FICA CONGRATULATES NEW ICC MEMBERS AND URGES ICC TO PRIORITISE STRUCTURE

The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) today congratulated Ireland and Afghanistan on achieving full membership of the ICC and Mr Imran Khawaja on election as deputy chairman of the ICC Board and responded to other reported outcomes of last week’s ICC meetings in London.

Ireland and Afghanistan

FICA congratulates Afghanistan and Ireland on becoming full members of the ICC.

“The promotion of Ireland and Afghanistan to full member status is welcomed by FICA and we look forward to more countries being able to take this step in the future as one aspect of the global expansion of the game,” said FICA Executive Chairman Tony Irish.

International Structure

FICA notes, from media reports, that there appears to be some progress made on Test match and ODI structures, but that there still appears to be no formal outcome on this.  FICA continues to urge the game to prioritise changes to the overall playing structure in order to achieve the most sustainable future for the game and for its players.

The player trends and the shifts in the games’ employment market, highlighted in previous FICA reports, have continued over the last twelve months and the game is becoming increasingly club based and fragmented, creating different markets for players.  The latest T20 league in South Africa, along with the proposed English league, are yet further indications of the clear direction of the game and that the alternative domestic T20 market for players will continue to grow.

“Because of the current playing structure of the game, players are being increasingly forced to choose between the traditional employment market involving international cricket and the more financially attractive new markets in domestic T20 leagues” said, Irish.

“The international game is being seriously challenged by these domestic leagues for time, resource, players and fans not only as a consequence of their attractive nature but also because of failing traditional structures.”

“Putting the best possible structures and context around international cricket is vital to improve the international cricket product, but it is also critical that such structure creates a situation where domestic T20 and international cricket can co-exist, and not compete.  I fear for the future of international cricket if this change doesn’t happen soon.”

FICA believes solutions to imbalances in the structure of the game in the shifting landscape can be found in some of the following:

  • a genuine global structure and scheduling framework for all three formats.
  • a balance between the traditional and new markets which promotes the best players being able to play in a balance of both.
  • a collaborative international approach which includes looking at scheduling windows and at how other sports balance club versus country conflicts.
  • a fit for purpose global regulatory framework agreed with and bought into by, the players.
  • a decreased focus on tinkering with micro issues and delivery mechanics which simply ‘plaster over’ some of the current failings.

Financial Model and Governance

FICA congratulates Mr Imran Khawaja on his election as deputy chairman of the ICC Board and welcomes the appointment of a representative of the Associate countries to this position.

FICA also welcomes a further step towards the unwinding of the ‘Big Three’ financial arrangements and a shift towards recognized principles of good governance and, notably, both the inclusion of a female independent director on the ICC and a more equalized voting system around its table.

“It is hoped that the fairer distribution of financial resources across the game will now be utilized in each country in such a way that it maintains the playing strength of that country.   It is also hoped that the governance changes at ICC will promote prioritization of the global interests of the game ahead of regional interests” concluded Irish.

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