Wrong. It is short-sighted and foolish for these three nations to think that such a restricted global game could ever be a good thing. As a cricket fan, would you ever want to see ten back-to-back Ashes Tests again? What about twenty, or thirty? A vibrant and varied international cricket scene would be beneficial for everyone: fans, players and, most importantly it seems, accountants and administrators.
A huge chunk of cash goes to India, of course, owing to their "higher contribution costs". The line we are sold is that this reflects their importance in the cricketing system, and will help to make cricket as a whole stronger. On the other hand, though, it means that more and more money stays in India, while a great deal less finds its way elsewhere.
In the short term, this means that Indian cricket can give itself a nice financial buffer, pretty much making itself invulnerable, even if every single other cricketing nation goes bankrupt. Their worst case scenario is that they end up following the American model, creating an enormous and glitzy IPL, the winners of which are crowned Champions of the Universe, win little figurines of Sachin Tendulkar, and whose players command huge salaries after being boot-camped into shape from an excessively young age by over-zealous parents trying to live their dreams through their offspring. Individual players become transient, homogeneous and dispensable as part of a well-oiled machine. Cricket still exists, but its character is lost.
Beyond the Test world, though, it pays to be one of the top six nations, however arbitrarily they are decided. If you're not in that semi-elite group, then you're gone. Cast adrift. There will likely be no more Afghanistans and no more Nepals. The Netherlands, Canada and Kenya will be fighting desperately to stop the game from collapsing completely under the joint burdens of lack of funding and lack of interest. From being one of the top three Associates just a few months ago, the KNCB is now fighting a desperate battle to bag T20 International status on the back of their World T20 performance and get some sort of cash coming in.
In the lower divisions, their squads will have to get past the self-defeating ICC Development Criteria. I tried to read them, but they were long, complex and confusing. The gist, though, seemed to be that unless something changes, the likes of the Coopers, van der Gugten, Swart, Rippon and van Beek might be looking at the end of their international careers, for the forseeable future at least. A lot of people whine about ex-pat cricketers in Associate sides, and I used to be one of them, but the more research I do the less I really mind. Of course, if the KNCB was just buying in any decent seamer with a Dutch granny then it wouldn't be the best development strategy, but as long as there are young Dutch cricketers around too then these players can share their experience and have more than just an on-field role. Keep this in mind for later.
Far more sensible would be to find out which cricket boards are interested in playing Test cricket and helping them to overcome any obstacles, rather than just throwing further obstacles in their way until they give up. That way, we could have more Test nations, not less, and we could bring the standards of the lowlier nations up, rather than just ignoring them and hoping they go away. It's only logical if you're a governing body.
Say, for instance, that the Netherlands want to play Tests. Rather than cutting them adrift after their unfortunate World Cup Qualifier, I would retain their ODI status. I would also support them in trying to establish a decent domestic structure. This would of course cost a lot of money, but it has to be an option. You could, theoretically, base one team out of each of six major centres for cricket in the Netherlands: VRA Cricket Club (Amstelveen), Amsterdamsche Cricket Club (Amstelveen), Hague Cricket Club (The Hague), Excelsior Cricket Club (Schiedam), Salland Cricket Club (Deventer), Kampong Cricket Club (Utrecht). It's not exactly like there would be a lack of players, either, seeing the number of players who have represented the Netherlands at various levels. The Topklasse already attracts enough overseas players in its current form and this more streamlined competition might attract even more. Players like Sharn Gomes, Heino Kuhn, Bradley Barnes, David Wiese and Cameron Borgas already visited Dutch shores in 2013, and a more prestigious competition might invent even more high-quality names. Perhaps two per team would keep standards up?
It's not only the Netherlands that could have taken advantage of such a scheme. Canada (Edmonton, King City, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg), Ireland (any six of many top-notch facilities), Scotland (Aberdeen, Ayr, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling), and many others besides could all use the exact same blue-print for domestic structures, if they wanted to. A couple of obvious issues are quality and cost. A look at the current Logan Cup would suggest that the quality of such competitions wouldn't be any worse, while the cost could easily be met with a little bit of lateral thinking. After all, the local players don't have to be on full-time professional contracts - they could be on pay-as-you-play deals, with most of the games scheduled on weekends to keep costs down. Any overseas or southern hemisphere-based players could also be employed by local clubs in coaching roles during the season, which would kill two birds with one stone. First-class status would also make the competitions more attractive to potential sponsors, and it might even be possible to make a weekly (or similar) highlights show attractive to a television channel.
But rather than being used productively to globalise the game in any way, cricket's finances are being divided to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The attitudes of the powers that be are archaic and dangerous, because I personally cannot see how they can help cricket to grow properly.