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Friday, 7 December, 2001, 16:30 GMT
Cricket: Who should govern the game?
The row over whether or not India should have been allowed to field a banned player in the first test match against England in Mohali has dominated the opening part of the English tour of India and challenged the running of international cricket.

Although the dispute has been resolved to enable the First Test to be played, some people believe that it shows how international cricket is being ruined by colonial resentments manipulated by the Indian Board of Control (BCCI).

Others think that the International Cricket Council (ICC) was to blame by being guilty of double standards favouring the white cricket world.

Are we seeing a power struggle between two authorities over control of the game? Is this a sign that the administration of international cricket needs to change?

Tell us what you think.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

It is clear that the ICC in its present form does not inspire much respect for authority. That is because many in India see it as an exclusive old boys club of former cricket powers. While the current impasse seems to have been worked over, it is a definite indication of more trouble ahead. The ICC must adequately reflect the growing power of the sub-continent in its organisation and actions.
Deepak Navnith, USA

The ICC should draw up a clear and unambiguous set of rules and conditions that determine the status of test matches and one-day internationals. They should also come up with a clear list of offences, the burden of proof and the stipulated punishment for the same. This will go a long way to reduce the biased decisions of certain umpires and referees.
Vish, USA

Times have changed

Rajeev Kumar, India
I think it is time that the ICC wakes up before it is too late. For a start the headquarters of ICC need to be located in a neutral country. The present structure, where it is perceived to be run more as an 'old boys' network' needs to be revamped. I agree that you can describe Lords, where the ICC headquarters are, as the home of cricket, but times have changed. We need to move on and accept that the number of people interested in cricket in the UK is negligible.
Rajeev Kumar, India

Let the third umpire be 'the only umpire. That will be put an end to all such childish disputes in future.
Mahesh Srinivasan, UK

I honestly believe that cricket cannot be held hostage to the power games between countries or personalities such as Speed and Dalmiya. Let's fight it out on the field not off it.
Brian Williams, Australia

Cricket has to evolve with time not get stuck in the past

Hari, USA
With more cricket being played in the subcontinent than in any part of the globe, the centre of cricket should also shift from the traditional location in London to somewhere in the subcontinent, like Calcutta. Cricket has to evolve with time not get stuck in the past.
Hari, USA

The basic rule of any game is that one abides by the umpire's decision. If you we are to demand a change of umpire every time we disagree with a decision, however harsh, then we are opening the door to chaos.
Niranjan R, USA

International cricket is at a crucial point in its history. The incident that happened is part of a larger scenario - the movement of the game's centre of gravity from the shores of the Atlantic to that of the Indian Ocean. The British press can kick and scream (and get petty) all they want but there is no mistaking which direction the wind is blowing.
Cheru John, England

The centre of world cricket is now in Asia. In India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. There is some truth in racial motivations of the current official order. To set things right the ICC should move from England to the centre of cricketing world which is either Kolkata or Chennai.
Anupam, USA

It is a definite indication of more trouble ahead

Deepak Navnith, USA
While the current impasse seems to have been worked over, it is a definite indication of more trouble ahead. The ICC must adequately reflect the growing power of the sub continent in its organisation and it's actions. Lest the much feared split is only a matter of time.
Deepak Navnith, USA

Well, if one thinks that there is no white bias in cricket, then cricket must have originated in China. Obviously, cricket needs larger markets to be competitive with other games. But the control of the game residing with bunch of Englishmen who want to retain its class distinction will surely bring its ruin. Maybe India, Australia and S. Africa by virtue of being the largest markets should figure out the future of the game.
Ashesh, USA

Certainly not the old Codgers of the ICC!
Prabhaker Ramakrishnan, Canada

The ICC is walking on a very slippery wicket

Sandeep, USA
The ICC is walking on a very slippery wicket. It needs to clean up its act. It is very important to apply whatever rules apply consistently at least on a per test match basis if not a series. One thing is for sure, if the ICC does not learn its lesson from the episode with India, next time it will not even have a chance to react before it becomes totally irrelevant. No governing body can govern if the constituents do not believe that it is being fair. Rather than worrying over precedents about the legitimacy of questioning match referees, the ICC should worry about the fact that potentially a grave injustice has been done to players. That is the type of precedent I would not want to set.
Sandeep, USA

I think it was childish on the part of Dalmia to go about publicly shouting about racism. India should have accepted the ban, lodged a complaint along with other supporting nations who have issues with the ICC, and then sued them. India should also have played a B team for the third test or even abandoned it. But to generate mass hysteria and adopt populist measures is short sighted and damaging, both for cricket and India. Rules of the game need to change. Players should have at least some voice to protest. At least the captains should be allowed to go to the press to explain their story. Currently, the ICC or its appointed referees can impose any fine and that is the end of it. This absolute authority has made them insensitive and arrogant. There needs to be more player representation.
Rajeev Thakur, India

I don't think the administration needs to change. The reason why such points about racism are raised is because of the obvious inconsistencies shown by these people who run, officiate, and administer the game. If only they were consistent in their approach towards all the teams, none of this would have happened. Hopefully a lesson has been learnt.
Swap, India

All I know is the decision of banning six Indian players was a little harsh and again it was obvious that the ICC was clueless about handling the whole situation. ICC regulations need serious restructuring as cricket is not an English game anymore.
Jawad Mahmood, Pakistan

Clearly the ICC has lost face in this fracas. Despite seeming to get its way, its chief clearly was unnerved at the possibility of causing a split by pushing India over the edge. One would imagine that this is a taste of things to come unless something radical takes place in the organisation's set-up. Like shifting ICC HQ to Delhi or Calcutta for example.
Deepak N, USA

Listen now
... to both sides of the debate
See also:

30 Nov 01 | England on Tour
Sehwag dropped from first Test
29 Nov 01 | England on Tour
Rescue bid for India Test

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