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Cricket is missing a critical component

It is habitually demanding keeping up with the goings-on surrounding cricket. It seems that, annoyingly, there is always a sinister controversy lurking in the shadows just waiting to combust, eager to sully the game’s image.

The red banner-stealing spot-fixing scandal in the IPL is the latest shame to black-mark the game and rapid action is required to immediately eradicate this cancer. Again.

How different things appeared elsewhere.

While that jarring news cascaded frantically around the shocked cricket world and various pundits spewed forth with fire and brimstone, in a parallel white-flannelled universe, a master class from Jimmy Anderson initially, followed by a second innings demolition job from Stuart Broad brought me back to the pureness of the game. How can it be so right on one continent and so wrong on another at the same time?

History has proven that India has routinely dished up captivating and engrossing contests while other regions have simultaneously wallowed in wickedness for one reason or another. Exasperatingly, no country or continent is immune and none more susceptible than the other.

It really is a calamity that a game that has so much to offer occasionally disappoints at a magnitude that rocks foundations. It is most unfortunate that greed is often the cause of such devastating developments and the level of individual deceit is, at times, scandalous.

It is also poor that the game’s stakeholders are not universally galvanised.

Could a tough, unified, world-wide governing body that steadfastly and effectively controls the game prevent these shortcomings? India is the powerhouse and the controller of the game, 'finish and klaar'. The ICC is inadequate.

For a long time now we have had fractious parties constantly butting heads and generally finding little common ground on issues. That is a recipe for the disaster and polarisation we are frequently witnessing.

Something that one learns living in the USA is that all of the premier sporting governing bodies are universally respected custodians of the major sports and they rule with an iron fist.

All stakeholders are amalgamated for the greater good of their sport and when the commissioner lays down the law … that is it. All owners, players, officials and employers buy into that ownership. They understand, endorse and get on with it.

It makes little sense that with the immense influence, reach and power of our great game no genuine unified governing body is controlling and collectively acting with the best interests of the game and the stakeholders at heart.

Just think of the respected cricketing luminaries world-wide that could appropriately influence cricket’s direction and betterment. How different things would be if all countries adopted a policy to support an elevate governing body across the board.

Will we ever get that right? If not, expect more of the same.


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