Frindall takes on the ICC
Bill Frindall, widely accepted as the last word when it comes to statistics in the cricket world, had this to say, in an email, in response to the ICC's statement announcing that the match was going to given official status:
"This statement beggars belief. Limited-Overs International status and Records cover matches between national teams, not hot-potch multi-national games with no significance beyond fund raising. In no sense should the WCTA game qualify for inclusion. The ICC, for whom I was then statistician, dealt with this matter following the Rest of the World v England series in 1970, when we ruled that those five matches would not count in the official Test match records. And those games featured one international side."
While the statistical world is not quite united on this issue, it is fast becoming clear that many respected statisticians are, despite the ICC's assertions, going to ignore this match for official purposes. Frindall, adds:
"This ruling, which should be reversed immediately, is as bizarre as your recent one declaring that a match starts when the toss is made - a monstrous flouting of the Laws of Cricket. It will not have my support, and performances in Monday's match will NOT be included in any records published under my name."
The ICC won't reverse the decision now. But you can be sure this won't be the last we hear of this business. If the ICC have a good reason for granting this match official ODI status, and we haven't heard one yet, you can probably bet the reason is not cricketing.