2015 Cricket World Cup diary: Curious name change proposal among leaked documents

 

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The Independent Online

It is the function of discussion documents to contain as many issues as possible. For discussion. The latest of the kind from the England and Wales Cricket Board is as wide-ranging as it should be, though it is unfortunate that it has been leaked to coincide with the World Cup.

Among other matters which may be (but probably will not) eventually adopted are an English Twenty20 franchise competition, a reduction  in the length of Test matches from five days to four, in County Championship matches from four to three and in longer form one-day matches from 50 overs to 40.

Perhaps most curious, however, is a proposal to change the name of the organisation which runs cricket in two of the countries that makes up the British Isles from the England and Wales Cricket Board to Cricket England and Wales. Apparently, the former has become toxic though the change seems purely semantic.

It is what is done in an organisation’s name that matters, not the name itself. Otherwise they might as well call it Happy Days Are Here Again.

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The idea of four day Tests is not new. Until 1930, Tests in England were scheduled for three days and briefly went up to four (except occasionally for the final match in a series which, if it were to be decisive, was timeless). In England five day Tests did not become the norm until 1948.

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Tomorrow’s match between New Zealand and Australia is to be marked by the induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the great New Zealand batsman, Martin Crowe. Quite right, too, but the Hall, now containing 79 members, still has some glaring omission. No Les Ames, the first of the proper keeper-batsmen, no Vinoo Mankad, India’s first genuine all rounder, no Clem Hill, the first outstanding left-handed batsman. The thing with halls of fame is that you can catch up – as long as the long ago is remembered as well as the recent past.

 

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Perhaps not for the first time, the ICC are in danger of looking daft. This World Cup has been short of thrillers and then two came along on successive days – Ireland overcoming UAE and Afghanistan prevailing in a nailbiter yesterday against Scotland. In their wisdom the ICC has decided to reduce the number of teams in the next World Cup – though not the number of days – which effectively means  shafting the associate members who are providing most of the tension.

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