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 in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

Photos

Highlights of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

West Indies vs Bangladesh Live Cricket Score, 1st ODI at St George’s: West Indies win by 3 wickets

Len Pascoe: There was a hospital ward named after Jeff Thomson and me

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014

Stuart Broad to undergo knee surgery on September 4

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: Why West Indies’ victory is statistically significant

West Indies beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets in 1st ODI at Grenada

India vs England 2014: Duncan Fletcher, Joe Daws conduct practice at Lord’s ahead of ODI series

HPCA saga: High Court gives government 10 days to reply to writ petition

India Women vs England Women ODI series: Test victory should motivate them to improve their ODI record in England

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

A statistical review of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

India tour of England 2014: Is IPL really the cause of India’s woes abroad?

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: Why West Indies’ victory is statistically significant

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

George W Bush takes ice bucket challenge, dares Bill Clinton

Science of slip fielding: What might be wrong with Team India’s slip cordon

Vidya Balan gets caught while watching Salman Khan’s Kick in disguise!

Ebola in Liberia: Ebola quarantine zone turns violent as soldiers open fire

Hrithik Roshan will not romance Jacqueline Fernandez

A statistical review of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Militants attack major air base in eastern Syria

How much money has the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised till now?

OnePlus starts hiring in India ahead of launch

America, Are you ready to cheer for MOMS?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here