The ECB Situation

When it comes to administrative ineptitude, Cricket boards across the world will give the George W. Bush administration a run for their money. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) absolutely takes the cake with their inefficiency, lack of backbone to follow through with their own decisions and the punishments they hand down to the players. The England and Wales Cricket Board (EWCB technically, but ECB for our discussion here, as no one except for the Welsh care for the Wales part of the Board.. Also, I heard the Cardiff pitch sucks), is slightly better than the PCB but not by very much.

While everyone has been focused on the spotfixing scandal involving the Pakistani players, the goof ups by the ECB are flying under the radar. The English pride themselves in the rule of law, the power of democracy, and general hoity-toity-ness. take out or rearrange sentence?]. By their own rules, one of the fundamental tenets when it comes to someone being accused of any wrongdoing is that the person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

All you have is a shady agent/bookie caught on an undercover sting carried out by a tawdry tabloid, claiming that he has connections with the Pakistan players and can spotfix. There is no proof (not yet, anyway) that would be admissible in a court of law, that could bring about a criminal case against the players and perhaps, get a conviction. For starters, the tape could have been made after Aamer and Asif bowled the no balls. As was noted in this Guardian news article, it is going to be extremely hard to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.

Even if a court case is brought on at a later time and the evidence incriminates the players and leads to a conviction, all these things have not happened yet. There is no legal case filed against the players and yet, everybody is treating them like criminals. There have been allegations of impropriety and accusations are flying in from all directions, thick and fast. I say, Hold on a minute. The burden of proof is with the accusers and not the players. The players don’t have to come out and prove their innocence.

Image Source: Getty Images, BBC

Giles Clarke, the ECB Chief  who happily ran around holding hands with thatscamming twerp Allen Stanford like they are BFFs, all for a chance at loading up their coffers with ill-gotten money, treated Mohammed Aamer at the post-series ceremony at the Long Room in the Lord’s with so much disdain like he had leprosy* or something. Why the fuck did you hold the presentation ceremony indoors in the first place? What were you afraid of? Boos? Get a grip. If the people who have paid through their noses feel cheated by the allegations and want to let the players know exactly how they feel, then let them. Freaking pussy, this Giles. I guess all the Clarkes are pussies at some level (I don’t know most of them but let’s assume I am right on this one since includes Michael Clarke).

Image Source: The Independent, UK

If the ECB was so convinced that Aamer and the Pakistani players are guilty before any concrete proof has been produced, why even continue with the tour?  How sure are the ECB that by sitting down Aamer, Asif and Butt the stink of the allegation would somehow magically be cleared off Pakistani team? Oh wait, what’s that? ECB stands to lose close to $25 million if the ODI and T20 leg of the tour does not go on? Well then, let’s compromise our morals for money. Sounds a lot like the crime the ECB and everyone else with a primary education in Cricket is accusing Aamer for.

The PCB, as screwed up as they are, are at least, in my opinion, doing something right – which is, the players will be treated as innocent until there is concrete evidence to the contrary. The whole “he said, she said” is not going to work. The ECB (the beacon of justice that they pretend to be) needed to do it as well. They should have let Aamer and Asif continue to play for Pakistan in the ODI and T20 portion of the tour. That would’ve been the most civil thing to do. But they caved in to their own ideas of public pressure and a media circus and forced the PCB to “drop the three players from the rest of the tour, although not formally suspend, while investigations continue.” What a farce!

Let us see how up with the times the ECB is. Kevin Pietersen – preens too much for my palate – tweeted, seemingly by mistake, his displeasure at being dropped from the English ODI and T20 teams. By the time he realized, it was too late and too many people had taken a screenshot of the tweet (including friends of the blog, Lizzy Ammon and Thoughts from a Dustbin). Of course, Pietersen “apologized” later on saying some bullshit about how his thoughts didn’t come out the way he wanted and it was not meant for the public domain. Geoff Miller, the ECB selector, when asked about his views in Pietersen’s rant, responded thus:

I don’t like that kind of language and I don’t use that language at all. I don’t follow Twitter and I’m not a great believer in that kind of thing. I don’t think it is necessary.

Take your time getting to 2010, Geoff. What was that thing I said about hoity-toity?

*-The Cricket Couch does not believe that people with leprosy should be treated with disdain.

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15 Responses to The ECB Situation

  1. “I guess all the Clarkes are pussies at some level (I don’t know most of them but let’s assume I am right on this one since includes Michael Clarke)”

    i think sylvester clarke might have a thing or two to say…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester_Clarke#Test_career

  2. Masood Qazi says:

    Absolutely loved it. Such mature and stable point of views are tough to come across right now, having more logic than emotions.
    Great read, sir 🙂

  3. Shreyas says:

    Why the fuck did you hold the presentation ceremony indoors in the first place? … I think there are ICC has some rules relating to the presentation ceremony when there is some controversy … the captains are not allowed to speak to media or something .. i am not 100 % sure about this … let me do more research on this ..

  4. ECB is the most evil empire among all, they will show their real colour when its rainy day*. They have always been doing this since birth of Cricket. This is my first comment on your article, and on one of the best article.

    * KP career has been threat since Modi was the first person he followed.
    * County started showing their colour as soon as they saw KP supporting IPL
    * Everything to do with Stuart Broad
    * Arranging tournaments for particular time so they can demolish other tournaments.

  5. kirbyakasid says:

    Aah, cheers for the mention. Can I just say that I don’t even follow KP on twitter and I still managed to see the tweet – it was RTd so many times! The guy has more than 29,000 followers, what did he expect?

    I heard today that there is some sort of investigation going into the KP’s little twittergate … aah, no, it doesn’t deserve to be a “gate” … into KP’s little moment in the world of social networking. I’m not sure why, but I suspect the ECB is screaming for attention while the rest of the world is interested in the PCB. Besides, they’ll be getting criticised again by mid-December when we have won the Ashes back. 🙂

  6. @Shreyas – ANy luck yet?

    @Poop – you have an active imagination, although I am not a big fan of ECB either. Or for that matter, any of the cricket boards.

    @Kirbs – You’re welcome. Glad to see your boy Hauritz made the squad for the India tour. KP is a nut job. I remember seeing him walking back to the pavilion after getting out in WC 2007 against Sri Lanka in Antigua. He had made a 50 or so i think. I was sitting about 5-10 feet from where he enters the steps to dressing rooms. All the fans said, “well played, Kev” whatever. Arse didn’t acknowledge one bit. still cursing himself out.
    I suppose this little brain-freeze will be the end of KP on twitter I suppose. Not that he was much entertaining or anything. I hope The Aus win the Ashes.. (I’m not a big Aus fan, as you already know, but this time around, do not like the English more. 😀

  7. I am not big fan of KP either I just feel sorry for the guy sometimes he could have been great mediator between BCCI and ECB, and eventually we do end up seeing lucrative cricket itinerary and everyone live happily ever after. I never want him to see him get success over India. Hell No. Lot of times I do make up story to piss people off, you probably have figure it out by now following CWB. Poop always stink sorry.

  8. V says:

    I don’t believe that Asif and trio should be allowed to play because it’s just too much uncertainty surrounding them and I don’t think they themselves would be able to concentrate. And as far as not paying attention to ECB activities, I think there’s a reason for that – we have a much bigger issue to focus on. Personally I think the whole tour should be scrapped but then there’s an argument of why should others (Pak players and the fans) be punished for no fault of their own. My problem is that as soon as some silly catch is dropped, everyone will start questioning the legitimacy of the plays. Too much of a rainy English summer weather conditions to play, albeit without the actual rain!

  9. kirbyakasid says:

    Dear Mr Couch,

    despite reservations from fans of pretty well every other cricketing nation, we Aussies had no doubt My Lord Nathan would be back for India. Who else were they going to use? Also, Ponting said so and what Ponting says is law in my country!

    Love Sid

  10. @Poop – well, if you wanna make up stories, sure you can, but who’ll pay attention to you in the long run?

    @V – There is no way the tour would have been scrapped. ECB loses big ($25 Mil) and PCB with no teams coming to Pakistan, would need the money out of this as well.

    @Kirbs – Hmm. They could have picked North as the primary spinner. Sure as heck his batting doesn’t warrant a spot, does it?

  11. Satish says:

    Subash

    The police apparently found in the possession of Salman Butt numbered notes that were handed out to the agent by the News of the World reporters. Until this revelation came about, which was in fact after the presentation ceremony, indeed the incident appeared to be one that could have been fabricated

    Also, you need to consider the libel law environment in UK. News of the World would be taken to cleaners if they do not possess any substantial evidence to back up their claims. In fact if the Pakistan team and board are clean as they claim to be; they could mint millions by filing a libel law suit in the UK courts. Tabloids here go to great length in collecting evidence to back up their claims.

    Satish

    • As I mentioned in response to someone on twitter, I have no problems with whatever ICC and PCB want to do with the players, once they have established evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

      I was also informed that NOTW has been sued before by athletes and celebs before for fabricating “juicy” stories.

  12. knowledge_eater says:

    You know what you right, in fact I don’t even wish to get attention. My time pass is over now, study has started, all I wanted to say if BCCI can cross lines to do business deals and be narcissistic so can ECB PCB CA ZimB CSA in fact any boards. There is no such thing as spirit of cricket in administrator heart, those only remain for fans like us. I don’t blame boards either all the time, because cricketers need more than spirit to survive as we saw with Pakistani players, for that boards need to make money. I am not fan of Economics, but it is essential part of Game survival and I am starting to understand that. So, I should shut up now. Cheers. Good Luck.

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