin Tendulkar what Bill Ponsford was to Don Bradman and Rohan Kanhai was to Garfield Sobers. Dravid, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Friday, was that exceptionally talented and prolific batsman who just happened to be playing for India at the same time as one of the sport's very best.
(The following is a press release issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board on 8 March 2012. It is reproduced here, in its entirety and uncut, except that I have inserted line breaks so that it may be read as blank verse. As surely it was intended to be. The original can be read here).
For all the arguments for and against the use of the DRS in the 2011-12 Commonwealth Bank Series, the fact is that it wasn't part of the playing conditions of the tournament, period. So whatever you may think of the lbw decisions that contributed to Dan Christian's hat-trick at the MCG on 2 March 2012, the fact remains that they were legitimate umpire's decisions, such as which we have played the game of cricket under for well over a hundred years.
Christian's hat-trick for Australia in the one-dayer against Sri Lanka, including Perera, Senanayake and Kulasekara is the first by an indigenous cricketer in international play for this country.