The inevitable has happened. John Howard's push for becoming the ICC Vice-President has hit the mountain of a roadblock that all but Cricket Australia could see. This has kicked off a fresh round of accusations and counter accusations from the sides on either side.
Cricket Australia is miffed at its candidate being shafted without the boards having a logical reason to do so. Maybe they're not aware of all the Australians who can't stand the sight of their former Prime Minister. Maybe they thought their Big Brother attitude toward New Zealand would go unnoticed by the cricketing fraternity. One doesn't know how it managed to convince its neighbour to not back Sir John Anderson, a man with extensive experience as a cricket administrator. Is it surprising to see this happen when a few months ago Inderjit Singh Bindra's push for an ICC post was considered dangerous for the sport simply because he's Indian?
Australian journalists are talking about the ICC being split along racial lines. They usually start their editorials with their general dislike for Howard the politician and go on to state that it shouldn't be the reason boards object to his candidature, and that it isn't. They point to Zimbabwe's objection being a result of Howard's stand against the Mugabe regime, to which others point to his indifference to the apartheid regime in South Africa. They refuse to believe the man was opposed to his countrymen touring Zimbabwe because of the lessons he learnt from his indifferent stance toward South Africa.
Sri Lankans can't get over the fact that Howard called Muralitharan a chucker. Howard isn't the only man to call him that and I don't see why he had to be politically correct about a cricketer's action just because he was Prime Minister. One of the greatest spinners in the history of the game has shared Howard's view. It led to Murali consider filing a lawsuit against him. Apparently an international umpire was asked not to call Murali for chucking in the final of a World Cup. He refused and he didn't stand in that game, although that may have nothing to do with his stand on Murali's action.
These things only point to people wanting a puppet heading the ICC. An impotent and incompetent man completely devoid of any opinion or the will to act on one, not that John Howard is a man of impeccable character. It's probably a good thing that he won't be heading the ICC in two years time. One hopes it will be Sir John Anderson instead.
But neither is Sharad Pawar. The man hardly has a legacy of uniting people, he was the brains behind the biggest split in India's biggest national party. His tenure as the country's Agriculture Minister has seen hundreds of farmers committing suicide and steady increase in food prices. Coming to his cricketing legacy, he has his fingers in the IPL pie (Not that other politicians and BCCI officials don't). When he lost the BCCI election in 2004, his protege Shashank Manohar got the curator at the VCA Stadium to prepare a green top in order to help Australia win. The Aussies weren't going to look the gift horse in the mouth and duly demolished India to win their first series in the country in 35 years.
As for the fans, the Asians are happy to see their boards having so much leverage over the so-called white countries. One can increasingly see them wanting to get back at the white boards for decades of subjugation. Some are happily wishing for a split in the cricketing world so that their team doesn't have to share any money with the countries that are equally responsible for making the sport so popular in their country. On the other hand, the whites can't come to terms with the power shift and want to go back to the good old days when they had all the power.
While all this is happening, cricket drifts from one meaningless series to another. England and Australia are about to finish an inconsequential ODI series, India will play their second test series in Sri Lanka in two years and the Kiwis will join the two nations for a tri-series for a second year in a row. We still don't have a structured international calendar which sees teams playing each other equally over a period of time. There is major disparity in the amount of money the sport generates in various countries. The governing body can't arrive at a consensus on how to implement the UDRS.
These are just the issues I can think of off the top of my head. There are many more but I'm not going to hold my breath over them being solved. The administrators, players and fans involved with the sport are a bunch of retards who can't understand the simple fact that it's time to put the past behind them and look at making cricket a truly global sport. I hope they rot in hell alongwith the sport - I have other sports to capture my imagination if that happens.
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