Cricket: MCC recruits Oliver to help examine state of the game

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The Independent Online
MCC last night effectively endorsed the view of the 'rebels' who almost succeeded in having a motion of no confidence passed on the England committee during the winter, announcing the setting up of a working party into the state of English cricket. Among those contributing, moreover, will be Dennis Oliver, the self-styled leader of the rebellion.

Lord Griffiths, a former president, will chair the investigation, and members of the 'Test and County Cricket Board hierarchy', the MCC secretary, Colonel John Stephenson, said, will be asked to participate. Neither the exact composition of the working party nor its guidelines have yet been established, he added, but any findings should be interpreted 'as constructive, helpful recommendations as to the way ahead'.

To Stephenson, the motion proposed by Oliver's Army had lacked diplomacy rather than valid intent. 'There was no conflict. Had the motion been 'no confidence in the way the game is run' it would have been different. I've no doubt which way I would have voted.'

Along with bleats about the advent of coloured clothing at Lord's and the election of the former England captain, Peter May, as an honorary life vice-president, the AGM also registered disapproval of the streaker at during Monday's game between Middlesex and Australia.

The offender belonged to a gang of Australians bent on similar displays wherever the tourists play this summer. A letter of warning has been dispatched to all counties concerned.