KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Kumar Sangakkara will become the newest member of the MCC World Cricket committee following its upcoming meeting in Cape Town on 8 & 9 January.
The two-day sitting will be the first with former England captain Mike Brearley as Chairman following the retirement of Tony Lewis in October 2010.
The ongoing debate on tackling corruption in cricket, as well as the future of Test cricket, will be high on the WCC’s agenda in South Africa.
Sir Ronnie Flanagan, Chairman of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, will address the committee on the ACSU’s latest work, with input from Tim May - Head of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations.
The committee will also discuss the postponement of the World Test Championship scheduled for 2013 and examine the thoughts of Rahul Dravid on pink balls and the potential for day/night Test cricket.
Sangakkara’s invitation to join the WCC is in line with the committee’s requirement that all members should have up-to-date experience of professional cricket.
The 34-year-old, currently the top ranked batsman in Test cricket, becomes the second Sri Lankan to join the WCC after Michael Tissera and is its youngest ever member.
The batsman has built a reputation as one of the most articulate voices in the international game, in part created by his MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s in 2010.
Depending on team duties, he hopes to join the WCC in Cape Town immediately following Sri Lanka’s third Test against South Africa at Newlands and, alongside Dravid, will become one of two current players sitting on the committee.
Sangakkara said: “When Mike Brearley invited me to join the MCC World Cricket committee he explained exactly what the role of the committee is, and how they would like me to be involved, it was an instant ‘yes’ from my part.
“It is a great initiative, and there are some fantastic people already on the committee that can positively influence the very life and spirit of cricket going forward.”
Corruption in the game has been a much discussed topic for the WCC in recent years, with Steve Waugh leading a working party into the issue.
Waugh himself undertook a polygraph lie-detector test as part of the investigation into ways of eradicating corruption from the game.
The WCC also played a role in encouraging the creation of a WTC, which the ICC deferred until at least 2017.
In addition to this, the committee has also led the research into the possibility of day-night Test cricket being played in the future, using a pink ball.
Other items on the agenda for Cape Town include the recent ICC playing conditions involving runners and substitutes, wearable technology and potential areas for the Club to conduct future research projects.
A range of issues into the governance of the game will be explored by the committee, with particular focus on Pakistan and the situation regarding the return of international cricket to the nation.