FOR decades, international cricket followed an imperial agenda. Today, big money rules, as highlighted by current proposals to reform the sport’s administration and operation.
Three countries, it is suggested, will be permanent members of a fournation executive, immune from relegation in a twotier system of Test cricket. The triumvirate is India, Australia and England, the sources of cricket’s finance.
One motivation is that Test matches must be saved. Indeed, their demise would turn cricket into a procession of forgettable matches dominated by slogging batsmen and negative bowlers. Given the number of fiveday matches played in empty stadia, this is unhappily possible. But there is more to this move: an attempt to use the overpowering wealth of Indian cricket to dominate the world game. Australia and England clearly know what is expedient. South Africa’s cricketers will be left as alsorans. This summer has demonstrated the consequences of bilateral arrangements and the abandonment of the longterm tour programme. India both determined the itinerary and sidelined Cricket South Africa’s chief executive. The role of international governing bodies is custodial, to promote sport in an equitable fashion. CSA must take the lead in opposing any discriminatory change in world cricket.