LONDON: Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside The Oval ahead of the start of the fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia on Thursday in protest against the way in which world cricket is now run.
The protest was initiated by Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, the co-directors of ‘Death of a Gentleman’.
Their documentary attacks what they see as the maladministration of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since India, England and Australia the sport’s three wealthiest nations effectively took over the global governing body last year.
Demonstrators including Damian Collins, a lawmaker with Britain’s governing Conservative Party, held a three minutes’ silence a minute each for India, England and Australia outside the Hobbs Gates at The Oval.
‘Death of a Gentleman’ alleges that international cricket lacks transparency, with former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president turned ICC chairman N. Srinivasan, England and Wales Cricket Board president (and former chairman Giles Clarke) and Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards running the world game primarily in the interests of their own countries, with other nations having to fight for scraps off the tale.
“Thanks to the three big nations that run world cricket England, Australia and India who also control 52 per cent of the game’s revenues, Test cricket is being sacrificed in favour of the short forms of the game,” said Sam Collins.
“The other 102 countries who play the game have access to only 48 per cent of the revenues.”
“And, at a time when every other sport wants to expand, the ICC is actually shrinking the Cricket World Cup and doesn’t want to participate in the Olympics.
“What’s more, while FIFA shows how all sport needs to be wary of administrative corruption, cricket is being run without transparency, accountability or independence by individuals who have shown us time and time again why we cannot trust them to represent the sport’s best interests.”
Damian Collins, no relation of Sam, and a member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee which investigated the running of football governing body FIFA under Sepp Blatter, said cricket’s present set-up was damaging the interests of the sport as a whole.
“This is very detrimental to the game,” he told reporters.
“I will ask the sports select committee to summon Giles Clarke to explain his role.”