During the MCC World Cricket Committee first meeting of the year, held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 9th and 10th of January, the participants urged to close the wage gap of cricketers among Test playing nations to pull the rush of money making domestic T20 leagues upsurge around the globe.
Former English great Mike Gatting chaired the meeting; Shakib Al Hasan, became the first ever Bangladeshi cricketer to be enrolled in the distinguished committee of cricket personalities from all around the world, also delivered his concern upon the prevailing wage issue.
Saving Test cricket from being dig around by young generation cricketers, the committee suggested rewarding players evenly for playing in the elite format of cricket. With days gone by, growing cricketers across the globe are allured by financially beneficial domestic T20 cricket which also becomes the trouble spot for spot –fixing and other corruption landings.
The spokesman after the meeting said, “The committee is concerned, however, of the danger of the rich getting richer and the other countries not being able to keep up. Some form of minimum wage and payment structure should therefore be introduced to help close the gap and the present imbalance in international cricket. For women’s cricket to be really successful, the game needs at least eight nations to compete – with only six realistically challenging for honors at present.”
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting noted in this regard, “That’s where it’s important to ensure some of these payments even up somewhere. You don’t see English or Australian players not representing their countries to play the IPL, and that’s because they’re remunerated well.”
“So it’s about making sure we have the best players playing Test cricket for the majority of the year and also getting them on long-term national contracts as well so [there’s not] the temptation to go and play to have some security for the back part of their lives. Making sure the contracts are closer to the Australian or English player and so lessening the opportunity for those guys to leave and not want to represent their country,” he said.
Therefore, cricketers should be more engaged in reporting corruption cases, advocated by the committee members.
Former Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara said in this regard, “It is a lot to do with the much-publicized experiences Brendon McCullum had after he reported a few incidents and leading on from that, it was highlighted that there are certain trust issues when it comes to players reporting approaches. I think the most important thing is to have players reporting any and all approaches made to them. You can see that happening more and more, so the education system is working, the information is passing properly through from the players with relevant experience or someone they can relate to rather than having an official come and talk down to them about it.”
He further said, “There are reports of bookies and fixers targeting young, talented players, trying to identify them and get their hooks into them from a young age. So it is important that saying no to corruption and understanding the role of oneself in that decision-making process is ingrained from a very young age, getting awareness programmers through, making it part of cricket at a very young age.”
“When a player understands the value of making the right decisions that does go a long way in supporting that decision-making but, at the end of the day, if you’re taught from a young age that it’s the right thing to do it’s probably more important. The parity of pay would also support it,” he added.
Suggestion for upheaving the Test championship is also another important key note of the meeting to safeguard the future of Test cricket.
DRS, one of the most talked technological advancement in cricket, often evokes controversies in recent past. Suggestion of standardization of DRS in World Test Championship is among key outcomes of the first meeting of this year’s MCC World Cricket Committee.
The spokesman, therefore, said, “The committee recommends that ICC standardize the use of DRS technology for all matches in the competition. Currently, not all international Test series are played with DRS, and some contests only use certain elements of the technology, such as ball-tracking, but may lack other elements, like Hotspot.”
“ICC’s World Test Championship should be played under the same regulations regardless of which teams are taking part in the matches and where in the world they take place, to ensure a level playing field and consistency of application throughout the competition; the ICC should be prepared to fund the system, possibly through a global sponsor, to assist host countries that cannot at present afford to pay for the required technology.”
With a view to widen the arena of cricket and making it a global sport, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) strongly supported the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics.
Another aspect of extending cricket globally is to highlighted women’s cricket. Following the huge success of ICC Women’s World Cup in England last year, the expansion of women’s cricket is the demand of time.
New Zealand women cricket team captain Suzie Bates is among one of the first attenders of MCC World Cricket Committee meeting this year.
Lastly, MCC World Cricket Committee confirmed that it will be within the Laws of Cricket for the match officials to call off a match in case of extreme heat prevailing in the venue area.
The Lords’ official site published in this regard, “Law 2.7.1 empowers the umpires to suspend play if conditions are unreasonable or dangerous. Having consulted with MCC’s Laws sub-committee, it was agreed that extremes of temperature do come within the remit of this Law and it would be up to the umpires, taking all factors into consideration, to decide whether it is appropriate to suspend play.”
In Australia, heat prevalence laws are applied in different parts of the country during cricket matches.
The next meeting of the Marylebone World Cricket committee will be held on August, 2018 at the Lords’ cricket ground.