On the Front Foot: ICC still not calling the shots as they negotiate nervous nineties

In 2009 the International Cricket Council will mark their centenary. Since they are searching for somebody to organise a gala event in London next June, it is to be hoped that they can find something to celebrate – apart from the naming of the Team of the Century. Throughout most of their existence the organisation, less a governing body than a forum of divided opinion, have struggled for a voice. Always bearing the initials ICC, from the start they were up against it. The first gathering in 1909 was for the express purpose of holding a triangular Test series featuring the only nations playing international cricket at that time, England, Australia and South Africa. As Abe Bailey, the South African behind the plan, grandly called it the Imperial Cricket Contest, they became the Imperial Cricket Conference. They did not meet again until 1912 when their series took place. It was a disaster (the series, not the meeting) as Australia sent a weakened team and it rained all summer. With marked, honourable exceptions it has been like that for the ICC's tournaments ever since. They seem to face an increasingly uphill struggle despite the determined endeavours of the new leadership, their chief executive Harron Lorgat, fittingly also a South African, and chairman David Morgan OBE, who presumably is following in Lord Chesterfield's 1909 footsteps. Events companies must submit their tender for the gala dinner by next Friday, and must come up with ideas to celebrate cricket past, present and future and bring the global cricketing community together. Tough asks, as they say.

Fowler plucked in his prime

Chepauk, the intended venue for the First Test between India and England, has been the scene of what might be called roller-coaster fortunes. Each side has enjoyed three thumping wins and suffered three thumping defeats. Perhaps England's finest hour was in 1977 when Tony Greig's side won by 200 runs to take a 3-0 lead after three matches of the five-Test series (and to think we are now reduced to two). In 1985, Mike Gatting and Graeme Fowler both scored double-hundreds in a nine-wicket victory. Fowler played only one more Test (and he scored 69 in that) so maybe he wouldn't call Chepauk his lucky ground. England lost their most recent Test there by an innings and 22 runs, though it was 16 years ago.

Mendis the latest greatest?

How modernism prevails. 'Twas ever thus. The question of the week on the ICC website asks: "Does Ajantha Mendis have the potential to be the greatest spinner of all time?" The leg-spinning mystery bowler from Moratuwa is 23, has played three Tests, all at home, has 26 wickets and is 730 behind his compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan. But 49 per cent of respondents so far say he can, 42 per cent say he cannot. No pressure then.

Five-star service required

West Indies, it has finally been decided, will come to England in 2009, as the summer's first tourists. It will mean six Tests and eight one-dayers between the sides from February to May – hardly the mouth-watering prospect it once was. Five of their players are signed up for the Indian Premier League which coincides. Their presence in England is crucial to the venture.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea