Melbourne, June 2: Most international players surveyed think India has too much influence on running international cricket, while 77 percent thought the match fixing bans handed to three Pakistan players were inadequate.
The results of a survey carried out by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations during this year's World Cup were released Thursday.
It showed almost 70 percent thought the Board of Control for Cricket in India exerted too much influence globally.
"Players have highlighted that the governance of the game is a serious issue," FICA chief executive Tim May said.
Only six percent said International Cricket Council decisions were made in the best interests of the game, while 69 percent agreed the decision making of the ICC was influenced unfairly by the power of the BCCI. A further 31 percent answered “don't know” to the question on the BCCI's influence, meaning not a single player gave a definitive no.
"FICA have continually advocated for a review of the game's governance. Its present structure is outdated, full of conflicts, cronyism and far from best practice," former Australia cricketer May said.
Despite the concern on India's role, almost one-third of the 45 players surveyed said they would consider giving up international cricket prematurely to play exclusively in the BCCI's Indian Premier League or other Twenty20 cricket competitions.
“The Indian Premier League continues to be popular with the players, and its superior pay structures for the players, continue to challenge players' priority over international cricket,” FICA chief executive Tim May, a former Australia test spinner, said in releasing the survey findings on Thursday.
“FICA is a strong advocate of the international schedule co-existing with the Indian Premier League, rather than competing with it. When players are able to earn over 10 times their annual salary from their boards, for just 7 weeks cricket in the IPL, it would be foolhardy of boards to continue to schedule International matches during IPL and expect players to remain loyal to the board.”
In another note of dissatisfaction with the sport's officials, 77 percent said the minimum five-year bans given to Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were too lenient. The trio were banned for their involvement in a plan to bowl no-balls at predetermined times in a test against England last year so as to fix spot betting markets.
“This sends a strong signal to stakeholders that the vast number of players want significant penalties to be invoked against those who are found guilty of serious corruption offenses,” May said.
The three Pakistan players and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, will face a British court in October also charged with conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.
In other survey findings:
• the bulk of players (72 percent) supported the reduction of the World Cup to 10 teams, but 91 percent thought it should include qualifying for the Associate nations rather than be restricted to the ICC's 10 full member nations.
• More than 80 percent said the Decision Review System resulted in better decision making from umpires at the World Cup, with 97 percent agreeing that the DRS should be mandatory in all test matches.
Currently, the home team's board decides if the DRS is used, so the system has been implemented in countries such as Australia for test series, but not in India.
“Players are almost unanimous in supporting DRS at all test matches, not on a series-by-series basis, as is the case at the moment,” May said. “It is confusing for players, umpires, and the public not knowing when the DRS is going to be operable.
"It is ridiculous that one country's opposition to the DRS should prohibit a uniform regulation for all test cricket."
FICA comprises player associations from all full test member countries except India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. AP