31 October, 2020


A fierce battle between financial muscle and old-boy tradition ends in a compromise solution but the war is hardly over

The International Cricket Council (ICC) blinked first. As Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), took l'affaire Mike Denness to the wire, as cricket administrators across the planet wrung their hands in confusion and anger, as the pause button was pressed on millions of dollars worth of cricket-related business deals, world cricket was plunged into the sporting equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

If the discovery by CIA satellites of Soviet nuclear installations in Cuba had sent the world careering to the edge of a nuclear war, Denness' stupidity did the same for cricket. The Cuban crisis lasted 13 days, ending only when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, faced with a John F. Kennedy apparently willing to go to any lengths at all over the issue, lowered his eyelids and agreed to dismantle the Soviet bases. In the cricket controversy, hectic negotiations on several fronts for more than a week have resulted in a series of well-orchestrated step-downs on both sides.

The first climb-down came on Wednesday,...


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