The ICC's master plan closer to fruition

Not many in Bermuda are likely paying any notice to this, but international cricket is on the verge of turning on its head, thanks to the power brokers in India, Australia and England.

A proposal has been put forward which will essentially see all aspects of control of top flight cricket run through a bloc of the three most powerful (read: wealthy) nations. Monies ordinarily used to promote the game in the other Test-playing nations as well as the remaining 96 countries with national cricket boards, would divert back to the Big 3 instead.

What would this lead to?

  • The Big 3 playing full Tours amongst themselves; the remaining Full members would have to be content with scraps and handouts (India will throw enough bones at Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to retain their support, likewise Australia and New Zealand, most likely)
  • A two-tier Test structure, with the caveat that the Big 3 can never be relegated to the second tier (because of their financial clout)
  • The Associates, with even smaller pieces of the pie, would see themselves never being more than bit players at the table... Ireland, meet your glass ceiling... Zimbabwe watch out for the trap door
  • With more limited opportunities to play at the top level, the non-Big 3 nations would see their revenues and skill levels continue to diminish. The next Misbah-ul-Haq would have to ply his trade in the IPL, at best. The next Brian Lara may have to try to repatriate to England.
The whole thing is disgusting and disturbing for the game as a whole, and this Cricinfo article by J. Kimber covers much of why people who love the game should be concerned. I can only hope cooler heads can prevail and prevent a great sport from being defiled in such a manner.


Take care when you post on court/crime articles, Bermuda

Sometimes when I read the comments following local articles dealing with arrests or other crime/court related issues, I think that the situation's almost hilarious.

If I didn't know better, I'd think that some of them were satirical.

As it is, odds are that these are real people, exposing their real motives and potentially exposing themselves unnecessarily as either deluded or borderline crazy.

Much the same way that relatives of people injured in crashes or the like should be advised to avoid online news articles about said person, I think friends or relatives of people that are the subject of crime or court issues should do likewise. Even if you are supportive of the person involved, giving them an online 'shout-out' will only lead to negative consequences.


Look at the message not the messengers

Predictably, the announcement of the principals behind the motion to put the gambling referendum back into play has drawn undue criticism from some quarters.

Thing is that if the people were revealed to be random 'people in the street', they'd get criticised for being nobodies. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Look at the position paper put out. Agree with it, disagree with it, ignore it. Don't tear it down because you may or not favour the public figures who have put their names behind it.

Gambling referendum, keeping it on the front burner

In another display of 'people power', a group of individuals have officially called upon the ruling Government to change their plan to directly go ahead with legislation for casino gambling, instead putting the vote to the people via referendum (and thus returning to their original election pledge).

Let the parallels between this, the petition to keep the Lambe-Foggo clinic open, the Concerned Bermudians group that organised a march regarding the terms limit policy, and other groups that have served as a sort of pressure group, begin.

The group has launched their website and are ready to go.

Here's a summary of the government's dealings with regard to legislating casino-style gambling:

1. OBA election manifesto promises to put the issue of legalising gambling to a referendum vote.
2. OBA wins election.
3. A year passes, during which Govt ministers talk about gambling a bit, and are involved (both normally and controversially) with potential stakeholders in a gambling product.
4. Nearly 12 months later, word comes out that the OBA has suggested as a referendum question, a very suggestive and loaded one meant to encourage a 'yes' vote instead of being neutral in wording. Naturally, everybody expressed concern.
5. With the choice of rewording, revamping or even going full steam ahead with the referendum question before them, Government comes out with a "threat to disrupt" argument and decides to forego the referendum entirely, putting all blame on the PLP and ignoring the outcry from unaffiliated persons.

In a nutshell, the OBA took 12 months to come up with a referendum question, they were challenged on the wording of it, so they said screw it. That action has served to upset at least a decent portion of the voting community.

And thus, a collection of people are taking it upon themselves to try to lobby the government to honour their original promise to the people and call for a (fair) referendum on the issue of gambling (casino, but perhaps also other forms as well).

Will this particular incarnation cause the intended effect or will it become a "This too shall pass" moment? Shaping up to be an intriguing and critical January for Bermuda, I think.


The 'Get over it' crew, version 2.0

I wonder if the various pro-OBA commentators on the Gazette and Bernews realize how shrill they sound when they try to shout down anything that dares challenge the current ruling government's policies?

Case in point: the government's about-turn on a pre-election promise to plan a referendum on legislated gambling. A group of people are not happy with the choice, and want to petition against that move. Suddenly, they are being lambasted by a vociferous pro-OBA support base.

Haven't they learned anything from when a pro-PLP support base used to rake them over the coals for daring to talk bad about the previous government's policies? At all?

The issue is *not* about pro- or anti-gambling. It's about breaking election promises. It's about turning a biased referendum question into a "take our ball and go home" moment and not following through on pledges. It's about going an entire year of hemming and hawing and then going in a completely different direction, shocking the public.