The vexed question of ICC governance
Russell Degnan

Cricket governance is all the rage right now. Cricket Australia just completed a review, the ICC are in the process, and recently asked for public submissions on the matter. A first, asking the public, but one that ought to occur more often.

At heart, each of these reviews is trying to get at a central problem in the structure of cricket: boards are part of a pyramid structure where power derives from the states/counties/nations below. Power derives from those entitities and those entities are self-interested, and sometimes downright incompetent. The ICC, and Cricket Australia, would prefer a direct, independent role, afforded to other sporting organisations. The advantages: coherence and fairness of structures and schedules, and a better management to fulfil the entrepreneurial role of a modern sports administrator.

The downside: letting go of political control at the national level in favour of a global organisation means beign told what to do by the ICC. Jarrod offered a useful guide for exactly why the boards in question oughtn't to have any say. And in many ways those are cricket's more competent boards. At the level below, for every Ireland there is a USA, Kenya or Nepal. Fortunately they are already controlled by the ICC via their purse-strings.

But governance encompasses other aspects as well. The ICC is not always the producer of great ideas. Their management of the process to introduce the DRS, of global tournaments (they were behind the push for a 10 team world cup amongst other sins), and the tinkering with the rules is indicative of a body that needs better feedback. If they are not getting it from the boards, then processes need to be put in place to get it from the general public, players and other engaged and interested parties.

It was with those issues in mind, that, in collaboration with Samir Chopra of The Pitch I wrote our submission to the governance review. The recommendations were as follows:

  • The granting of voting power to the administrative arm of the ICC on the executive board.
  • Official recognition of players associations in negotiations over playing schedules and tournaments, with a preference for voting power on the executive board.
  • The establishment of a larger base of ICC tournaments to promote greater financial parity, meaning and context for cricket, and allow the ICC administration to promote and grow the sport beyond its current limitations.
  • The greater regulation of players and domestic T20 tournaments to encourage the sort of club and player devotion that other sports enjoy.
  • The disclosure of ICC Executive minutes and voting to make member boards accountable to their own membership (cricket clubs, players and spectators).
  • To establish a deliberative democracy approach to expand the scope of opinions and knowledge available to the ICC beyond the current mix of former international players.

The full submission (pdf)

Cricket - Manifesto 22nd December, 2011 16:06:56   [#] 


The vexed question of ICC governance
Wonderful piece of work.
Ben Stinga  24th December, 2011 08:21:34  

The vexed question of ICC governance
I think you have some great ideas here. I think building a loyalty toward club teams is very important and I think open minutes and voting should have gone without saying. Most importantly, though, there must be some mechanism for bringing in ideas from outside the established power structure, Cricket has, and will change and while this should never be done lightly, establishment thinking rarely sees the need for change wuickly enough.
Ken Miller  1st January, 2012 08:43:09