Home > Features >

ICC is treading a dangerous path by putting the FTP into jeopardy

James Sutherland © Getty Images
James Sutherland led CA along with BCCI and ECB are likely to take major decisions in world cricket © Getty Images

 

The International Cricket Council is reportedly considering handing a greater share of its powers to the cricket boards of England, India and Australia. Plus, there are murmurs about the Future Tours Programme (FTP) being scrapped. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks into these potential moves.

Why do we have a governing body in the form of the International Cricket Council (ICC)? You need an authority that regulates the game and everything about it; from ensuring the sustenance of all formats to helping the smaller nations develop into bigger cricketing powers, the ICC controls most of it. Though, critics may argue that the ‘big boys’ have often controlled proceedings, with vested interests eclipsing the greater good. On paper, the ICC is all supreme, but now, they plan to erase those marks by giving more control to Cricket Australia (CA), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

If reports are to be believed, the ICC is now considering a major power shift which would give the three boards greater authority over various issues in the ICC. That would mean putting the fate of the sport in the hands of three national boards that may have their own interests. What is more shocking is that the proposals also question the ICC Test Rankings and moreover, books a spot for the respective three teams at the top if the two-tier Test format materialises. It doesn’t end there as the Future Tours Programme (FTP) may be done away with and the boards can then set series on a bilateral basis. Are we threatening the very future of the game; Test cricket in particular?

The FTP has been a directive and most nations follow it. There have been occasions though, where the individual boards have cancelled certain series for potentially more lucrative encounters. Take the example of the tri-series in the Caribbean last year, which came in place of a Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka. Even the BCCI have changed the schedules to ensure it goes their own way. India were originally scheduled to play three Tests during the upcoming tour to New Zealand, but have ended up with only two.

Thus, if you are giving the three boards greater autonomy and doing away with the FTP, how do you expect Test cricket to be a very viable option. The richest of them all, BCCI, has often expressed their preference for the shorter formats through their actions and to give them a greater say, it would certainly put a cloud over Test cricket. Plus, if you leave the lesser boards to bilaterally schedule series’, they would more often than not prefer T20 cricket or One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

Thus, where is the obligation? Will all the nations have an obligation to play Test cricket if the FTP is done away with? After all, there wouldn’t be a governing body as such as it would be controlled by the major powers. The fans too do not come in numbers to watch Test cricket in those nations, so might as well host something that attracts crowds. Also, it is difficult to envision the BCCI asking other bodies to play Test cricket when their own priorities would be different.

And, what will all this mean for Twenty20 (T20) cricket? Will the BCCI push for an Indian Premier League (IPL) window? It may come to that as players from all over the globe flock to India for the league. And, if you give the IPL a window, why not give it to the Big Bash League (BBL) one would say.

So, it looks like the ICC is treading a very dangerous path and there may be serious repercussions in store. The problem is, we do not have the luxury of hindsight!

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Bhuvneshwar Kumar says rhythm is key ahead of India’s tour of Australia 2014-15

India vs Australia 2014-15: Harry Conway replaces Gurinder Sandhu in CA XI squad

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Ahmed Shehzad set to return for ODIs; Sohaib Maqsood ruled out

Australia vs India 2014: Shane Watson uninterested in captaining Australia

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s overseas performances have impressed Mike Hesson

Is Dhawal Kulkarni a contender for India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

World Cup 1992: Arjuna Ranatunga masterminds first ever 300-plus ODI chase

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

South Africa may lose momentum ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here