/ 18 April 2008

‘Reform the ICC, or we walk’

Cricket faces the threat of the biggest revolt in its history, with elite players ready to call for a breakaway from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Fica, the international players’ union, will demand far-reaching reform of the ICC, the global governing body it considers to be paralysed by the dominance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

If their wishes are not carried out, leading players are prepared to abandon the game’s current international structures.

Players have never wielded more power than today, with the rise in recent months of the billion-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), the similarly lucrative Indian Cricket League and the multimillion-dollar Stanford Challenge, which have given top cricketers a keen sense of their worth.

Resentment at the way the ICC has administered the game in the past 12 months will effectively lead to a no-confidence vote at Fica’s world conference in Austin, Texas, on May 26.

”The two days [of the conference] will be dominated by Indian cricket, what to do about the IPL, Twenty20 and Stanford,” said Ian Smith, Fica’s international legal adviser. ”People are increasingly and seriously asking why we aren’t walking away.”

Smith hopes the resolution at the Fica conference will be a demand for increased accountability in the ICC’s Indian-dominated governing board. — Â