First the bad news – N Srinivasan has been elected Chairman of the ICC. The new world order in cricket has ordained that the extraordinary situation where an individual who has been forced by his country's highest courts to step aside from holding office at the BCCI (pending the resolution of a serious corruption investigation) can nevertheless take on the most senior leadership role in world cricket.
The really bad news is that Cricket Australia voted to support what I believe is an unbelievable outcome. It’s extremely disappointing from where I sit that those on the CA Board have taken a position that reflects pragmatism and defeatism rather than one based on principles and what’s right for our great game.
The effective financial and operational takeover of the game by the ‘Big Three’ Boards of the BCCI, ECB and CA was also rubber stamped at the recent meeting of the ICC in Melbourne. To the victors the spoils. And the losers? - those interested in the growth of the game, its development as a sport with a competitive and evenly balanced playing field - in short - those who care about cricket being a truly global game - go jump.
Some rather sad news - I read and watched, as no doubt many of you did, the recent sorry confessions of Lou Vincent, self-declared match fixer and cheat. It's impossible to condone his actions given the significant impact they have had on the reputation of the game. However, I make the following points:
1. The leaking of his and other players’ "confidential" testimony to the Anti-Corruption body of the ICC, is evidence of serious problems at the highest levels of the ICC in how it, and the member Boards who had access to this testimony, deal with such information. It also significantly reduces the likelihood that anyone (the innocent or the guilty) will come forward with information of this type in the future, given that anonymity can obviously not be guaranteed. This seriously undermines cricket’s fight against the scourge of corruption.
2. This issue highlights how damaging corruption is to our game and yet at the same time an individual who is subject to an investigation in this area has been elected to the most powerful position in the game. It’s hard to understand why those running the game can’t comprehend that they need to be doing all they can to not only drive corruption out of the game but also be seen be taking a zero tolerance approach to corruption.
I've been banging on about cricket's governance for so long now. These are perfect examples of why I do so. The game deserves better than this.
Now some good news. I was in the ACA office in Melbourne last week and Clea Smith gave me some stats on the progress to date of the Past Player Game and Personal Development Program. Some truly impressive numbers:-
- In game development, 130 of our members have made 397 appearances in total, spending 1353 hours supporting game participation, coaching and coaching development events and gaining a satisfaction rating from participants of over 95% in the process.
- Our Health Fair days were attended by 529 members with over 1200 professional appointments being conducted for skin checks, bone density testing, vision, general health checks and flu vaccinations.
- 27 members have been supported with excess payments for out of pocket health care costs with a diversity of procedures being assisted from knee replacement to cancerous cyst removal to shoulder surgery and even an epidural procedure.
- 363 members have each been allocated a $650 personal development grant to be used for a variety of purposes including will preparation, business mentoring, gym membership and health insurance.
The program is clearly making a difference and benefitting both the game and our members. Clea and all of the state coordinators are to be hugely congratulated on their efforts in getting the program up and running so rapidly and so successfully!
Some unfortunately now old bad news. Our CEO, Paul Marsh’s resignation will take effect on 1st August when he spends his last day in the office in Melbourne. We will of course have transition arrangements in place to ensure the steady management of the ongoing business until the recruitment of his replacement is completed, hopefully in early August.
I can report that the recruitment process has started in earnest and I’m confident that the right person to lead the organisation’s operations into the future will be installed. I encourage anyone who believes they have the right skills and a passion for the organisation and its mission to apply. We have directed our recruitment advisor (Boomerang Partners) to ensure that our members are acknowledged and well-supported through the process.
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So, whilst there's a good deal of tumult in the international game at the moment, your ACA will keep doing all it can to provide the best levels of service possible for its members.
Enjoy your cricket,