The BCCI has hinted that it might pull out of future ICC events if structural changes suggested by the big three boards of India, England and Australia are not accepted at the January 28-29 meeting of cricket’s world body.
A press release issued after a meeting of the board’s working committee in Chennai on Thursday handed out a veiled threat to boards that could oppose the changes at the ICC meeting.
“The working committee… authorised the office bearers (who would represent the BCCI in Dubai) to enter into agreements with the ICC for participating in the ICC events and hosting ICC events, subject to the proposal being approved by the ICC board,” the release said.
The India-England-Australia proposal seeks to reshape world cricket by dividing Test-playing countries into two tiers and re-drawing ICC’s revenue distribution model and administrative structures. Most importantly, it seeks to junk the current “equal distribution model” for a “contribution cost template”, which will base the distribution of revenues on the individual contribution made by each board towards the ICC’s earnings.
The BCCI contributes 80 per cent of ICC’s revenue. New Zealand has backed the change, but South Africa has called the proposal “fundamentally flawed”.
The West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have not yet made their stand public. However, a line in the release suggested that Pakistan too might go along. It said, “The working committee authorizes the Office Bearers to discuss bilateral matches with other Full Members (including Pakistan) and sign formal FTP Agreements.”
A top board official said Thursday’s decision should not be seen as an armtwisting attempt by India. “We will first try to get a consensus among members by convincing them that the reforms supported by the big three cricketing nations are inclusive in nature,” the official said.
Another official expressed confidence that the proposed changes would go through. “We will pull through. India, England and Australia have proposed it, so that makes it three. New Zealand has publicly backed us. And we are confident that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are with us,” he said.