Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2014 Contents There is less than two weeks to go
before both Australia and South Africa
play their first match at the World T20,
and they are facing the possibility of
going into the tournament without
much practice in the shortest format.
The first match of the series was
washed out and the forecast does not
look promising for the next two.
That will leave both these sides short
of match-time ahead of a tournament
neither have won, something which will
concern South Africa more. Given the
expectation thrust on them to bring
home an ICC trophy, South Africa are
doing all they can to refine their squad
to ensure success. They need the time
to have a trial run and experiment with
some of the newer combinations they
Australia may have less reasons to
worry, having come off three T20I wins.
They would want to have the time to
find room for the players they have
recalled and to have another opportunity
to dent their old foe ahead of a major
Albie Morkel will make a long awaited
return to the South African XI after being
out in the cold since the end of the 2012
World T20. Morkel had a strong domestic
season after taking an extended break
from the game to rejuvenate himself and
seems to have found a new lease on his
cricketing life. He will be expected to
finish the innings fast and contribute as
a fourth seamer. Albie is thought to be
South Africa s trump card as they aim
for an ICC trophy.
"They want me to finish the games
with David Miller, AB (De Villiers) and
JP (Duminy). The four of us will be look-
ing to bat overs from 10 to 20," said
Morkel, South Africa s big-hitting blaster.
After three centuries in the Test
matches David Warner may have thought
his South African trip could not get any
better. But he has since proposed to Can-
dice Falzon and revealed that they were
expecting their first child. Warner will
hope the good times keep rolling in. With
his usual aggressive, carefree style of
batting, he has bullied South Africa s
bowlers all summer and, if the weather
allows him to, he will want to do it again,
albeit in a different format.
Dale Steyn was spotted strolling on
the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town
on Monday, confirming his unavailability
until the final match. South Africa are
yet to play a match with their new com-
binations which include Morkel and Beu-
ran Hendricks. The team will want to
field both of them before heading to
Brad Hogg may have to wait a little
longer before becoming the oldest man
to represent Australia since Clarrie Grim-
mett, because of a hamstring strain.
James Faulkner is still being monitored
as he makes his return.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely
to back the ICC revamp at the world gov-
erning body s board meeting next month to
give it leverage with other countries, espe-
cially India. The PCB is aware, ESPNcricinfo
understands, that a pragmatic approach will
give it the benefits of bilateral tours it needs
in its current situation, while not signing it
will increase the sense of isolation.
The PCB is the only Full Member to have
not extended its support as yet to the gov-
ernance, finance and FTP changes in the ICC,
which were proposed by the BCCI, the ECB
and Cricket Australia in February. When the
changes, which increase the power of those
three boards within the ICC, were first pro-
posed, four Full Members had come out against
them: the PCB, the Bangladesh Cricket Board,
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Sri Lanka
Cricket (SLC). The proposals have since been
revised and were approved by eight of the Full
Members on February 8. SLC and the PCB
were the only two to vote against it at that
meeting, and SLC extended its support to the
revamp 10 days later.
The PCB s previous chairman Zaka Ashraf
believed the revamp was against the principle
of "equality", and so the PCB, under, Ashraf
objected to it. Current chairman Najam Sethi,
though, who has been exchanging the reins
of the PCB with Ashraf frequently over the
past few months due tolegal and political rea-
sons, said it was important to "safeguard"
Pakistan s interests.
"I don t think this is about principles, it is
about safeguarding our own self-interests in
the long run in world cricket," Sethi said. "We
are the only ones now, left alone [against the
revamp]. Whomever I have spoken to says
they also initially opposed the changes but
later went with it because they were gaining
a lot by supporting these changes."
Sethi reportedly met with his Bangladesh
and Sri Lanka counterparts, on the sidelines
of Asia Cup, in Dhaka.
The PCB is keen on negotiating bilateral
series with India. "The fact is every country
wants to play India because they say it brings
them much needed revenues. It is a fact that
not playing cricket with India is damaging for
us," Sethi said.
Ashraf, however, maintained that the revamp
would be unjust to the other members. Accord-
ing to him, the PCB - given Pakistan s com-
mercial value to world cricket---was offered
the chance to side with the Big Three and
benefit from the original proposals.
"The situation is very tricky," Ashraf said.
"The PCB obviously will be the last country
[to accept the revamp], but that doesn t make
any difference. The restructuring is still against
the basic principle of equality and the Big
Three will be acting despotically.
"The [revised] financial model is based on
merely theory and a dummy model [by which
no Full Member loses] is shown with a verbal
assurance that they won t let the things slip.
They promised that every board would get its
fair share according to their commercial value.
They also asked us to be the part of the
scheme, to make it Big Four, as Pakistan holds
a productive commercial value."
"The revamped ICC model is bound to fail
in the long run," Ashraf said. "Their bid is to
control things and that is what the whole idea
was, but there is no indemnity if the structure
collapses. And I am afraid the way cricket is
being treated, the structure won t sustain itself
in the long run and in the next three years
board members, especially the supporters, will
start realising this and things will start split-
Pakistan have not hosted any Full Member
at home since the terrorist attack on the Sri
Lanka team bus in Lahore five years ago.
Despite that, the PCB has been functioning
rather well and that shows "the value" of Pak-
istan cricket, Ashraf said. "Pakistan, in last
few years, despite being isolated are still stand-
ing tall and the PCB is not in debt as many
boards are. No board is ready to help Pakistan
at a crucial time to revive cricket in Pakistan.
But Pakistan cricket is still going strong.
"The world knows the value of Pakistan
cricket and this is what keeps us going. Despite
the isolation, cricket in Pakistan still a profitable
Currently, Sethi is discussing the matter of
the revamp with previous chairmen of the
board, including Ashraf, seeking their advice
on what he has termed a "crisis". It is under-
stood that all of these former chiefs have sug-
gested Pakistan remain in opposition to the
PCB likely to back ICC revamp
As part of the range of FTP (Future Tour
Programme) agreements being negotiated
between ICC (International CricKet Coun-
cil) Full Member nations following the
approval of a series of resolutions that will
bring fundamental changes to the way the
game is run, Cricket Australia s chairman
Wally Edwards said there was a desire to
recognise highly competitive match-ups
by playing them over a longer duration.
Australia s 2-1 victory remained in doubt
until the final half-hour of the series fol-
lowing an encounter of many fluctuations.
Edwards is strong in his desire to see such
contests become more frequent in world
cricket, not only among the presently strong
nations but also those looking to improve.
"We re talking to them at the moment
about more," Edwards said during the Cape
Town Test, during discussions with Cricket
South Africa. "They deserve more, and
you ve got to recognise the quality of the
cricket... I think it s not a bad stepping stone
to have recognised quality by another Test
or two. That principle might come out."
Australia and South Africa have played
Test series of three matches in every meeting
but one since the latter s readmission to
international cricket in 1992. The previous
series in South Africa in 2011 was shortened
to two matches, a decision CA expressed
some disappointment about at the time.
Under the commitments made by Aus-
tralia and England to play each of the top
eight nations at home and away over an
eight-year period, the boards will also work
to find additional windows for fixtures
against lower-ranked nations, which had
been marginalised in recent years.
Edwards acknowledged that Australia
may consequently return to the scheduling
of international matches in the Northern
Territory and Queensland during the winter
months in order to better accommodate
their new obligations.
"Half the challenge is fitting this in,"
Edwards said. "But Test series have been
getting quicker, more compressed because
that s life. It s the way the world is, faster,
closer and quicker. I think you always want
a warm-up game or two, because one might
be washed out, that s why you d want two.
[But] this has been a very good series."
It is also believed that South Africa s
future series with India may also be played
over four Tests, rather than the two their
most recent encounter was shrunk down
to following a period of considerable doubt
about the BCCI consenting to tour at all.
That stand-off was emblematic of the
troubles Edwards had witnessed at the ICC
since his arrival on the executive board as
a reform-minded CA chairman in 2012.
Rain threat looms large in Durban
Albie Morkel...hasn't played a T20I since October 2012.
He spoke about the pathway from the rejection of
the Woolf Report to the current resolutions, and
about the difficulty of achieving meaningful change
at the ICC following his successful campaign to
streamline Australian cricket s governance and add
independent voices to the CA board table. (ESPN-
Australia, South Africa in four-Test talks
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