Cricket Hong Kong

The fate of many in hands of few

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am

The dice are heavily loaded and will always fall in favour of the International Cricket Council establishment - the 10 full members - so don't expect any miracles, warns John Cribbin, Hong Kong's man inside the labyrinthine world governing body.

The biggest and most contentious decision at the ICC's annual conference will be whether the 2015 World Cup should be open for participation by the smaller nations. These smaller nations won't have any say as it will be the big guns who will decide their fate.

'The World Cup decision will be decided solely by the ICC's executive board and not the entire world cricketing community,' said Cribbin, secretary of the Hong Kong Cricket Association, which is a member of the ICC's chief executives' committee, virtually the second tier of command. 'And even in this case, seven full members have to be in favour for any vote to be binding. Everything is pretty much stacked in favour of the full members.'

The executive board comprises the chairmen of the 10 cricket boards - Australia, Bangladesh, England and Wales, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe - the ICC president, Sharad Pawar, vice-president Alan Isaac, chief executive Haroon Lorgat and three associate member representatives.

'Usually things don't come to a vote and an issue is decided well beforehand, but I don't know what will happen in this case,' Cribbin said.

The full members had initially decided that the 2015 World Cup be a closed shop.

The 35 associate members, of whom Hong Kong is one, and the 60 affiliate members - represented in Hong Kong by the five regional representatives - will have very little say.'We will have our own associates and affiliates meeting, and then take part in the annual general meeting which brings to an end the conference. But as far as the most important decision is concerned, the 2015 World Cup, our three associate member representatives on the executive board will carry our case,' Cribbin said.

So it could amount to these three representatives - Scotland, Singapore and Bermuda - going up against the might of the 10 full members. And for any decision to be ratified, the odds are stacked against the associates, especially with the full members having already decided previously to restrict the 2015 World Cup to just 10 countries - themselves.

Hong Kong will be praying for a turnaround. Having reached the top four of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Dubai in April, Hong Kong stand to gain if the ICC decides to revert to the former qualifying pathway.

Under the old system, Hong Kong - along with fellow division two teams Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and Papua New Guinea - would join the top six teams in division one - Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Kenya, Canada and Afghanistan - to play in a qualifier in Scotland in 2013.

'We want the old qualifying system to go through to its conclusion for then Hong Kong would be in with a chance. But this is a long way off. First the ICC has to decide if they want the associates to be involved, and if so, how many and what the process is,' Cribbin said.


Scotland, Singapore and Bermuda are the only associate members who will have a vote at this month's ICC executive board meeting