MCC's World Cricket committee has released statements on the World Test Championship, illegal bowling actions, corruption, the Future Tours Programme, the Indian Premier League and cricket in China following its latest meeting, at the Yas Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 January 2014.
Committee reiterates its support for a World Test Championship
The MCC World Cricket committee is a strong supporter of the proposed World Test Championship, and urges the International Cricket Council to ensure that such a tournament – or at least a final – takes place in 2017 and beyond.
Since its creation in 2006, the WCC have stated that everything possible should be done to promote and protect Test cricket, which it believes is the ultimate form of the game. The committee understands the commercial sensitivities and logistical issues surrounding the proposed World Test Championship, but feels that a solution must be found.
Whilst the committee would ultimately like to see the currently-proposed four-team knockout competition proceed, it believes that a scaled-down version involving the top two teams in either a one-off Test Final or Test Series would still provide a context that the longest form of the game currently lacks in comparison to ODI and T20 cricket.
The committee would like to end the uncertainty for everyone in the game by pressing ahead with a WTC as announced, in 2017, and believes that Test cricket could suffer if the concept was dropped. Without a WTC, the committee believes that the rankings system currently in use will lose much of its context and relevance, and that the rise of bi-lateral series between familiar foes will become the norm, to the detriment of the lower-ranked Test nations.
A WTC involving only two teams is not the committee’s preferred solution, but it would be better than nothing.
Stephenson on World Test Championship
The end of ‘throwing’ a step nearer as MCC-ICC wearable technology project develops
The MCC World Cricket committee reaffirmed its support to research and develop technology to combat illegal bowling actions in the game.
Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager of Cricket, updated the MCC World Cricket committee on the status of the joint MCC-ICC project to develop ‘wearable’ technology to help prevent ‘throwing’ in the game. The committee was told that ICC are now working out the final phase of the three-stage project, and that excellent progress is being made not only to develop the technology to enable cricketers to be tested for ‘throwing’ in match conditions, but that recent studies had shown a strong correlation between testing in the laboratory and live testing in a match situation.
With MCC being the custodian of the Laws of Cricket, the committee believes the Club should be supportive of the project and indicated a desire to continue to invest in its development. This has been a contentious issue for cricket since over-arm bowling was introduced, and this project could provide a platform for a consistent solution to the problem at all levels of the game.
ICC will now put together a plan for the next phase and present to MCC for their approval and continued involvement.
Shaun Pollock on wearable technology
The fight against corruption: concern about domestic T20 global leagues
The MCC World Cricket committee believes that corruption in the sport is being successfully combated at international level, but that the risk of corruption in global domestic T20 tournaments poses the biggest threat to the game’s health.
The committee would like to see a system whereby it would become a requirement for global T20 tournaments to sign up to a set of minimum anti-corruption standards provided by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) in order for the game’s governing body to sanction a tournament. Currently no such system exists and, with limited resources, the ACSU cannot oversee all territories and all competitions. The committee believes that the ACSU requires more resources and hopes that ICC, through its member countries, agree to an increase in funding for this important body, who are doing some excellent work to combat corruption in the game.
The committee heard a presentation from Y.P. Singh, Head of the ICC ACSU, and was impressed to hear of the good work being done. Whilst noting that much of the body’s work must necessarily remain confidential, the committee would like to see ICC highlight more of the ACSU’s output, to give the cricketing public confidence that a lot is being done to tackle this fundamental issue affecting the game.
Waugh on anti-corruption
A binding Future Tours Programme is required for stability in the game
The MCC World Cricket committee believes that certainty of match programming is essential for the proper administration of cricket amongst ICC members, and that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) has a vital role in providing this certainty. The FTP, once agreed, must be complied with.
The committee discussed changes to recent touring schedules that had taken place around the world. If ICC Members and ground authorities cannot rely on the FTP in their planning, it is highly de-stabilising. Furthermore, the committee noted that, so far, any major changes to schedules have almost invariably adversely affected Test cricket.
Committee recommends a deeper partnership with the Indian Premier League
The MCC World Cricket committee believes that the Club should broaden and deepen its collaboration with the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sundar Raman, CEO of the IPL, impressed the committee with a presentation that demonstrated both the success of the tournament and the important relationship MCC and the IPL have through the promotion of the Club’s Spirit of Cricket message. Also present and contributing to the discussion was Peter Griffiths, IMG Director of Operations.
The committee was pleased to hear both speakers’ passion for the Spirit of Cricket, and the efforts being made to promote the ‘Play Hard, Play Fair’ message to players and fans alike. The committee also heard of the anti-corruption measures in place to prevent any future spot or match-fixing activities.
The committee believes that the IPL is a powerful vehicle to promote MCC Spirit of Cricket, and wishes to see an even greater level of exposure at the tournament. It also believes that the Spirit of Cricket can make a significant contribution to the competition, and that it improves the way the game is played. The committee recommends that the Club – which is reviewing its whole MCC Spirit of Cricket message – should enhance the partnership with the IPL. MCC is expected to outline its plans for the Spirit of Cricket campaign by the end of February 2014.
MCC to step up its efforts in China
The MCC World Cricket committee believes that there is great potential to grow the game in China and that it is not an unrealistic ambition to develop the sport in the region.
Accordingly, MCC Women will tour China in October 2014, playing matches and running coaching sessions in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Leading the tour will be MCC’s President Mike Gatting, who will use the trip as an opportunity to meet with Chinese cricket representatives to encourage further growth in the women’s game and to investigate ways of promoting men’s cricket in the country.
Prior to the Club’s tour to China, MCC Women, the Chinese Women’s team and Hong Kong Cricket Club will participate in a triangular T20 tournament on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s on 22 July 2014, the same day as an MCC men’s side plays against Hong Kong Cricket Club on the main Ground.
Gatting on China
Established in April 2006, the MCC World Cricket committee is an independent voice in world cricket, free from considerations of politics, money and race. It meets twice yearly.
WCC Members (those in italics did not attend this meeting).