The Madras High Court said on Monday that it was a clear attempt by some individuals to interfere into the daily activities of the BCCI.  © Getty Images
The Madras High Court said on Monday that it was a clear attempt by some individuals to interfere into the daily activities of the BCCI. © Getty Images

The Madras High Court reacting to a plea moved by former IPS officer R.K. Raghavan and seven others, said on Monday that it was a clear attempt by some individuals to interfere into the daily activities of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice S. Vaidyanathan made the observation on a PIL moved by Mr. Raghavan and others, seeking to forbear the Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from agreeing to receive any amount lower than the agreed contribution – a 21 per cent revenue share – from the total revenue of ICC. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils , Live Score, 11th T20 Match, IPL 2016

When the PIL came up for hearing, the Bench suggested that the petitioners to move an appropriate civil suit in the appropriate forum, as such a relief could not be soughted under a PIL as there was no public issue involved. The Bench adjourned the PIL to April 20 then as Senior Council N. Vijay Narayanan sought a day’s time to get instructions from the petitioners.

According to Mr. Raghavan, a former Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), there was an agreement between the members of ICC which committed 75 per cent of revenue generated, after meeting the event costs, to the 10 full Test playing members (England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket, Board of Control for Cricket in India, Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lankan Cricket Board, Bangladesh Cricket Board, West India Cricket Board, South Africa Cricket Board, and the Zimbabwe Cricket Board) equally and 25 per cent to the Associated Members.

The petioneres said – “There are almost 100 Associate Members including some smaller nations, where the game is not so popular compared to India and there were large nations where cricket was not played regularly. The facts being so, there was no thought at that time as to what was the contribution by each of the full members to the revenue stream particularly from the sale of media rights and sponsorship and the income was distributed evenly,” as quoted by thehindu.com.

They added that changes were made in the recent cycle of broadcast of ICC events when the changes were made. “There were compelling reasons to rework the sharing of the ICC revenue, such as the fact that 50 percent of the population of India is equal to the population of all the full members of ICC, and the BCCI does not receive any financial help from the government unlike other members and the extent of cricket being played in India demanded more income to improve the infrastructure and develop the game,” Mr. Raghavan and others petitioners said, as quoted by thehindu.com.

Considering the facts, the ICC leadership decided to shell out 21 per cent of the total revenue to India, for the fee cycle 2015 -2023, a resolution was passed to this effect by the ICC on February 8, 2014. By this latest agreement, BCCI would receive approximately Rs. 3,400 crores as its share for the fee cycle, the petitioner said.

Mr. Raghavan said that the facts that he learnt through media reports about a special general body meeting of BCCI held on February 19, and its member Shashank Manohar who is also the Chairman of ICC obtained approval to re-negotiate a downward revision, a decrease of six percent of the revenue share which was agreed to India by the ICC. He said, “What is worse is, it appears that hardly any member of the BCCI spoke against the move, nor was any detailed discussion undertaken to quantify what could be the possible loss of revenue and for what earthly reason the downward revision was warranted when the country is viewed as the world leader in cricket.”

The petitioners also claimed that the proposed reduction would mean that BCCI would receive Rs. 3,000 crores less from its share in the fee cycle 2015-2023 and 2023-2031, and alleged that BCCI Chairman Mr. Shashank Manohar was operating on an agenda to undo everything that had been achieved by the previous BCCI management at the ICC level, and was compromising the nation’s interest hugely.