BCCI's N Srinivasan tried to block Essel Sports' broadcast deals

N Srinivasan stepped aside as BCCI president following the IPL 2013 betting controversy © PTI

New Delhi: Jun 15, 2013

BCCI President N Srinivasan tried to suggest member boards of the ICC to abstain from entering into any broadcast deals with Essel Sports, according to a media report.

The report claimed that Srinivasan tried doing this at an ICC meeting in January 2013, but the proposal was snubbed by the sport’s governing body.

The BCCI and Essel Sports have been locked in a litigation battle for some time now. According to the Times of India, Srinivasan tried to remind the ICC board members about the impact it could have on the BCCI, ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Srinivasan recently stepped aside as BCCI president following a meeting after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 spot-fixing and betting controversies.

 “Srinivasan told the ICC board members that if Essel Sports wins the litigation with the BCCI, ICC and ECB, the boards would have to pay big damages. The BCCI boss pointed out how some members were still awarding rights to companies which belonged to the Essel Group,” a source told the Times of India on Friday.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) did, however, snub the proposal as they have a broadcast deal with Ten Sports, which is a part of the Essel Group. The ICC also thought that cricket boards had the right to choose “whichever broadcaster it sought fit”.

Sources also said that the ICC did not want to jeopardize broadcast money or the right to choose a broadcaster, as broadcast revenues were significant.

Julian Hunte, WICB representative, said that their contract with Ten Sports was in its best financial interests. “The WICB had said that Ten Sports had paid a significantly bigger amount than any other party,” sources said.

The ICC board then wanted the broadcast agreement in order to come to an understanding, sources revealed.

The litigation between the BCCI and Essel Group began after the latter launched the Indian Cricket League in 2007. The issue between the boards might be discussed in the ICC’s upcoming board meeting so as to come to a conclusion.