New Delhi: The restructuring of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is being done to “address the future”, BCCI president N. Srinivasan said on Wednesday, three days before the ICC Executive Board meets in Singapore to vote on the proposed radical changes.
Srinivasan, who is set to become the ‘first’ ICC chairman this June-July after the ICC Board last month agreed in principle to give the BCCI the first opportunity, sounded hopeful that the Board members would look at the larger picture and approve the proposed changes for a brighter future.
The BCCI is set to benefit the most, financially, from the changes, and as a result the Indian domestic season will become richer, with at least two teams visiting every winter as the Future Tours Programme (FTP) too would be amended.
Srinivasan, 69, said the change in the FTP, which would now be decided on the basis of bilateral agreements between countries, would fetch more financial rewards for all.
“The FTP will bring extra financial stability to  Test-playing nations as well as Associates & Affiliates [countries]. The top performing Associates will get more [money]; the A&A will get more than the last time. The Full Members will also benefit. There will be clarity on tours that will be undertaken. ICC structure is being restructured to address the future,” Srinivasan told MAIL TODAY in an interview.
“For the first time, the glass ceiling has been broken, and Associates hope to play Tests. There’s a route map for that. So, all these are great positives,” emphasised the man, who along with the Australian and English Boards, drafted the widely-debated position paper. “Today, the FTP is not signed by India. It has not been signed by many [Boards]. It [proposed bilateral FTP] also addresses the members’ concern about the ICC Members’ Participation Agreement (MPA) etc.”
ICC member countries are required to sign the MPA so that bidders of the ICC media/commercial rights are assured of teams’ participation in the ICC tournaments/ events.
The next rights cycle is from 2015- 2023, for which the tender would be floated this year.
“Basically, FTP is just an arrangement to play the various forms of cricket, for the Full Members to play Test cricket against each other. If the FTP is catalogued and fixed, it helps ICC provide the logistics like posting umpires and match referees etc.,” said Srinivasan, also vice-chairman & managing director of India Cements.
When pointed out that the BCCI and some other countries have not been adhering strictly to the ongoing FTP, he said: “It’s not like that. FTP is not a rigid document. But now, what we propose to do is to define each tour and what [matches] we’ll play on that tour. There will be bilateral discussions and the agreements, and arrangements have to be signed bilaterally. I am sure everyone will agree to the schedules.”
A former Sheriff of Madras, Srinivasan hinted that the Woolf Committee Report, an independent governance review of the ICC by Lord Woolf and PricewaterhouseCoopers that suggested wholesale changes in 2012, would not be implemented.
“The BCCI has rejected the Woolf Committee in its entirety,” he pointed out.
The Woolf Committee suggested, amongst other things, a president and a chairman, with more powers. The ICC has made this change, but not because the report suggested so, said Srinivasan.
“The chairman’s position was spoken about when Alan Isaac took over [in mid- 2012]. And then last year we changed the constitution to provide for a president, who was more of a titular president, while the real work would be done by the chairman. The only thing they [ICC Executive Board] are saying is that the first chairman would be from the BCCI. That’s what has been approved in principle,” he explained.
Countries have never agreed to one fixed formula for picking the ICC head. Before 1989 the ICC was administered by the secretary of the London-based Marylebone Cricket Club. That year Colin Cowdrey became the first ICC chairman, followed by Clyde Walcott.
In 1997, the designation was renamed as ‘president’ as Jagmohan Dalmiya took charge. Now, a president, who is to be rotated among various countries for one-year tenures, and a chairman would head the world body.
A chemical engineer, Srinivasan said that once the changes come into effect, he would make the Indian winter more attractive.
“We would like to emphasise on our domestic series and have, at least, two teams visiting us for two home series,” he said, but also didn’t rule out the team touring abroad during the winter.
Srinivasan said that once the ICC Board approves the changes and BCCI gets more money, it would spend more on the game in the country.
“The increased income for BCCI will help us to create more infrastructure and spend more money on development of cricket. The BCCI, after all, is a non-profit organisation,” he said.
When pointed out that a few BCCI associations may not be investing enough from the share that they get from the BCCI, Srinivasan said every state association is doing its best to develop the infrastructure.
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