Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chairman of the Board

There are two candidates for the vacancy of Head of the ECB...

Mike Soper (Surrey)

Positives - Excellent job on the redevelopment of The Oval, plus some very 'fan friendly' policies like cheap ticket offers and letting ordinary spectators into the corporate hospitality boxes - the first time the seats in them had been turned to face the wicket I'd guess! Possibly immortal, as he was givn six months to live back in 2002 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Negatives - sees no problem with the current amount of internationals played by the England team. In a twelve month period up to April, the England squad had spent over 200 days abroad - that's the sort of level that allows you to apply for tax-exile status.

Giles Clarke (Somerset)

Postitives - Negotiated the recent TV deal with Sky which has resulted in a big windfall for English cricket.

Negatives - Ditto, resulting in over half the population unable to watch live test cricket. Rather 'outspoken' - not exactly Mr Popular with other county chairmen.

As we await the white smoke to appear over Lords, and the name of the new Chairman it's worth reflecting one one particular acheivement of their predesSESSOR. Whoever wins, it's hard to imagine them being quite as effective as wielding power and influence as David Morgan was.

For, fired by loyalty to his home county (he was Chairman of Glamorgan for over a decade), Morgan managed to pull off the extraordinary feat of getting an Ashes Test for Cardiff in 2009 without the new ground developments even being approved by the appropriate local council committee.

An ASHES Test!! One of the biggest money spinners in the cricketing calendar.

Ok, the test was subject to planning approval- but what planning committee is going to be able to stand up to that sort of pressure?

There have been two more orthodox additions to the list of International venues in the past five years - the Rose Bowl and Chester-le-Street. Each has effectively gone through an apprenticeship, starting off with a couple of ODIs and tests against minor opponents. This has been quite a handy process as it revealed, for example, problems with road access at the Rose Bowl - a proboem that is now being addressed prior to any more internationals being allocated.

Cardiff has jumped straight in with an Ashes Test two years from now - no warm ups, no trial runs- just an assumption that everything will be ok by then.

Morgan's new job is as head of the ICC. Their headquarters is currently in Dubai, but on past performance, I think we can expect it to be moved to the Rhonnda Valley before too long.

Incidently, how cool would it have been had Bill Morris been persauded to take the job. Imagine the conversation in the Lords Long Room: -

- 'Who's this Morris fella?'

- 'He's a member of the House of Lords Sir'

- 'Excellent'

- 'A lifelong cricket fan'

- 'Wonderful'

- 'Er, he's an ex trade unionist'

- 'Hmmmm'

- 'Member of the Labour Party'

- 'Grrrrr, you'll be telling me he's black next....'

1 comment:

Peter said...

Whoever takes over, they really need to get rid of the false and pointless division between major and minor counties. Either cricket is for all, or it is for none.

And THAT is a greater source of shame and scandal than the old farts at Middlesex who you get so het up about.