Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Cricket: behind closed doors

I've just read Peter Roebucks' stunning attack (, 16 April 2008) on the ICC and their recent meeting and general pitiful attempts to steer the game.

Once choice excerpt - there are many sharp shards of prose aimed at those presiding over the game at one of it's most important crossroads - discusses the issue of Zimbabwe's cricket hierarchy:

Cunning to the core, [Peter] Chingoka has done deals with the BCCI, and votes for it at every opportunity. India owes him "big time". Like his mentor and master Robert Mugabe, he knows how to play his cards, talking about colonialism and intransigent whites, spreading rumours when it suits him. He is a pitiful figure who will not survive the return of democracy and the rule of law to his country, should that happy day ever dawn...

After years of sickening misrule in Zimbabwean cricket, the ICC finally asked KPMG to undertake a proper forensic audit. Not even Chingoka's supporters could prevent it...

But it did uncover serious financial irregularities. Part of any board's duty is to ensure that money is properly used. ZCU has been given tens of millions of dollars. Why are the grounds in poor shape? Why are the players paid a pittance? Why have tournaments been cancelled? Where has the money gone?
So why is the ICC not holding Zimbabwe to account? Why are the members letting these financial irregularities go unpunished? It's their duty to the game and the players who give yet suffer the most.

Steven Price wrote (, 19 March 2008), following the ICC's statement on the KPMG report into the finances of Zimbabwe Cricket:
One former Test played laughed loudly when he read the decision. "So, there are 'serious financial irregularities' but nobody is to blame and, in effect, the ICC are saying that they don't really matter. These guys just don't want to know the truth and don't care what's happening out here. It suits them to pretend all's well and that's just what they do."
The ICC have always been known for their non-committal fence-sitting approach to many issues on and off the pitch, but currently those in charge are overseeing a financially bountiful but morally questionable period in the games history.

Read Roebuck's article and the reader comments that follow to see one viewpoint on the impact of the current cricketing superpowers hold on the game.

Friday, 25 April 2008

The state of county cricket

Following on from Cricinfo's report: England ponders six-region option, everyone knows in their head (if not their heart) the current county set up is too weak to really squeeze the level of quality, whether its 4-day or the basis of a Twenty20 content.

It's not going to be an easy change, years of tradition and memories, tears will be shed, but surely common and financial sense say it is the way to go?

No offence to all the pros currently performing, but 10 regional sides would force our current first-class set-up to work harder and the viewing audiences along with the England team should reap the rewards.

Monday, 21 April 2008

To twitter or not to twitter

The key to twitter's success, is tying it in with networks like facebook. The market for these sort of social tools is becoming crowded, so they either have to be pure simple genius enabling the masses or a hardcore niche audience, and ideally able to work with existing networks and environments.

BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones writes:

But I'm not convinced that Twitter is really going to spread in the way Facebook did, beyond the digerati into millions of people's lives. What's more, I'm struggling to understand the business model.

Making a reasonably successful tool a revenue winner can be key to its lifespan, but there's not much to twitter, so adding commercial twits might start to turn off users?

Twitter works for some people, others don't get it or feel the need to document their life, which is why not everyone in the world keeps a written diary.

Not sure if twitter will grow in the same way as facebook, but its got a decent chance now it can be integrated.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Sub editors sacrificed

From Media Guardian:

"Archant has confirmed to staff that it will employ 10 advertising designers to lay out pages" commented Stuart McCreery, the managing director at Archant Suffolk.
Advertising designers are not trained to sub edit pages of editorial content and are not journalists (the clue is in their job title), who are Archant trying to fool here? Financial saving wins over editorial quality.
"Staff are now applying for positions within the new structure and the next phase of the project is to ensure that those with the right skills are appointed to the appropriate roles," he added.

Like sub editors?

Monday, 14 April 2008

Journalism in the modern age

Bill Thompson writing for the BBC, discusses teaching journalism and studying news consumption in the modern age.

A worrying/challenging/exciting time depending on how you look at it.

"The writing is on the wall for journalism and journalists says regular columnist Bill Thompson."

Meanwhile Paul Bradshaw lists tools and resources for the modern journalist to source and keep tabs on news online, including RSS readers, social networks, news alerts and related content.

"Here are a few tools and tricks that might improve your hunt for stories."

Meanwhile Jeff Jarvis talks about how the press itself is portrayed in reported news.

"One problem I’ve had with much discussion about the future of news lately is that it’s too press-centric."

Also worth checking out: The Telegraph Tech blog scans Ofcom's findings on how we use the media:

"the Government Office of Communications, began its review of the future of public service broadcasting today with the publication of Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review."