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ICC is the UN of World Cricket


In political theory and the practices, the term 'Imperial' is often associated with a country with the superior military might, economic largesse and political dominance. Till the end of World War II, Great Britain (GB) was the Imperial power. The colonies they had under their control further helped GB to maintain the dominance. With the end of the World War II the number of colonies reduced considerably and by replacing the war-hit Great Britain, the United States of America (USA) emerged as the modern emperors. However, it did not change the basic components the term Imperial stands for.  

If one compares this scenario with cricket (keeping the military power aside), then it still has to offer many similarities. England like in global politics was considered as the super-power of world cricket. At least administratively. However, with the changing times, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took over that role. And just like the US, the BCCI has been dominating the functioning of world cricket. Hence, quite often BCCI is regarded as the US of world cricket. But very rarely, the parallels are drawn between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the United Nations (UN) - the apex bodies in the global politics and the world cricket respectively.

As it happens with many supreme organisations on the global stage, either of them is subject to criticism. This write-up attempts to highlight some of those flaws since the time the BCCI and the USA began to dominate in their respective fields.

Economic considerations

Keeping in mind the expanses these two organisations have to look after; the stronger bank-balance is a necessity in the smooth functioning of the UN and ICC. Although the US is yet to fully recover from the economic crisis, it has continued to contribute the largest chunk of the financial aid to the UN on a regular basis. In quite a similar manner, the BCCI has been playing the key role in financially strengthening ICC. And neither the UN nor ICC is expected to play favourites, either of them are often criticised for granting the US and the BCCI with an extra leeway.  While the apex bodies will like to think otherwise, the critics often blame the fear of losing a considerable amount of finances for the governing bodies to act meekly.

Political Manoeuvring

The UN has supported the idea of world peace via the unity of its members. ICC too has backed the idea of welfare of cricket via the healthy camaraderie between the cricket playing nations. While these principles make for a fascinating read (and should be an ultimate aim for any International organisation), when it comes to passing a sanction in the UN and at the election of the president in the ICC, the presence of ally is strongly felt. There are countries; both at the UN and in ICC that object the views of the US and the BCCI on some matters.

For example- The US is severely criticised for its use of the VETO power going against the general consensus. Consequentially, the UN is often said to be controlled by the US. In case of the BCCI, their views on the DRS and the WADA policies are disapproved by 2/3 (approximately) of ICC’s permanent members. And while ICC has been pushing the majority countries to follow the DRS and WADA policies, it is known to be too soft when faced with the BCCI’s denial. The US and the BCCI can be blamed for being too dominating, but the UN and ICC have allowed them to get overridden as well.

The future

There is one more striking resemblance between the UN and ICC. While the US was hit by the economic crisis, the UN showed hardly any urgency to pressurise the US to toe the line on certain global economic and political issues. The same principle applies to ICC. While the recent spot-fixing saga has put off the BCCI, ICC has merely provided the services of so far ineffective Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). The US and the BCCI are currently in a relative meltdown. However, the highest bodies in the fields concerned are rather unwilling to enforce anything on the US and the BCCI.

It is not that the US and the BCCI have not done anything right. Or the UN and ICC have not put their foot down to curb the dominance of the US and the BCCI.  But as it happens with the many supreme governing bodies/organisations in the world, the UN and ICC are either too diplomatic or defensive while discussing the issues concerning the super-powers. Hence, the tough actions against them (the US and the BCCI) still remain a lip- service.

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