On Monday, there was a media day at the ICC headquarters, not far from where India will play Afghanistan in the Asia Cup today, where bigwigs like ICC CEO Dave Richardson, general manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit Alex Marshall and general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice spoke to the media about the state of cricket in 2018.
While that was in equal parts engaging and dull, it was a treat to get a tour of what is the factory of the cricket world. Working there would be a cricket lover's dream as the thread of the gentleman's game runs through the building. Historic and iconic pictures line the walls on every level. In the main conference room where the meeting was held, one side of the wall bears some of the most memorable lines ever written on cricket by the likes of Neville Cardus, John Arlott and CLR James.
The smaller meeting rooms are no less inviting. You can take your pick of the Bradman Room, the Sobers Room, the Heyhoe Flint Room, the WG Grace Room and the Tendulkar room. Each has a wall dedicated to pictures and trivia about the icon the room is named after. On second thought, maybe working here wouldn't be a good idea as it would be too easy to get distracted.
Back in the main conference room, Marshall was talking about the evils of match and spot-fixing and how private leagues attract corruptors like bees to honey. A few hours later in the same city, the T-10 League auctions were set to start.
BANGLADESH WOMEN MAKING WAVES
Allardice was talking in excited tones about women's cricket and how the previous Women's World Twenty20 had set attendance and viewing records for the women's game. While the Bangladesh men's team staged a thrilling turnaround the previous day in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi, it was their female counterparts that got special mention because of their recent brilliance in upstaging India in the Women's Asia Cup final in Malaysia in June and following that up by winning the World T20 qualifiers in the Netherlands.
“We acknowledge the giant strides Bangladesh have taken in recent times, upsetting India at the Asia Cup. They're starting to emerge as a strong team, and one of our key areas now is to continue to explore the growth of the women's game. One of the ways to do this we felt was to give international status to all internationals so that it has the potential to unlock government funding,” Allardice said.