Srinivasan will soon be the most powerful man in world cricket. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: BCCI, the world's richest cricket Board, and its powerful president N. Srinivasan could soon assume unprecedented powers as many of the key proposals in a draft seeking to revamp the ICC was accepted by the ICC Executive Board on Tuesday.
The Board, which seemed divided ahead of the two-day meeting that began in Dubai, recognised the “central leadership” of bigger nations, especially the BCCI. In other words, Srinivasan could head the ICC Executive Board as early as June, following the changes in the ICC governance structure.
These, and many other proposals, were part of a 21-page draft prepared by a working group, comprising BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials. Only a few points in the draft were diluted, apparently after some give and take with the countries opposing the ‘Position Paper’, which was not even tabled on Tuesday following widespread protests.
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In a press release, the ICC significantly said that it was time the world body recognised the contribution of its member countries according to their ‘contribution costs’. “... this leadership will be provided for two years from June 2014 by: a BCCI representative to Chair the ICC Board, a CA representative to Chair the ExCo [Executive Committee] and an ECB rep to Chair the F& CA [Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee],” said the statement. To set up an ExCo was part of the draft.
THE BCCI stands to gain the most from these decisions as 70-80 per cent of the ICC’s revenues come from sponsors based in India.
Perhaps the most significant sentence in the ICC statement was: “Anybody from within the [ICC Executive] Board can be elected to Chair the Board and anybody from within ExCo and F&CA can be elected to Chair those Committees.” In other words, it means that by June, Srinivasan may become the most powerful cricket administrator in the world as he could head the ICC while continuing to be a member of the F&CA. At present, he’s on four key ICC committees.
The proposed ICC World Test Championship has been scrapped and replaced by Champions Trophy.
Reportedly, there was a heated debate in the meeting, which lasted for about six hours. The Bangladesh Cricket Board claimed that it was the lone Board that opposed the draft proposals at the meeting, though before the meeting PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf had hinted that South Africa, and Sri Lanka could also oppose the draft.
“We have communicated to the ICC Board that the BCB will not endorse any proposal that compromises Bangladesh’s full member rights in terms of status and participation. Bangladesh was the only full member nation to take a stand on this issue,” acting BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhary said.
There were apparently some give and take between the stronger Boards and the rest. The proposal of two-tier Test cricket, with immunity to India, Australia and England from being demoted to the lower tier, has been dropped, following strong protests by weaker countries as well as former ICC administrators and former players.
“There will be an opportunity for all Members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status,” said the ICC statement.
“A Test Cricket Fund, paid equally on an annual basis to all Full Members (except the BCCI, CA and the ECB) will be introduced to encourage and support Test match cricket,” it said. “A larger percentage from the increasing ICC Associate Members’ surplus will be distributed to the higher performing non-Full Members.”
Said ICC president Alan Isaac: “There’s more work to be done by the Members in developing their schedules of bilateral cricket... Extensive work will now be undertaken in advance of a follow-up Board meeting next month [Feb 8].”
ICC EXECUTIVE BOARD DECISIONS
There will be an opportunity for all members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status.
A Test Cricket Fund, paid equally on an annual basis to all Full Members (except the BCCI, CA the ECB), will be introduced to encourage and support Test match cricket.
A larger percentage from the increasing Associate Members’ surplus will be distributed to the higher performing non- Full Members.
Mutually agreed bilateral FTP agreements that will be legally binding and bankable and will run for the same period as the ICC commercial rights cycle ( 2015- 2023).
Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility.
A need to recognise the varying contribution of Full Members to the value of ICC events through the payment of ‘ contribution costs’.
The establishment of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, CA and ECB representatives.
Anybody from within the Board can be elected to chair the board and anybody from within ExCo and F&CA can be elected to chair those committees. With the ICC undergoing a transitional period that includes a new governance structure and media rights cycle, this leadership will be provided for two years from June 2014 by: a BCCI representative to chair the ICC Board, a CA representative to chair the ExCo and an ECB representative to chair the F&CA.
A new company will be incorporated to tender future commercial rights for ICC events. There will be three major ICC events in each four-year cycle, including the ICC Champions Trophy which will replace the ICC World Test Championship.
ICC will utilise a more efficient operating model for all ICC events, with a simplified accounting model across ICC income and expenditure to help better manage ICC administrative and event costs.