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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Cricket Australia is "on the verge" of appointing long-serving Dir Earl Eddings as its next permanent chair as the "embattled governing body begins the healing process after a week of bloodshed," according to Andrew Wu of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. An announcement is "unlikely to come this week" with the board "keen to demonstrate a consultative approach to the states," but "could happen next week." Eddings "loomed as the heir apparent" after being named deputy chair at the annual general meeting two weeks ago, and has "filled in on an interim basis" since former CA Chair David Peever's resignation last week. Eddings is "not considered to be weighed down by any baggage from last year's pay war or the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa." Eddings could also continue serving as interim chair, though "titles matter" when it comes to int'l cricket diplomacy and that could "get in the way of doing business" (SMH, 11/8).

NEXT ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK? Wu also reported national selectors may have "only a matter of months to reverse the fortunes of Australian cricket or risk following" former CA High Performance Manager Pat Howard "out the door." While Howard's exit has "eased some of the pressure, the spotlight now turns" to Greg Chappell and, to a lesser extent, Trevor Hohns, who is contracted until '20. Some former internationals "privately feel Chappell should be the next key figure to step down after Howard's removal." Chappell has been a "polarising figure in the national system," but his methods were "dealt a blow" by Simon Longstaff's "warts-and-all report into the game which slammed Cricket Australia's pathways system" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/8).

Sean Bratches said that nothing is immutable in F1 in terms of where races are held.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Formula 1 Managing Dir, Commercial Operations Sean Bratches "hinted the British Grand Prix could move away from Silverstone to preserve the future of the race," according to Scott Mitchell of AUTOSPORT. Last year, Silverstone execs activated a break clause in the race's contract, which was agreed under F1's previous ownership, making the '19 event "the last one under the current deal." There has not been any "public progress on negotiating a new deal." In an interview issued by F1 ahead of this weekend's Brazilian GP, Bratches was asked if there is "any likelihood of a historic race like Britain or Italy moving to a street track." Bratches said, "We're a 68-year-old entity and the nature of grand prix racing is that it is dynamic. Silverstone was the first grand prix, but we haven't raced at Silverstone all those 68 years. The race has been held at Brands Hatch and other venues. Nothing is immutable in this sport in terms of where we race" (AUTOSPORT, 11/7). ESPN.com's Laurence Edmondson reported Bratches explained that he wants to see "a mix of circuit types" on the calendar, with an "emphasis on growing the number of street races," such as the proposed circuit in Hanoi. Bratches said, "We look at it in three ways. Firstly, we want to preserve the heritage races. They are very important to Formula 1, and they are very important to fans. I'm talking about the Silverstones, the Spas, the Monzas of this world. Then we have a set of street races and hybrid street races, where we race in parks and on city streets, such as Melbourne, Montreal and Mexico City. The third segment features purpose-built facilities such as Shanghai; Austin, Texas; and Bahrain. Beyond that, we are looking to identify further street races, so this race is a further step in terms of our vision" (ESPN.com, 11/8). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Bratches said that the sport values and wants to keep the "heritage races" -- such as Silverstone, Spa and Monza -- and recognizes "their importance to fans." Bratches: "But we are a business. We are a public company and we have a lot of stakeholders and shareholders and we're trying to marry what's best for fans with running a successful business" (REUTERS, 11/7).

The Korean Baseball Organization said that it will "retain its current free agency system and shelve discussions on putting a cap on the length and value of free agent contracts, among other proposed changes." The KBO "suggested limiting the maximum length of a free agent deal to four years and capping the monetary value" at 8B won ($7.2M). The league also "offered to reduce the number of seasons a player must put in before becoming a free agent" (YONHAP, 11/8).

A second regional federation has "withdrawn its support" for New Zealand Football's exec committee, as the "fallout from the Muir review continues." Auckland Football Chair Bob Patterson "outlined his board's position" in a letter to ExCo President Philip Barry. Patterson wrote, "We do not have confidence in the current membership of the ExCo to lead New Zealand Football through the vital period of change required in the coming months and years" (STUFF, 11/8).

The Int'l Cricket Council will have four independent experts analyze sessions of play in matches "alleged to have been fixed by a betting syndicate." A documentary broadcast last month by Al Jazeera "claimed to have uncovered evidence of 26 spot fixes in 15 matches" from '11-12. Al Jazeera has "refused to hand over any information to the ICC," but its anti-corruption unit will have the sessions of play analyzed by experts from the betting industry and two independent statisticians in "an attempt to discover whether there was anything unusual" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/8).