HomeCricketCrisis off the field – Cricket in Australia, South...

Crisis off the field – Cricket in Australia, South Africa going through turbulent times

- Advertisement -

The year 2020 was supposed to be a blockbuster year for sports. Indian Premier League, Tokyo Olympics, Wimbledon and French Opens, ICC World T20 in Australia and the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Instead, the coronavirus situation has totally devastated the sporting calendar.

Fans are happy that at least the IPL 2020 is taking place in a bio-secure bubble in UAE. Apart from that, the rest of the cricketing and sporting calendar looks bleak. With vaccine trials now halted, the chances of a COVID-19 vaccine in the near future also appears uncertain.

- Advertisement -

For cricket, this is not good news. For two nations, it could almost spell disaster. Cricket South Africa is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis partly due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cricket Australia is staring at a doomsday situation due to it. The ongoing developments in Australia and South Africa further dim the mood of a cricketing public that want to see action.

CSA’s ‘malpractice and maladministration’ whammy

On Friday, a unanimous decision was taken when SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) decided to take over the daily affairs of the Cricket South Africa administration. This was long in the making. For three years, the leadership in Cricket South Africa was under constant chopping and changing.

In the last three years, CSA has had four CEOs – Haroon Lorgat, Thabang Moroe, Jacques Faul and now Kugandrie Govender. Many reports said the failed T20 Global League was the precursor to all the chaos. Cricket South Africa started losing money, ditched many sponsors and acted against the interests of the South Africa Cricketers Association (SACA).

The firing of Thabang Moroe was the last straw. SASCOC is a legislatively created umbrella body under which all South Africa’s sporting federations operate. While it is not a total government institution, it is quasi-governmental because it stems directly from South Africa’s laws. The fact that it is specifically mentioned in their constitution makes it even more worrying.

In the past, cricket boards of Nepal and Zimbabwe have been suspended by the ICC for government interference. The ICC code specifically prohibits government intervention of any kind and it requests member boards to remain autonomous. The definition of autonomy has often been tested, with the Pakistan Cricket Board directly having the patronage of the President of Pakistan.

Australia in dire straits

While the situation in South Africa is primarily due to maladministration and malpractice, in Australia, the coronavirus pandemic is presenting a test of the Cricket Board’s mettle. With cases rising in Victoria and Melbourne, what will be the outcome of the summer schedule is anybody’s guess. The situation has gotten murkier with Seven Media, the official broadcasters of cricket in Australia since 2018, now threatening to cancel the deal altogether.

Channel Seven have reportedly sent an official legal letter to Cricket Australia for breach of AUD 450 million contract and they want to terminate it. A move like this means that Cricket Australia will have no official broadcaster for the international summer. It is like Star Sports and Sky Sports respectively not wanting to telecast cricket matches.

What has resulted in this crisis? Two reasons. One, the Big Bash League will miss most of the star Australian players due to the coronavirus bio-bubbles setup. The lack of certainty in India’s tour of Australia has deepened the crisis.

There are reports that the ODIs and T20Is might be played first and the four Tests later. However, in how many venues and whether it will be behind closed doors is all in the air? Cricket Australia have laid off 80 percent of their staff due to the coronavirus pandemic and a cancellation in the broadcast deal could spell doom as India might not tour the country.

Kevin Pietersen has said the situation in South Africa could bring about the ‘end of cricket’ in the country. He might well be referring to even Australia. No cricket at all in the international summer, especially with the World T20 getting postponed due to the coronavirus is a body blow for cricket in the country. There is real tension off the field and it is only just beginning.

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -