The BCCI and ICC have finally reached an agreement over revenue sharing, that will give the Indian cricket board $405 million for an eight-year rights cycle. The ICC Board – part of the ongoing Full Council in London – unanimously adopted the new financial model that will see an increase in the BCCI’s revenue share by $112 million.
The previous ICC Board meeting in Dubai in April had allocated $293 million to the BCCI by a 9-1 voting margin of the Full Members. Independent ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, however, had come up with an additional $100 million settlement offer for the BCCI immediately after the Dubai meetings. Eventually, $405 million for the Indian board has been agreed upon, with most other member boards getting marginally less.
The BCCI’s new revenue share would still be considerably less than its projected $570 million under the 2014 ‘Big Three’ model but applying the ‘revenue minus variable costs’ theory, the Indian board would have actually acquired only $445 million from that deal. So the actual loss would be just $40 million over an eight-year period. “It has taken a lot of hard work; a lot of negotiations. Basically, the intention from both sides was to resolve the impasse. Everybody here understands the value of the BCCI. We had been having a constant dialogue with the ICC and member boards,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
Not only revenue sharing, the ICC Annual Conference at The Oval ratified the complete dismantling of the ‘Big Three’ model, unanimously adopting a revised constitution that makes the global body more democratic, voting-wise. As per the change, Affiliate Membership has been removed, leaving only Full Members and Associates.
Each member will have equal votes, with a two-third majority required to pass a resolution. Simply put, India and Scotland, for example, will now have equal weight of votes. The ICC has also decided to introduce a female independent director, who will have the voting right like the independent chairman. Appointment of a Deputy chairman, “who shall assume the duties of Chairman, Shashank Manohar, when he is unable to fulfil his duties”, too, has been finalised.
“I would like to thank all ICC members for their commitment to changing the constitution for the good of the global game. This is the first step towards the ICC improving its governance and I believe that these changes will benefit all members and enable us to continue to grow the global game,” Manohar said. The BCCI had objected to 10 or 11 points in the new governance structure and according to the cricket board official, “about four-five” of those have been addressed. “The main point is that bilateral cricket will now be the right of the host country.
The ICC will help create a framework, but within the framework, whom do we play, that’s our prerogative. This will help the BCCI in terms of its bilateral cricket against Pakistan. Ultimately, there will be a Test league. Under the Test league, if we didn’t play Pakistan, we had to split points. But now, if we don’t schedule them, we don’t have to split points. If a series is not feasible, we will not play,” he said, adding that the ICC has made a strategic working group of six people — three Board members and three CEOs.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri is part of the group that will “develop the future strategy of the ICC”. The global body has also decided to make the dispute resolution committee independent. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Ireland have become Full Members, making them Test-playing countries. The field has now been increased to 12. Afghanistan’s rise has been phenomenal following receiving ODI status in 2009. Ireland gained ODI status in 2005.
“I’d like to congratulate Afghanistan and Ireland on their Full Membership status which is the result of their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries. Both have clearly demonstrated they meet the new criteria and as such have made the progression to Full Membership,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.
“For a nation like Afghanistan it is a huge and remarkable achievement, the entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces, it is the perfect Eid gift,” Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai commented, while Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said: “We are delighted and proud with today’s historic announcement. It is an extraordinary testament to the talent and endeavour of thousands of passionate players, coaches, volunteers, staff, clubs and committee people.”
Manohar thwarts PCB
According to a BCCI source, a follow-up meeting between the Indian Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) – after their Dubai meeting last month – took place in presence of the ICC chairman in London this week.
The PCB had sent a notice of dispute to the BCCI for allegedly dishonouring the proposed bilateral commitments. “Mr Manohar was very forthcoming (in the meeting) as he said, ‘there’s no need for any of this legal thing. This (India not playing bilateral series against Pakistan) is a government decision and I would advise you (PCB) to maintain the relation with the BCCI’,” said the cricket board functionary. The BCCI was represented by its acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and Johri, while Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi represented the PCB.