The battle for supremacy at the International Cricket body is a very interesting development which took place at the ICC meeting in Dubai last week. Although voting was postponed, India, England and Australia seem to be taking control when matters come up for discussion later. I feel it will auger well for the future of world cricket.
The BCCI has been the major contributor to the coffers of the ICC in recent years. It is this money that is being distributed around the world to popularise and pay for the development of the game.
The new proposal may look like India, with the help of the other two powerful nations, dictating the fortunes and itineraries of the others. But truly speaking, at present, the ICC is a silent spectator with not enough power to make binding decisions or commitments without the acceptance of the major contributors.
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Putting the reins into the hands of the successful nations is the only way forward.
India’s 1983 World Cup triumph changed the fortune of Asian cricket. The astute Indian administrators, like Jagmohan Dalmiya and Inderjit Singh Bindra, supported by canny politician N.K.P. Salve, got the World Cup to the sub-continent in 1987.
The tournament was a grand success. The ICC, meanwhile, was in a dire state due to its dwindling finances. In 1997, Dalmiya took control when one gathers that there were just £30,000 in the ICC kitty. After three years, he left them with a reserve of £3 million.
Top Indian corporates have shown how the fortunes of loss-making foreign companies can be turned around and made profitable through good structuring. The ICC needs the skills of such Indian administrators, marketers and financers.
To be self-sufficient financially, ICC should be administered by able people. India, Australia and England are at present the power-brokers and getting them to ensure that cricket progresses worldwide at a much faster pace and giving them the authority to do so is the only way ahead.
N. Srinivasan as the head of world cricket is a good step to ensure that maximum advantage could be derived from all deals, when the world body merges with the richest Board.
(The writer is a former Test cricketer)