Friday, February 22, 2008

How to rape a sport: By the ICC Chief Executive's Comittee

Sometimes bad decisions are made in sport for puportedly good reasons. Sometimes bad decisions are made purely through greed and an ability to trample roughshod over those with less power. The ICC Chief Executives' Committee decision to recommend a reduction in the number of World Cup teams to 14 is one of the latter decisions. It is a decision that has no regard for the future well being of the sport, purely for the short term interest of the powerful few who currently hold the reins.

For those unacquainted with the reasons behind the decision, in the last World Cup Ireland provided some of the few moments of interest when they played out of their skins along the way to eliminating Pakistan from the tournament in the initial stage. Because the bungling fools at the ICC had scheduled too long a World Cup and because they needed a scapegoat, they were happy to fuel the notion put forward by Pakistan that there were too many teams in the World Cup and hence it diluted the standard and made it a boring affair.

In actual fact, what diluted the standard of the World Cup was teams such as Pakistan playing well below par and the ICC looking purely at the $$$ behind playing only one match a day and then having an overly long second stage to the tournament. Because of this, the Associates, who have by the way done everything asked of them by the ICC and more (despite ludicrously low income from the ICC and little real support), are penalised. All because certain Test teams were not good enough to beat some of the ever improving Associates.

This from the very organisation that claims to be pushing so hard to expand the game globally. What a bunch of horseshit. Today we saw a very clear indication of what the nations at the top of the pile have in view for World Cricket and it is very much a case of the rich get richer and sod the poor. No wonder cricket cannot get a true foothold outside the established nations and if this sort of attitude persists it will not be a surprise if it starts to lose ground even within that inner sanctum.

So often we hear the ICC go on about players being fined for bringing the game into disrepute. How hypocritical. Off all the things that have tainted the game, most come either directly from the ICC, such as this decision, or get exacerbated by their handling of it. If I were a player and was fined, I reckon I would counter sue in the International Court of Sports Arbitration. A just jury would not have to think too hard about who has done the game more damage.

There are over 100 countries that play cricket. Only 10 of them play Test cricket and of those 10, at least 2 are only just better than the Associates, if they are that. Numbers of players in most of the leading Associates are growing in leaps and bounds and their standard of play is improving all the time. Given the right opportunities against the Test sides, they would likely be more than competitive come the World Cup. Instead they are kept on the outside, playing only against each other and are then penalised when they break into the inner circle and upset the odds to beat one of the Test teams when the World Cup does come around.

Today makes me ashamed to be a follower of cricket and angry to be a supporter of a minority that deserve better support rather than the betrayal served up by the I$C$C - may the fleas of a million camels infest their armpits and infect them with every nasty disease there is!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


In the recently concluded and much disputed general election, the majority of Kenyas who voted chose either Mwai Kibaki or Raila Odinga as their preferred president. Who actually won the election is doubtful. It looked like Odinga, but could well have been Kibaki. If the Electoral Commission themselves admit they 'Do not know', how can anyone be sure?

What we can be sure of is that in the days since, both men have done plenty to show Kenyans and the World that neither deserve to be president of our beloved country. Kibaki's actions in accepting a dubious result and then being sworn in immediately after the election and Odinga's in the manner of his protests and refusal to even attempt to address this in an adult or legal manner have only lead to bloodshed, not to sorting out of a problem that should have been addressed in a sensible and straightforward manner. Like spoilt children in a sweetshop they have tried to grab everything for themselves without thought to what damage they do in the process. Unlike the losses of the sweetshop owner however, the losses in this case have been human lives.

A question for these 2 so called 'honorable' gentlemen: How many INNOCENT Kenyans have to die before you see sense? How many deaths can you justify on your path to State House? If the answer was even 1, you do not deserve to be president and yet the death toll stands at over 500. Even as more Kenyans die, you still have not met face to face.

This is stupidity - and I use the word purposefully knowing the much stronger connotations it has in Kenya than in the West. Neither of your communities can benefit from the bloodshed and chaos that this crisis brings to Kenya. Both need peace to prosper or even survive and your continued apathy toward human life is a disgrace. If you cannot at least bring peace to Kenya for the sake of the country, at least bring peace for the sake of your own peoples. If you don't there will soon be nothing left for you to fight over anyway.

I have not cried for a long time, but I cry now for a country I love and can see being ripped apart by the greed and betrayal of men who were elected so that they could serve the people. While the average Kenyan on the streets is facing a month where he or she will struggle to pay bills, feed their families or pay for their children to go to school because of the damage done to the economy through the instability, Kenyan MPs will still take home their wages from an annual salary of 800 million shillings. Until the mess is sorted out and peace restored so that Kenyans can live their lives without fear, you deserve not even 8 cents. For the sake of all Kenyans, stop this madness before it is too late.

If and when Kenya returns to stability, I will continue my thoughts on cricket. In the meanwhile, to all Kenyans everywhere: May you live in peace in this evil time. Whoever you are and whatever tribe you may come from remember that you are Kenyan and lived happily alonside your fellow Kenyans until the politicians stirred up this hatred for their own ends. Remember that peace. Cherish it and nurture it so our country can prosper once again.