The next phase of the ICC meeting will be crucial and will decide the fate of cricket in the long run © Getty Images
Dubai: Jan 28, 2014
In a landmark move that will change the global structure of cricket administration, the Board of Control for Cricket in India‘s (BCCI) status as the most influential cricketing body in the world was on Tuesday formally acknowledged with bulk of its demands being “unanimously” passed at the ICC Executive Board meeting in Dubai.
While the ‘Position Paper’ was not tabled and exact percentage of revenue sharing was also not revealed, the decisions taken would certainly make BCCI happy as they would now largely control world cricket’s governing body along with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) for company.
A press release issued by ICC after the conclusion of the first day’s events states: “Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading Members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility”.
While BCCI’s demand for immunity of the ‘Big Three’ in a two-tier Test format was ruled out, they had their way in deciding the exclusive bilateral series agreements from 2015-2023.
The release also states: “The establishment of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, CA and ECB representatives.”
The decks were also cleared for BCCI president N Srinivasan to become the chairman of the ICC Board with effect from June 2014 as the first chairman will be from BCCI.
Similarly, a Cricket Australia representative will be the chairman of the Executive Committee (EX-Co) while the ECB representative will be head of Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee.
BCCI also had their way in doing away with the proposed World Test Championship as the ICC Champions Trophy (50-over format) will stay on with three ICC tournaments being organized in every four years.
The ICC board also decided to create a ‘Test Cricket Fund’ from which all other members (excluding BCCI, CA, ECB) will be equally paid to encourage Test cricket.
“This is an important time for world cricket and it is extremely encouraging that the ICC Board has unanimously supported a set of far-reaching principles that will underpin the long-term prosperity of the global game,” ICC President Alan Isaac was quoted as saying by the press release.
“These principles emphasise the primacy of Test cricket and that for the first time in cricket’s history participation will be based entirely on meritocracy, giving everyone powerful incentives to play better cricket and develop better cricketers,” Isaac added.
Isaac also expressed his disappointment with the misconceptions that had been created as a result of a draft position paper produced by three ICC Members being leaked.
“It is obviously very disappointing that a draft position paper from these Members was leaked as this prompted a debate that ignored the ongoing negotiations between all Members and led to unwarranted criticism of many of those involved in the process.”
“Several months ago, I encouraged BCCI, CA and ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game. These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions,” he further added.
“The principles agreed today provide clear evidence that through the course of further discussions over the coming weeks we can be increasingly confident in achieving consensus,” Isaac stated.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson added, “An enormous amount of effort has gone into developing a comprehensive set of proposals that include input from all Members.
“The Board has held some very constructive, inclusive, wide-ranging and far-reaching discussions and I am looking forward to bringing to fruition some of the principles that have been proposed and accepted in relation to the cricketing structures of the global game.”
To read the ICC’s official release, comprising of all the decisions taken, click here.