ICC news January 17, 2014

FTP may become bilateral arrangement


The nature of the ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP), the schedule for top-level international cricket, is set to undergo a sweeping change if proposals from a Financial & Commercial Affairs "working group position paper" are approved. The proposals seek, among other things, to scrap the central FTP agreements between the ICC and its members and replace it with bilateral agreements between member nations.

The draft of the proposals, made available to member nations following a special Board meeting on January 9 in Dubai, seeks to detach the ICC from being involved in scheduling series between member nations. The alternative being recommended is a "series of contractually binding bi-lateral agreements with other full members they wish to play against." The proposal also specifies that "it is up to the full member to enter into as many or as few FTP agreements as they wish." It states that no member should be "forced to play" against another unless bilaterally agreed, or forced to host uneconomic tours with the "content and timing" of all tours being agreed to bilaterally.

It could, if and when it is approved, lead to a radical change in how, and how often, the ICC's Full Members engage with each other.

The reason the FTP is to be removed from central ICC control, according to the position paper, is because "the draft FTP, as it stands, contains a large number of unviable tours."

The document, made available to ESPNcricinfo, recommends the restructuring of the ICC's administration and finances but also centralizes power in the hands of three member boards: Cricket Australia, the BCCI and the ECB. The three boards occupy key positions in the Finance and Commercial Affairs committee and, under the new ICC funding model being proposed, stand to be the top three beneficiaries of revenue distribution.

Other than distribution of revenues from ICC events, the new financial model also proposes the creation and relocation of a new commercial arm of the ICC - called the ICC Business Co (IBC) - with the phasing out of its existing arm, the IDI.

The draft states that the IBC is to be established "immediately" so that it can take charge of the selling a new cycle of ICC media and sponsorship rights for 2015-2023. The document says the incorporation of the IBC has to be completed before the ICC's April Board meeting to ensure "timely launch" of the 2015-2023 media rights tender. The timing of the new ICC financial model coincides with that of the reworked FTP. The draft says the "initial FTP agreements will be entered into at the same time as the introduction of the new ICC financial model in 2014."

Cricket Australia, the ECB and the BCCI it is stated, are "committing" to enter into FTP agreements from 2015 to 2023.

The FTP agreements will be legally binding between members barring a few conditions: force majeure events (natural disasters), material breach by the other party, if the touring team's broadcaster are in legal dispute with the home board's primary media rights holder and no changes in playing conditions unless agreed.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abdul on January 22, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    @ starsgap1986

    Instead of writing a paragraph, you could have simply said that India could only win if Cricket is played in India. Whitewash by South Africa, Series loss to Pakistan and 2-0 loss to Zealand? I cant believe you have such a club level team

  • dan on January 20, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    with the team of the decade hopefully every team will have roughly played the same amount of games say a average of 100 games, but if team 1 plays 90 games and team 2 plays 95 games and team 3 plays 100 games you would work the winner out on averages, but in most cases thier would be a clear winner.

    each team plays four series a year minimum, 2 home and 2 away, a minimum of 3 test for most nation, minimum of 2 test for lesser nations

    i dont see any problems with australia playing the west indies twice in 10 years( home and a way), i dont see any problems australia playing new zealand twice in 10 years, i dont see any problems with australia playing zimbabwe twice in 10 years. i dont see any problems with australia playing kenya once in 10 years or ireland once in 10 years.( if ireland get beat in 3 days in 2 test who cares) i dont any problems with australia play holland once in ten years. australia can play england,south africa and india 3 times in ten years,

    this way cricket grows

  • dan on January 20, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    how the team of the decade will work is 10 year draw is worked out 10 years before. you fix the draw so every team has a chance to win with lesser nations playing each more often and the major nations play each other more often

    this way the frank worrel trophy( which took australia 15 years to regain) and the chappell hadlee trophy( last series was drawn) alive and kicking in the future.

    rather than less test teams you include more test nations like ireland,afghanistan,uae, holland, kenya and namibia.

    rather than ashes series every 2 years they happen every 3 years, the border gavaskar trophy every 3 years, and the warne murali trophy might happen every 4 years.the comp would like this

    australia play england 3 times in 10 years, they play new zealand twice and bangladesh twice and ireland once

    bangladesh may play india twice but ireland 3 time and zimbabwe 3 times.

    new zealand might play west indies 3 times australia twice and bangladesh 3 times and and south africa twice so on

  • dan on January 20, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    the future tour programs must be enforced and policed with fines for countries who oblige.

    rather than 2 tiers and a test championship the icc should replace it with the team of the decade starting in 2020 which gives 5 years to organize.

    each test would be worth points( so thier is no dead matches)

    im not sure how to allocate points but this is a suggestion

    5 points a out right win, 4 point for a innings win, 3 points for a win,2 points for a draw, 1 point for a lose that has 4 innings and makes the game last 5 days.

    extra points for a team that makes 500 runs, bonus for bowling a team out 3 days and 4 days, bonus points for games that last 5 days

    extra points for teams that wins a series and extra bonus points for team who wins overseas.

    it doesent reward teams who have a close draw, instead rewards teams for attacking cricket.

    the captain has the option of enforcing the follow on for extra point, when the game looks like a draw the captains will go for a win and so on

  • system on January 20, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    This will be a very bad news for Pakistan as nobody wants to invite them. And as far as the test cricket is concerned its good as long as it's played in countries like India, South Africa, England or Australia. We just witnessed the dullest and lamest form in UAE.

  • Ashok on January 19, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Frankly, I don't think the proposals will make any difference. It will only officialise what is already happening. Series between sides apart from Australia, England and India have long since ceased to exceed 3 tests (the last I can recollect was the 4 test series between West Indies and South Africa in 2005). For once, the blame lies not with the big 3, but the other boards.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    Kudos to ICC for at least being open and clear about it now, if they choose to. I mean the big 3 are already dominating the game,and they already have the right to pick their series. If it becomes official, international cricket will die as with no chance of representing their country in Tests, the other nations will suffer at grass root level. Even presently, God knows what kind of rankings and Test championship qualification are we having with the big 3 dominating the show for more than a decade. India's biggest adherent in recent times Bangladesh is being used by India well against Pakistan esp but the fact remains that India remains the only nation to not have invited Bangladesh yet for a Test tour! In their 13 years as a Test nation BD has toured Aus only once. For almost two years India didn't play a single Test abroad between Jan 2012 and Nov 2013. So how are we having a championship and deciding champions? Lets gt rid of international cricket & concentrate on Big Bash & IPL.

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    Qamar Naqvi - You are mistaken. Ranking does not decide who's the boss. It is money. And we all know SA if weaker in that domain. Only boards with monetary hold decides the rules. And BCCI has minted enough money to hav the say for the next 50 Yrs if cricket lasts that long. The game may be promoted by the players but the show is made possible by these business men. Nothing much can be challenged unless if the rest of the boards draw some spine to start their own council and start ignoring the top 3. But the worry is they wouldnt have enuf money to even build their own infrastructure

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    What it also means is that India may not decide to go on foreign tours and call all teams to India. Thus without exposing their weakness on fast pitches, they can beat all other teams at home. England and to a lesser extent Australia may do the same.

  • Ch Adnan on January 18, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Are you seriously joking? Big three are already not touring other countries much, the results would be drastic for other test playing nations. Shame on such proposals and ICC..

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