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ICC’s deliberation over development funds threatens to derail Asian Cricket Council


N Srinivasan © Getty Images
N Srinivasan is the current president of the ACC © Getty Images

Karachi: May 29, 2014

The very existence of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is in doldrums after a rethink in the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the development funds being spent globally for promotion of cricket.

The ACC, whose President at present is India’s N Srinivasan and chief executive is Bangladesh’s Ashraf ul Haq, is responsible for distributing development funds they get from the ICC in the Asian region. “Yes there has been a rethink on how the development funds are being spent and England, Australia and India all pushed for this rethink as presently the ICC has around 105 full, associate or affiliate members but only in 40 to 45 countries is cricket played seriously and passionately or has a future,” a well-informed source told PTI.

He said that in recent days there had been discussions on this distribution of development funds model in the ICC and examples have been given of many countries who are given funds but where cricket hardly has any future or there is any interest for it.

The source said if the ICC decides to review its existing model at the annual executive board meeting in June than the very existence of the ACC could be in danger. “At present the ACC is based in Malaysia with a staff of 10 to 12 people and its administrative and other expenses are also managed from the development funds given to the regional body or from the hosting of the biannual Asia Cup,” the source said.

He said at present the ACC gets around 6 to 7 million dollars as development funds from the ICC which it distributes in the region. “The problem now cropping up is that there are questions being asked as to what purpose is being fulfilled by giving development funds to a country like Brunei where cricket has no future or standing as a major sport.”

The source said since the ACC survived mainly on the development funds if the ICC decided to change its distribution model than its existence could be redundant. “The feeling is that the Asia Cup which is held every two years can easily be organized by a committee from the cricket boards of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh when the time comes to host the event and is there a need to have a complete ACC set up for this,” the source added.

He said the revenues generated from the Asia Cup through sale of broadcasting rights and other sponsorship deals are generally distributed among the full and associate members while expenses of the ACC secretariat are also taken out of these revenues.

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