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Big Three takeover approved

8 Feb

iccToday the worst was confirmed for cricket fans around the world, as the ICC board approved changes to governance, competition and financial models. Most alarmingly of all was the announcement that current head of the BCCI, N. Srinivasan, will be the new ICC Chairman from July 2014. Srinivasan, who heads the only national board to dispute the worth of the DRS in all cricket, owns the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings and has had multiple charges of corruption laid at his door.

The changes that will sweep cricket were contested at a meeting in Singapore – no doubt to take it away from the mainstream cricketing world, and the inevitable protests it would cause – and although the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and their Pakistani counterparts abstained form voting as they stated they needed more time to discuss the changes, the other boards voted in favour, and they were carried. The consequence of Pakistan refusing to back India’s charge will most likely have profound consequences on the chances of an India v Pakistan Test series.

The Test Championship has been shelved in lieu of the ICC Champions Trophy being resurrected. The Test Championship was always a poorly constructed competition, that never looked like the future of Test cricket. Though the ICC seems to have over-complicated it in order to cover up the fact that it wouldn’t be as financially beneficial as official ODI events. However, a four year system in which each nation plays home and away Test series and then the top two teams play a final is a simple plan that would have been easily organised.

Instead, the 2017 and 2021 Champions Trophy tournaments have been scheduled – whilst contractually binding bi-lateral agreements will be organised ‘as a matter of urgency’, meaning the Future Tours Programme will be booked up until 2023. Whether or not this version of the FTP will be as contractually binding as the previous incarnation (one remembers the BCCI bullying Cricket South Africa over their tour in November 2013, before eventually dropping Test matches so Sachin Tendulkar’s final game could be played against the West Indies at his home ground in Mumbai beforehand) remains to be seen. But what is certain is that the ‘Big Three’ – Australia, England and India – will have far more control over who they play and when, so as to maximise the revenue they can earn through selling television broadcasting rights.

The ICC also announced that Associate Members will have more of a chance at playing Test cricket, as the winner of the next ICC Intercontinental Cup will take part in a play-off against the lowest ranked Full Member – and if they win will gain full Test status. What the ICC did not make clear was in which format the play-off match would take place (whether it would be a 4 day game or a 5 day game) or what would happen if the Full Member nation lost the play-off. Whether or not their full Test status would be rescinded or if the list of Test playing nations would grow continually was not specified.

Finally, one of the most telling parts of the release from the ICC was the oblique admission that there were huge concessions made by all nations – especially the smaller ones – in order to get these new regulations passed. And although the ‘Big Three’ have all the power, India are of course the biggest winner. With Srinivasan (whose son-in-law was arrested on suspicion of involvement with illegal betting last year) heading up the ICC come July, one nation will gain a huge amount over the others.

Promotion of the world game is implicit in the founding of the ICC but the fact that one nation will now have a much bigger slice of the pie means that this will take a back seat. All cricket fans can do now is sit back and watch the rich nations get richer and the poor nations get poorer.

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Milestones

9 Oct

120124010605-cricket-ponting-story-topRight so, it’s been a year since I went onto WordPress and started up an innocently yet hilariously self-indulgent blog called ‘alexbritten.wordpress.com’. In my defence, I made a mistake. I thought that was a username, or something, and I could call it something more related to cricket rather than just my name. Obviously I was wrong, but it has given me plenty of material for self deprecating jokes over the past 12 months, so it’s probably been worth it.

I was seriously naive when I started this blog. My genuine belief was that I’d write on this for 6 – 10 months, then I’d start getting money through it because of adverts (and because I don’t understand the internet), then I’d get a pleasingly grovelling email from the sports editor at the Guardian begging for me to come and write for him because Mike Selvey and Andy Bull really are letting the side down. Modestly I’d accept my post, move to North London and live like a king, occasionally using executive phrases such as ‘filing my copy’ and ‘just popping to Lord’s for a spot of lunch with Gus Fraser’. I’d imbibe gallons of Beaujolais, smoke cigars and take baths in tubs full of dollar bills.

The reality – I moved from a student hovel in Manchester back home to Suffolk, only met Mike Selvey and Andy Bull at Guardian HQ once (on an excellent ‘How To Be A Cricket Journalist’ masterclass – check them out); I have filed no copies (unless writing online and self publishing counts), went to Lord’s just the solitary time (didn’t meet Angus Fraser) and have drunk no expensive wine, smoked any cigars nor attempted to wash myself using dirty money.

Luckily, I was asked to edit thecricketmagazine.com, and so I’ve been filling up internet space blathering on about that incessantly. And, equally luckily, some excellent writers have written things (filed copies?) for that, showing me how one should write about cricket in a witty, informative and engaging way. People like the wrongunatlongon, Ruth Thielke, Jud Ong, Davis Harrigan from Beyond Realisation, Matt Carter and so many more that I’ve forgotten them. Thanks guys.

So has this blog has sort of achieved an aim, in that I am now a bit more of a cricket journalist than I was before the 8th of October 2012? Maybe. I’m not as much of one as I want to be and I most likely act and behave like more of one than I really am. One of the other stated aims on this blog was to discover more of the internet than YouTube and Buzzfeed – so has this succeeded? I guess that has too. I now know about webmail and, sadly, am addicted to Reddit. I think that means the past year has, therefore, been good? Jesus.

Anyway, seeing as blogs are, in their nature, incredibly self centred things, I’m going to write a list of objective that I would like to achieve before the 8th of October 2014:

1) Update this blog more regularly, and not with those really annoying ‘read more on The Cricket Magazine’ links because whenever I see something similar on another website it irritates me to the point of immediate combustion. That isn’t to say I’ll stop doing those things (because what is a loyal audience for if not for conning them for hits?), but I’ll try and do more articles solely for Thoughts of a Cricket Addict. You lucky devils.

2) Get paid. Lololol.

3) Build up Twitter followers, both on TCM Twitter and personal one. I don’t know why it surprises me that, despite my numerous bellicose tweets about the bloody ICC they still don’t follow me, but it does. And they should. Also, the ECB (same reason for them not following me) and just generally more people who don’t govern cricket, but just like it (probably more than the ICC, but that isn’t hard).

4) Be less bitter/jealous about other journalists and writers who are more successful than I am. And to that end, stop whining about nepotism. It happens, it’s always happened, and as long as certain people’s fathers are major cricket correspondents, they’ll always have a foot in the door irrespective of their own questionable ability to write words about cricket. Grumble.

5) Stop grumbling.

6) Stop rambling.

So there we go. Another year older, another year closer to death. It has actually been a lot of fun. I’ve done things that I never thought I’d do, and that is all because of this blog and, far more importantly, because of you. Yes, you, anonymous internet person. Just clicking onto this has made it possible and I will be forever grateful for it. Should I ever meet anyone who says ‘Hey, we both like cricket, why don’t you check out this great blog I read, it’s called Thoughts of…’ I’ll spontaneously erupt with joy and jubilation and probably lick that person right on the face.

Here’s to another year.

Alex

www.TheCricketMagazine.com

2 May

Hey! This is a guy writing about a thing what I’m doing! And I’m too lazy to blow my own trumpet so he’s done it for me. Thanks David!

The Wrong'un at Long On

A fellow blogger with a level of dedication completely alien to myself has taken his writing passions further by creating an online magazine.

It is cunningly entitled ‘The Cricket Magazine’ and is a magazine about cricket! I like magazines…I like cricket…ya get me?

Seriously though, the level of networking Alex has put in is really quite remarkable and he has created ties with forums, businesses and other bloggers alike. The kid’s got beans, he’s like a rabid gerbil on acid. His solitary error to date is ‘signing’ up a terrible ‘writer’ he found on this very blog…

To add a link, the following links to a piece I wrote a few months back before the start of the NZ series where I basically heaped caution onto the Joe Root bandwagon and suggested that Compton is at least as good a bet for runs in the ‘now’ period. Shortly after, Compton…

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Leather & Willow

19 Mar

Facebook Logo

Dear reader.  You may have noticed the new banner that I have on my blog and got very confused.  This is understandable, for it has incontrovertibly changed.  Leather & Willow?  This sounds like a furniture magazine.  Well I can assure you that it is not a furniture magazine, writing about one thing I don’t really know much about is hard enough for me. Leather & Willow is actually a cricket magazine.  It’s a new Club and County cricket magazine that I have started.  And it launches soon.  Sound interesting?  You BET!   Continue reading

10 Mar

I have never reblogged anything before because I didn’t see the point in it. But quite frankly this is one of the most magnificent, saddest and poignant things I’ve read in a long, long time.

Limited Overs

In my last blog, I mentioned how I didn’t have the same connections to cricket that others have. Kolkata 2001 does not remind me of moving to America, for instance.

Well, this is my attempt at fixing that, without causing too many ripples in the space-time continuum.

*

Sometime after the India vs Australia series, most cricket fans, be they casual or serious, Indian or otherwise, fully expect Sachin Tendulkar to retire from Test cricket.

24 years, 196 Tests, 15,746 runs, 51 centuries, and God only knows how many balls faced.

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Sachin made his Test debut on November 15th, 1989, as a 16 year old. It was against Pakistan in Karachi. He scored 15 off of 28 balls before being bowled by Waqar Younis.

Six weeks before he did so, on a sunny Autumn morning in Minneapolis, minutes after finishing the Twin Cities Marathon, my dad died of a massive…

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Hello world!

7 Oct

Hello and welcome to my cricket blog!

Who am I? 

My name, surprisingly enough, is Alex Britten and I am a graduate from the University of Manchester with a degree in Classical Studies.  Kind of explains why I have the time to write this thing rather than do an actual real person job.

Why am I here?

The reason I’m offering my opinion here is that I wish to be a cricket journalist one day – be it for a newspaper, website or magazine.  My dream is to follow the England cricket team’s fortunes around the world and report on them.  So I figured the best way to do that would be to start up a blog where I write my own thoughts, and take it from there.

So there we have it – a little introduction about me and who I am.  I love cricket, always have, and I’m thankful to anybody who stumbles across this page as it means I’m one step closer to achieving my goal.

So thanks, and enjoy the read.  It means a lot.

Alex