Friday, Dec 19, 2014

BCCI’s push for greater share of ICC revenue faces floor test

N Srinivasan could become the first ICC chairman (File/IE Photo Ravi Kanojia) N Srinivasan could become the first ICC chairman (File/IE Photo Ravi Kanojia)
Written by Bharat Sundaresan | Mumbai | Posted: January 28, 2014 12:53 am | Updated: January 28, 2014 11:48 am

The voices of dissent have grown louder by the day. But despite having received plenty of flak, the BCCI, ECB and CA are expected to have their way with the recommendations of the controversial ‘position paper’ when the ICC convenes in Dubai for a two-day executive board meeting that could shape the future of world cricket.

For more than a week, ever since the factious plans of the three powerful boards became public, the governing body’s quarterly meeting has been hyped up as a turf war between the ‘big three’ and the rest of the cricket world. Among the major points of the ‘position paper’ are the BCCI’s demands for a lion’s share of the ICC’s revenues. They have already insisted on being intransigent on that front, threatening to back out of ICC competitions, including the World Cup, if the new revenue model that ensures them 21 per cent is not put in place.

Commercial interests aside, if all the recommendations do get the nod — for which seven of the full member Test nations including India, Australia and England need to approve the proposal — it will signal the beginning of a new era for world cricket. One where the BCCI, CA and ECB will call the shots.

In addition, the proposal also calls for the dilution of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) and a return to the practice of schedules being decided through bilateral commitments. This will mean India decide to play whoever they want to, on their terms, apart from hosting an ICC event once every two years. The BCCI and their allies have insisted that the other countries do stand to gain from the overhaul of the game’s administration. It will be interesting to see how many bite over the next two days at the ICC’s headquarters.

For now, three boards in particular, Cricket South Africa, Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket, have come out strongly against the ‘position paper’. The cricket boards of New Zealand and West Indies, meanwhile, have so far kept their cards close to their chest and preferred a wait-and-watch strategy. They are expected to give the ‘position paper’ the go ahead.

Two days ago, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim became the first contemporary cricketer to voice his misgiving regarding the new recommendations, especially the suggestion to introduce a two-tier system in Test cricket. The other dissenters have ranged from ex-cricketers to former ICC chiefs, including those from India, Australia and England.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif felt that it was time for the other seven countries to unanimously boycott all ICC events to paralyse the proposed monarchy of the other three. “It is a case of the big three versus the spineless. If not all then at least Pakistan and South Africa could do it. Both should recognise their potential and take the continued…

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