secretzimbo wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 07, 2023 8:51 am
I do have a gripe with them having received their full ICC allocation for the past 4 years despite not fulfilling most of the Full Member criteria. They haven't held a First Class competition since 2019 and until this week also hadn't played a Test in that time. Every other full member has managed to hold first class competitions 'despite covid' so it's not an excuse.
You have to consider the Netherlands - who were also in the Super League, were in T20 World Cups and ODI World Cup qualifiers, and have basically had an identical fixture list to Ireland over the past three years - yet Ireland have received almost 20x the amount of ICC funding. How is that justified?
Either way I am glad they are back playing Tests this year and I hope they see their domestic first class return too, which is a requirement of Full Member status.
Although then you look at the ICC ignoring half the membership criteria for Afghanistan too and it's hardly a surprise that they turn a blind eye to Ireland as well.
This is the one of the very few areas in which my usually left-leaning beliefs take a sharp turn to the right.
I firmly support the unequal application of the law in favor of the the cricketing elites (ie Full Member nations). Ireland and Afghanistan proved they were a cut above the rest of the Associate world throughout various World Cricket Leagues and InterContinental Cups for the better part of a decade and got elected to Test status. Since they have it, I find the idea of stripping that status to be abhorrent, except in extreme circumstances.
To me the most important questions are: how is the quality of their Men's team's cricket? and what are they (the board) doing with the ICC funds they receive?
I think both the Irish and the Afghans are doing OK on both fronts. I am sure there is probably some corruption with the ACB, but a) it isn't affecting the performance of their national team and b) its probably not much different than the BCB or the PCB.
In my opinion, the ZC have failed those two questions more egregiously than Cricket Ireland or the ACB over the past 20+ years.
As far as funding for the Associates goes, this is where my lefty beliefs come back. Why is there a question of how much money Afghanistan and Ireland gets, when you should be worried about how much money the Big 3 gobble up by just playing cricket amongst themselves? In my opinion, the ICC Test fund needs to be brought back, and if need be a wholly separate fund for Ireland, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe.
The one thing the ICC seems to be doing fairly well over the past 20 odd years is their institution of regular competition for the Associates via the old World Cricket League system and now with the League 2 and Challenge Leagues. This gives the teams ranked from around 13-30, regular cricket, a firm fixture list, and a real chance to improve. Its not by random accident that Associate cricket is stronger now than its ever been before. Netherlands, Scotland, Oman, Nepal, USA are all far stronger than leading Associates were back in the 90s or the 2000s. But they need decent funding and it needs to come from the bigger Full Members, because thats where all the money is. Don't take money from Ireland or Afghanistan (the ICC's middle class so to speak), in the name of helping the poor (the Associates).