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India flexible on two-tier system but bigger share of pie non-negotiable

After all, it’s no secret that there is a lot riding on every single tour that the Indian team makes.

Mumbai |
Updated: January 24, 2014 11:50:07 am

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have asserted that they will head to the ICC meeting later this month obdurate on the newly proposed revenue distribution model that will grant them a ‘deservedly’ bigger dollop of cricket’s revenues.

On the other hand, the Indian board doesn’t consider the other recommendations, including the structural changes, of the contentious proposal coined the ‘position paper’ to be cast in stone. And they have insisted on being open for negotiations when the sport’s governing body meets in Dubai.

The richest board in the cricket world though insisted that the potential loosening of their stand will happen only if they get their due-21 per cent of all ICC revenues-as suggested by the new proposal. On a day where the BCCI received the benediction of its working committee with regards to the revolutionary draft proposal that if accepted will change the dynamics of world cricket governance forever, they also made it very clear that what they were demanding for was just returns.

“It’s a recognition of India’s involvement in cricket and revenue generation by India. We are asking the legitimate right and it would not shrink cricketing activity in any way,” said BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel after the working committee meeting in Chennai on Thursday.
“There have been no objections so far. It’s a question of understanding, not a question of power game. We are not asking more than what we should,” he added.

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The meeting itself had been called for to apprise all the board members about the various recommendations suggested in the ‘position paper’.

There might have been stringent opposition to the idea of the ICC’s revenue being distributed on the basis of the contribution of the various boards. The biggest concern, however, for the countries outside the proposed union of India, Australia and England was the BCCI’s decision to remain non-committal towards bilateral engagements, especially since the other two heavyweight nations had agreed to play Tests and ODIs against the top eight teams.

Lot riding on India tour

After all, it’s no secret that there is a lot riding on every single tour that the Indian team makes. Even if it means that their grounds and venues often get transformed into inherent exhibition centres for Indian companies to promote their brands.

The press release that followed the working committee meeting though did indicate that the BCCI’s office bearers, who will attend the meeting in Dubai, had been authorized to ‘discuss bilateral matches with other full members, including Pakistan, and sign formal FTP agreements’.

This last point, though not exactly a compromise formula, would not only have left the seven nations outside the ‘big three’ breathing a tad easier. It is also likely to have dispelled a major chunk of their fears in terms of their own subsistence. By including Pakistan, the BCCI have also shown that they are willing to extend the olive branch rather than get their way by lieu of arm-twisting.

While briefing the board members, Raman is also believed to have stressed upon the additional merits of the new draft proposal that will ensure that India gets to host an ICC event every two years, which would mean more profits for the BCCI. The CEO also managed to find a way to appease the various member associations present at the meeting. With India allowed to deal with other teams on a one-on-one basis without being bogged down by the FTP, the world champions will get to host a lot more international cricket in the years to come, which would present the newer centres in the country with opportunities to host high-profile cricket.

“Only time will tell whether the move would shrink cricket or expand the game globally,” said former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya after the meeting.

He won’t be the only one in the cricketing world mulling over the same doubts.

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