Midweek Bulletin - #DeadlineDay And Cricket's Screwed?

'Death Of A Gentleman' is a documentary about the shady state of cricket, about cricket's mafia of India, England and Australia who do as they please. I haven't quite been able to see the film and from what I've read, I'm not sure that I want to given the truths about international cricket that don't exactly offer hope.

Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber teamed up to take a wider look at how a few figures in world cricket have used the emergence of T20 cricket for their own financial benefit, with little regard for Test cricket, which is the gentleman. I'll allow these snippits from the Telegraph in the United Kingdom to paint a better picture about the film...

"There is a complete absence of transparency in the international game. The man now running the International Cricket Council, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, has the distinction of having had the Supreme Court of India rule against him chairing his own national board. He agreed to be interviewed in the film, and displays Blatterish skills of obfuscation. Srinivasan is in a civil war with the equally unreliable Lalit Modi, the progenitor of India’s T20 franchise. The film asks whether cricket is to these people a sport or simply a money-grubbing form of entertainment. And they conclude that if it is to become the latter – which it will, at the present rate – then like all entertainment shows cricket will, one day, be cancelled."

"Lord Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice and one of the most distinguished and brilliant jurists in the world, conducted at the ICC’s invitation a study of its governance. He issued a damning verdict on the lack of accountability, especially in financial matters. Clarke (Giles Clark, president of England and Wales Cricket) dismisses him contemptuously, which is shameful and raises questions about his moral fitness for his job. Cinema audiences are reported to have booed when he came on screen later in the film, having seen an hors d’oeuvre of his nastiness early on. I am not surprised: by his third or fourth appearance, even Mother Teresa of Calcutta would want to punch him."

"The driving force behind these shenanigans is the money cricket extracts out of broadcasters. I heard Nasser Hussain during the Oval Test say we should give one-day cricket priority over Tests if necessary, to create a better one-day team. Was that him speaking, or his employer, Sky Sports? There is a conspiracy of interests between the big three cricketing nations and the broadcasters to create a small group playing lucrative one-day cricket and some Tests: and if Test cricket elsewhere dies, it dies. Should England support this? Or should those in whose name the ECB acts get up and say, to the authorities and the broadcasters, that enough is enough? Or is cricket now only about money?"

One passage stood out to me, given the upcoming summer schedule of the BLACKCAPS...

"Over three years they found that the film they hoped to make became another one altogether, focusing on a secret deal the three richest cricketing nations did to use money from short-form cricket in particular to enrich a small group of people – mainly in the subcontinent – while reducing funds to countries such as West Indies, New Zealand and South Africa, where Test cricket is rapidly dying."

This summer, we won't see nearly enough Test cricket on our shores despite Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all visiting with Pakistan only here to play limited overs cricket. Obviously, that's kinda yuck given that I, like many of you, love Test cricket but it appears as though New Zealand Cricket needs to cash in because they aren't a part of that cricketing mafia.

Sticking with cricket, Michael Clarke will today pull out of the Big Bash League. Clarke had signed to play with the Melbourne Stars but will apparently opt to enjoy some leisure time instead, oh and that Channel 9 commentary gig as well. Yup, you'll be hearing a whole lot of Clarke's commentary this summer and beyond.

A week or so ago we celebrated the news that Dion Prewster had sealed an NBL spot with the Sydney Kings and Jarrod Kenny will join Prewster this season. Kenny has been signed by the Perth Wildcats, who are the Breakers' biggest rival and it's the same deal as Prewster's signing in that it's great for basketball in Aotearoa. The Breakers only have limited roster spots, so the more kiwis we can get playing for Australian clubs thus exposing them to a higher level of basketball, it can only be good.

We'll pay more attention to the US Open once shit starts getting serious, but in terms of predictions I'm going with Serena Williams and Roger Federer. 

Deadline Day, it was crazy...