Internation Cricket Council’s (ICC) chairman N Srinivasan, in an exclusive interview with The Hindu, says it will not be easy to sustain the rebel cricket leagues that have recently sprung up, no matter how much money is poured in. The former BCCI President feels that the prevailing cricket environment has been in place for a long enough time to withstand any such move.
“Any attempt to form such a rebel league is not easy to succeed. Cricket as we know has been established over a long period of time in various countries. It is based on domestic structures that have been put in place for centuries as in the case of England and Australia, and 80 to 90 years in India,” Srinivasan said.
Reports emerged in April that a rebel league, along the lines of Kerry Packer’s World Cricket Series, was being lined up with financial backing provided by Essel Group. David Warner and Michael Clarke were reportedly approached with a huge contract, with the former himself stating that the proposed league might change cricket forever, especially the Test format.
This is not the first time that Essel Group has attempted to break ICC’s stranglehold on the game. Subash Chandra, owner of the media enterprise, had bankrolled the Indian Cricket League back in 2007. Though the venture wound up after IPL’s grand success, the governing body are not taking the latest break-away attempt lightly .
The ICC set up a three-member committee to look into the issue with Srinivasan himself one of the members along with outgoing England Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke and Cricket Australia chief Wally Edwards.
“Just because ICC events are popular and receive broadcasting rights, it doesn’t mean it can be duplicated overnight. The assumption that a substantial chunk of players will go away and be part of a league that will sustain itself over time...it is hard to see that happening,” Srinivasan told the newspaper.
Srinivasan talks about ICC’s stance on match fixing and chucking
Srinivasan expressed confidence that ICC’s new policies regarding match fixing and spot fixing will completely eliminate the menace from the game.
“What the ICC looks for in the future is to primarily develop the game, deliver outstanding world events and protect the integrity of the sport. We will take all necessary steps to keep the sport clean,” Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan also supported ICC’s tough stance on chucking and commented that the strict measures were a collective decision supported by all the cricketing boards.Published 02 Jul 2015, 19:15 IST