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

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Voices
All the major parties are under pressure from sceptical voters to spell out their tax and spending plans
voices
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and artistic director Matthew Warchus at the Old Vic party to honour Spacey
theatreStar's successor at Old Vic theatre admits he's 'allergic to hype'
Life and Style
life + healthVirginia Ironside's dilemma, during Depression Awareness Week
Arts and Entertainment
The median income for professional writers is just £10,432, less than the minimum wage
booksSurvey reveals authors' earnings
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders