The man who grew a watermelon in his stomach

It’s no surprise that ECB chairman Giles Clarke and BCCI president N.Srinivasan have refused to speak about their attempted coup of world cricket. It’s not clear how two such clever men were persuaded into allowing their unconstitutional take-over bid to be wrapped in cheap gift paper, but it would appear that none of their subordinates have been fooled.

It’s no wonder they haven’t answered any questions. There are so many to be asked it would take them days just to get through the obvious ones. But then, they’ve never answered questions, so why would they start now?

Here are a couple (just for the hell of it).

The ‘Test Fund’ which they advocate to protect the primacy of test cricket. Why is South Africa the only country which does not stand to benefit from this fund? Presumably, that’s a personal grudge? If it is, then the best interests of the game are being sacrificed on the altar of spite.

Another question: If certain test series are “not financially viable” and therefore will form no part of the future in the proposed Division One of test cricket, why do the hastily assembled Terms and Conditions of the coup suggest that these series should now be played in Division Two? How will that make them more financially viable?

“Best Interests of the Game” is an interesting concept. How familiar has Mr Srinivasan been with this concept over the last five years? Let’s draw up an XI of the most interesting pieces of legislation to have faced cricket in the last five years. First, ask yourself whether you believe they were in the best interests of the game. Mr Srinivasan voted and/or acted against all of them.

1. Umpire Decision Review System. Srinivasan dead against.

2. Accurate stadium attendance figures and ticket-sale figures for the 2011 World Cup.

3. The establishment of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) and the ICC’s co-operation with it. (Srinivasan is still attempting to have FICA “unrecognised” by the ICC.)

4. The commissioning and implementation of an independent governance review to establish ‘best practice’ at the ICC. The result was the Lord Woolf Report. Srinivasan has said India will withdraw from the Future Tours Programme (FTP) if a single one of Lord Woolf’s 65 recommendations is implemented.

5. The establishment of a new and updated Code of Ethics for all ten test-playing nations and the 96 associate and affiliate members of the ICC. The BCCI’s is the only signature missing. Until Srinivasan signs, the document remains useless.

6. The adoption of standardised security standards for bilateral tours following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan. Nine of the ten test nations accepted the proposal. Srinivasan said nobody had the right to tell India how to do security.

7. The proposal that the ICC accept the IOC’s invitation to present T20 Cricket at the Olympic Games. Srinivasan said ‘no’ despite an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote among fellow member nations.

8. The Future Tours Programme (FTP) which gives credibility and credence to the test and ODI rankings. Srinivasan remains determined to scrap the FTP and appears in ICC minutes from 2011 stating that India wants the right to select its own fixtures and to be able to postpone, cancel or change them without penalty – no matter what contracts have been signed.

9. Independent Directors on the ICC Board. Srinivasan believes the ICC is a private members club and should be run by the members, for the members.

10. The ICC joined Wada in making all its professional players, worldwide, subject to random drug testing. Srinivasan said cricket was “different to all other sports” and refused to sanction India’s participation.

11. The introduction of a meritocratic system of qualification for ICC events among the smaller nations. Srinivasan strongly objected but it went ahead anyway.

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