September 7, 2016 2:13:33 am
The ICC’s proposal of having a two-tier Test system suffered a setback with the BCCI opposing the concept and three other Full Member cricket boards also joining hands. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), too, expressed reservations about the divisional Test structure along with their Indian counterpart. The ICC requires a three-fourths majority – or seven of its 10 full members to pass the resolution – for the two-tier system to come into force and this now is unlikely to see the light of day. The proposed centralised marketing of the global broadcast rights of bilateral series too will becomes redundant as well, because the issues are interlinked.
The two-day ICC chief executives meeting began in Dubai on Tuesday. The BCCI was represented by its CEO Rahul Johri. The meeting has been convened specifically to discuss the proposed two-tier Test system and centralised marketing of the global rights, the world body plans to introduce at the culmination of the current TV rights cycle of the respective Full Member nations.
“Four countries have opposed it (two-tier) system, it will stop here only. Even if they (ICC) try to put it to the vote, the resolution won’t be passed. Four countries are definitely opposing it and I’m sure even Pakistan will join us. We are opposing centralised marketing of the (global) broadcast rights as well, because it’s a rubbish concept. Two-tier and centralised marketing are a combined thing and both have been opposed. With four countries opposing it, ICC have to go back to the old formula. Indian cricket would be trampled otherwise,” BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke told The Indian Express.
A committee comprising the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia (CA), Cricket South Africa (CSA), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) started to work on introduction of the two-tier system and overhaul of global broadcast rights after the ICC chief executive David Richardson threw his weight behind the ideas.
On the eve of the meeting, players’ global body FICA backed the proposed segregation, claiming that 72 per cent of players quizzed for the organisation’s annual survey supported it. However, BCCI stonewalled the new idea at the ICC chief executives meeting. “It’s rubbish to suggest that the BCCI prefers quantity over quality. But weaker Test-playing countries need support from stronger cricket nations. For example, if Bangladesh and Afghanistan continue to play against each other, will they ever progress?” Shirke asked.
The BCCI readily received a vote of thanks from SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala. “The BCCI has also come up in support of SLC on this matter as they understand the adverse effect on the lower-ranked countries due to the proposed two-tier system. We thank the BCCI and its president for supporting our viewpoint in opposing two-tier Test system, which will be detrimental for lower-ranked countries in a number of ways,” Sumathipala said. The BCB had already opposed the change, saying that it would force their cricket to “regress”. As for the centralised marketing, the countries that opposed it felt that placing the global broadcast rights to a central pool, to be sold by the ICC in a bundle, would be a “losing proposition”.
Next on the BCCI agenda is to ensure India’s representation in the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee and chief executives committee, where all the major decisions are taken. And when the ICC board will meet in October, the Indian cricket board will raise an objection to the global body’s proposed budget allocation of $135million to the ECB for the Champions Trophy in England next year. The BCCI had been given $45million to host the World T20 earlier this year.
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