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FICA lauds decision of granting full membership to Afghanistan and Ireland

Afghanistan and Ireland have recently gained full-member status from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan and Ireland have recently gained full-member status from the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has extended their best wishes towards the two teams. The decision was taken by the ICC at its London Annual General Meeting on the 22nd of June.

FICA welcomed Afghanistan and Ireland as the 11th and 12th Test playing nations respectively, into the cricketing world. The two nations had earlier applied to the ICC to have their Associate memberships upgraded and their application was met with a favourable outcome.

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Welcome message by the FICA

Extending a warm hand of camaraderie, FICA Executive Chairman, Tony Irish said, “The promotion of Ireland and Afghanistan to full member status is welcomed by FICA and we look forward to more countries being able to take this step in the future as one aspect of the global expansion of the game.”

T20 leagues a big threat to test cricket

Irish expressed his concern about T20 leagues getting the lion’s share of public attention, at the risk of sidelining Test cricket in the process. “Because of the current playing structure of the game, players are being increasingly forced to choose between the traditional employment market involving international cricket and the more financially attractive new markets in domestic T20 leagues,” said Irish.
He further added, “The international game is being seriously challenged by these domestic leagues for time, resource, players and fans not only as a consequence of their attractive nature but also because of failing traditional structures.” He also stressed on the need to develop a system for the harmonious co-existence of Test and T20 cricket, without one competing with the other.

Overhauling of the ‘Big Three’ Model

Keeping in sync with the efforts of the ICC to dissolve the Big Three fund distribution scheme, Irish said, “It is hoped that the fairer distribution of financial resources across the game will now be utilised in each country in such a way that it maintains the playing strength of that country.” He also expressed his hopes towards prioritisation of the game of cricket at the global level, rather than being restrained to domestic interests.

Suggestions by the FICA

FICA put forth the following suggestions in an attempt to strike a better balance within the different formats of the game:- A genuine global structure and scheduling framework for all three formats.

– A balance between the traditional and new markets which promotes the best players are able to play in a balance of both.
– A collaborative international approach which includes looking at scheduling windows and at how other sports balance club versus country conflicts.
– A fit for purpose global regulatory framework agreed with and bought into by, the players.
– A decreased focus on tinkering with micro issues and delivery mechanics which simply ‘plaster over’ some of the current failings.

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