The ICC like nothing better it seems than forming a nice, high-powered committee. Like any self-respecting governing body the reasoning goes: if in doubt, form a think-tank. They may not actually do much, or certainly much good, but it looks proactive. The super-group that is the ICC elite committee has of course been in the news recently for their decisions on Zimbabwe’s cricketing future and the outcome of the infamous Oval test in 2006, but it is the newest kid on the block that has caught my eye. This most recent of committees has been brought together in order to deal with the vexed problem of ‘unauthorised’ cricket as the ICC so diplomatically puts it, or rather more accurately, cricket that is making money for the wrong people. With Lalit Modi getting stronger by the day and the IPL schedule starting to take precedence over the international one, perhaps it is authorised cricket that they should be looking at.
One hopes that it has been fairly firmly established that the unjustifiable and frankly obscene tactics of attempting to demonise and isolate any and every one associated with the Indian Cricket League cannot suceed. Though ICL stalwarts have been to varying degrees successfully excluded from establishment cricket in India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the fact that the ECB were unable to do the same without getting sued was a major blow to Modi’s megalomaniacal quest for world domination.
Whilst it is certainly promising that instead of just hoping the issue will magically go away the ICC are attempting to resolve it, it is still difficult to take anything they say on the matter at face value considering they are inevitably a strongly vested interest. A spokesperson claimed that "The purpose of the group is to ensure that whatever conclusion is reached is in the best interests of the game." Sitting on this committee are both Giles Clarke and Lalit Modi himself. In the best interests of whom again?
As always, those that have the money make the rules and the BCCI and Lalit Modi certainly have plenty of that. Given their thus-far uncompromising stance on anyone or anything that threatens their share of the pie, it is difficult to see any kind of reconciliation between ‘authorised’ and ‘unauthorised’ anytime soon. If however the committee is indeed committed to acting in the best interests of the game, then it must do its utmost to get people like Shane Bond playing real cricket again.It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the committee decides or does.