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)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

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

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

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

Photos

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Live Updates: IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal hearing in Supreme Court: BCCI is killing the game, says Supreme Court

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Michael Clarke denies retirement plans; hopes to be fit in time for 1st Test against India

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide, Day 2

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide, Day 2

Daniel Vettori set to make Test comeback in Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd Test at Sharjah

India Women vs South Africa Women 2014: Chloe Tryon’s half-century earns Proteas two-wicket win in 1st ODI

Chandu Patankar: A gloveman lost amidst Bombay stalwarts

Cheteshwar Pujara faces crucial series in Australia following England nightmare

The first match at the Melbourne Cricket Club

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: N Srinivasan increasingly cornered by Supreme Court’s observations

India vs Australia 2014: Are India as bad overseas as they are made out to be?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Canada Seemingly on Target to Balance 2015 Budget, According to New Projections

Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce to Lead Business Delegation to India in January

NGOs pursue education for all

Here’s why Shahid Kapoor is the perfect find for the Magadheera remake!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 25 of your pregnancy

4 signs you have vitamin K deficiency

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Dilip Kumar dead, claim people on Twitter!

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide, Day 2

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here