'Cricket is being held hostage by three countries and something needs to be done about it'
A silent protest has been held today at The Oval, venue for the fifth and final Ashes Test, to demand changes to the way the game of cricket is governed and managed.
It has been led by sports activists Damian Collins MP and Jaimie Fuller of SKINS, with support from the Barmy Amy as well as Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, whose recent film Death Of A Gentleman has led the calls to #changecricket.
Watch the film: www.deathofagentlemanfilm.com
Sign the petition: www.changecricket.com
Use the hashtag: #changecricket
Their key message: Cricket is being held hostage by three countries and something needs to be done about it.
"Cricket has been taken over by England, Australia and India at the expense of the other 102 countries that play the game," said Damian Collins, the man who has led the charge in the UK Parliament against poor governance standards and corruption in FIFA.
The organisers of the protest have called on fans to lend their support by signing a petition at changecricket.com (see right) and using the hashtag #changecricket on social media.
"These three titans of the game have engineered a backroom power grab where cricket is the loser and England, Australia and India are the perennial winners," Collins added.
"Not only are they doing the wrong thing by their sport, but it is a conflict of interest.
"It is clear they do not have an interest in developing and growing the game globally, but only in their own backyards."
The International Cricket Council (ICC) currently distributes 52 per cent of its revenues to the 'big three' of Australia, England and India leaving the remaining 102 members to share 48 per cent between them.
"This is all about self-interest," said prominent sports activist Fuller, chairman of SKINS.
"The big cricket series are all being played between these three countries and they reap the rewards.
"Even FIFA, with all of the issues it faces in terms of corruption allegations and governance challenges, has respected the need to grow the game and to give each of its member associations an equal and guaranteed level of funding."
The ICC has recently confirmed plans to reduce the 14-team World Cup to a 10-team event for 2019 and beyond, and has also resisted plans to make cricket an Olympic sport.
"This would be laughable if it wasn’t such a scandal," Fuller said.
"Other sports look at ways to expand their marquee event, and would give their eye-teeth to part of the Olympic movement - but not cricket, thanks to the ICC."
Collins and Fuller have been inspired to take action after watching Death Of A Gentleman, made by Sam Collins (no relation) and Kimber, who put forward the case that the ICC's actions will eventually kill off Test cricket as we know it.
Supporters are also being encouraged to contact the Prime Minister and Sports Minister in Australia, England and India urging them to intervene.
"In each of these countries, cricket is seen as the national sport. Governments of all persuasions have pointed to cricketing analogies and their national cricketers for inspiration and celebration,” said Fuller.
"The game impacts all of us. We urge governments and all cricket lovers to unite to #ChangeCricket.
"Otherwise, what we will be left with is just not cricket."
Video above from Lizzy Ammon / YouTube
© Cricket World 2015