Wake up and smell the coffee, is the saying. And it must have been a strong one (with an extra shot) for the ICC to have finally thrown some weight behind initial plans to restrict Twenty20 cricket’s growing power.
The Guardian‘s exclusive report this week has revealed cricket’s governing body will meet in Kolkata next month to discuss a series of proposals, which will help to regulate the 20-over format’s lust and operate tighter controls on the movement of freelance cricketers.
For lovers and fighters to save Test cricket, this is a welcome shot in the arm.
Among anticipated rule changes, all domestic leagues could face having to pay 20% of a player’s contract value to their home board as mandatory compensation for a cricketer’s tournament involvement, say in a PSL or Big Bash, while those under the age of 32 could be restricted to only being allowed to play three domestic T20 leagues every year.
Stars like Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels might be affected, with the West Indies Cricket Board being one of the chief instigators behind the push for tighter directives, given the full ICC member has fallen victim to player exoduses for too long.
England and Australia are apparently behind the proposals but it remains to be seen whether India will exercise their say, given the BCCI prohibits its international stars from appearing in tournaments outside of the Indian Premier League, in huge part due owing to the extravaganza’s lucrative TV deal.
These changes are a good thing to try and level the playing field between all formats, increasing the fair circulation of cash flow in a game where too many fingers are in too many pies.
Ahead of the inaugural Test and one-day international leagues set to begin in 2019, there’s no time like the present with much of the onus on offering a bit of payback to cricket boards that have invested a lot in player development but been disregarded for dollar signs elsewhere. Indeed, the way things are going at present doesn’t breathe sustainability.
Anything to properly monitor the work of hired guns in cricket is essential but it’s going to need an almighty whack, and more, from the powers that be to breach a glass ceiling that has been covered in cement for a long while now.
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