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International transfer system in cricket proposed by ACA

ACA President, Greg Dyer expressed happiness on N. Srinivasan's removal

Kevin Pietersen
Under the proposed system, a player like Pietersen could play for another national team

This could be an interesting topic to discuss, as the Head of Australia’s Players Union has suggested that star players who are abandoned, like Kevin Pietersen, could rather play for the national team of Zimbabwe so as to stay in the international scenario.

This suggestion came in with a chain of proposals and ideas to embroider the game, which were reported in Australia Cricketers’ Association’s new Annual Report. The report included the proposal for the ICC Test Championship in the hope to give the traditional 5-day Test matches a rebirth and also included N Srinivasan’s removal.

ACA has reported 10 recommendations but the most flashy and the interesting one was the “Transfer System”, which suggested that players like KP, whose international hopes have been distorted now could play for some other nation.

Greg Dyer, ACA President argues that ICC should try to bring up the international system and he recommended, “create a controlled and targeted international player transfer system, irrespective of passport qualification, aimed at levelling out the playing strength of all Test countries and better utilising otherwise unemployed Test-quality players. Say, a maximum of three internationals per team and with a minimum three-year commitment required.”

A successful implementation of such a system would mean a massive alteration of the ICC rules. The rule right now states that for a person to be eligible to play for a country, he should be born in the country, be a national of that country or be a resident. The rule also says that a player must not have represented another country in the previous four years.

If this system was to prevail, a talented player like Adam Voges wouldn’t have to wait for such a long time for a Test debut as he could be picked up by any other nation.

Dyer suggested that ICC should adhere to rules followed by International Rugby Leagues and draw out similar rules for this idea. In NFL players are allowed to change nations between World Cups. Jarryd Hayne, an NFL player who has played both for Fiji and Australia, is an example.

The concept might have been easy to write on a paper, but how its implementation would work is the big question. There are many kinds of questions that could be raised, such as if the player will be willing to represent any other country? Or if a player who gets transferred to some other country for a particular period will be allowed back to immediately play for his first nation?

The concept is nothing more than a discussion, but since it has been raised by a top official from ACA, it is definitely something to be looked upon.

Another hot topic in the recommendations was the return of ICC Test Championship which was earlier set to start in England in 2017 and then in India in 2021, with the ICC Champions trophy being eliminated. The idea, though, was later scrapped.

Dyer thinks that a 2-year tournament will be amazing to watch as each game will be more relevant if there are home and away points, he said, “This is clearly not a new idea, but will require a return to an agreed Future Tours Program involving all countries. It will also require a longer-term approach extending beyond the bilateral agreements that are currently in place.”

He also suggested that the prize money should be substantial enough so that, “the majority of all players' income is delivered by playing this form of the game.”

He also said that teams should not be given permission to, “to commence a Test series without at least two serious, true first-class lead-up matches.”

Dyer was happy after Srinivasan’s removal and “celebrated” his omission now, as he said, “As I write, I am enjoying a quiet celebration over the removal of N. Srinivasan, realistically, Srinivasan's ignominious departure is unlikely to undo the impact of the 2014 creation of the India/England/Australia troika, which now dominates the ICC club.”

The new transfer system is probably something which cannot be played upon by the ICC as it could completely change the scenario of International cricket and would rather make it more like a “Big Bash League” or an “Indian Premier League”, just that rather than domestic teams, players would be playing for different national teams.

A question of the player’s integrity would come in between and it’s a dream for every player to represent his “own” country and not any other.

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