ICC news January 19, 2014

No knowledge of draft proposals, says Associate representative


One member of the ICC's Finance & Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee has said he was not privy to any details about the F&CA working group's draft proposal that recommends a radical overhaul of the administration of world cricket.

Bermuda's Neil Speight, an ICC director and Associates & Affiliates (A&A) representative in the F&CA committee, said in an email message that he had "no knowledge" of the proposals reported on ESPNcricinfo on Friday. The "position paper" was made available to a Full Member special meeting in Dubai on January 9 to which, Speight said, "no Associate representative was invited" and so "dissociated" himself from the document and its contents.

The recommendations from this "position paper" will effectively cede ICC's executive power and financial control to the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the ECB.

For the three boards, the proposals included permanent membership on an Executive Committee that would override all other committees, exemptions from a new system of Test match promotion and relegation and the re-vamping of ICC's financial model carving out for them a greater proportion of the ICC's gross earnings.

Speight's comments indicate that not all members of the F&CA were aware of the "working group position paper" proposals. His email, though, prompted an angry response from one Associate official, who said the details of the proposals and Speight's public statement revealed that A&A interests were not being "properly" guarded.

In its first formal statement, the ICC pointed out that the recommendations were put together by a "working group" of the F&CA committee, and would be discussed when the ICC Board meets in Dubai from January 27 to 29. They have emphasised in the past that the document given to the Boards of Full Member nations during the January 9 special meeting was not an ICC F&CA committee document and its details were still up for discussion.

Speight's comments puts the focus on the F&CA "working group". This working group, it has been ascertained, was concentrated around the three boards who stand to gain the most out of the position paper draft. It comprised Giles Clarke of the ECB, Wally Edwards of Cricket Australia and N Srinivasan of BCCI, assisted by a clutch of commercial executives: Dean Kino (general manager of legal and business affairs, Cricket Australia), John Perera (commercial director ECB) and Sundar Raman (chief operating officer, IPL). Kino and Raman also form a two-man technical committee in the Champions League T20, one of the world's wealthiest cricket tournaments. It happens to be one of only three committees listed on the tournament website.

Cricket Australia's only comment to ESPNcricinfo was, "As usual, there are a range of important matters up for discussion at the ICC Executive Board meeting. The outcome of that meeting and any decisions made will be communicated by the ICC. Until that time, we won't be making any comment." On Sunday, Clarke's response to the Observer newspaper about the issue was: "There's not much I can say about a draft. We get through a lot of those." The BCCI has made no comment, but when contacted by ESPNcricinfo, several high-ranking BCCI officials said they had no prior information about the nature of the proposals being put on behalf of the BCCI to the ICC.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • udendra on January 22, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    This brings a question: If he has No knowledge of the proposals, what was he doing in it?

  • D on January 21, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    @Pot-Blou_Gevaar: I'd have to say those crowds coming out to watch India-SA were pretty pathetic, especially considering it was a farewell tour for Kallis.

  • Calvin on January 20, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    @ Little_Aussie_Battler Believe it or not young man, Cricket South Africa mostly turns over a profit. Minimal as it may be, we have a decent market, the game is supported widely and you tend to get strong crowd support. In Supersport, Castle Lager, MTN, Sunfoil etc. there's strong commercial support and sponsorships as well.

  • Bludging on January 20, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Again to clarify, does everyone on here, supposed cricket followers too, seriously believe that either Australia, England or India will be worse than the 7th best test match cricket nation? Especially when the other five nations that will make up the top eight just pay tests lip service.

    As far as I am concerned unless these nations can stand on their own two feet and draw crowds to games then why are they even here? Give Ireland or Afghanistan a crack at it. You still have your beloved short form cricket to cash in.

    Just remember if you don't participate in red ball cricket and your people do not turn up then why even are you even complaining? You clearly are not really that interested.

    If you read the fine print Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and six top associates will get all four day cricket paid for from 2015 to keep the concept alive or it'll be gone people. Wake up to yourselves!

  • Alex on January 20, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    They are not saying NO to it. So basically we will have new cricket cabal.

  • Bala on January 20, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    John Price: Financial viability is not dependent on the Test rating, can assure you that. ECB made money when they were in the doldrums a few years back. BCCI make money even when there is no one turning up to watch Tests at home (farewell series are by nature money spinners and not representative of regular attendances). The BCCI's financial clout was built on ODIs and lately by the IPL. For at least the last 30 years (that I have been attending Tests), attendances have been pretty poor, except for marquee series.

    So why should relegation-proofing be necessary when India do not really care for Tests? This way they will sneak in a window for the IPL and only host home series, except against England and Australia. The rest of the time they will play ODI or hit-and-giggle cricket.

  • Kevin on January 20, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Posted by samedwards - @MattLau and Little_Aussie_Battler ,Yes, I've read the draft proposal. I'm surprised you missed the important part of the document- that India, Aus and England never get relegated.

    No I didn't miss that part. I'll admit it seems extremely unfair that 3 countries never get relegated. I simply don't know what the answer is though.

    The other 7 and their supporters say it's unfair and it should be solely based on performance and not financial clout.

    I can tell you, I could see India quickly taking their bat and ball and their finance and go home if they were relegated when, essentially, most of the other 7 nor any of the affiliates would survive without the handout funds that India mostly generate.

    They'd simply buy up all the cricket talent and play T20 in their own back yard and not break into a sweat.

    More boards need to get of their urm, backsides, and take the game to their people and get their kids to play and watch again.

    Financial rewards will follow

  • Calvin on January 20, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    Ensure that the body (ICC) is firstly a workable organization with fair representation, revenue distribution and transparency. Tier one nations/ full members should actually be increased by a few more countries - Kenya, Ireland, Canada, Afghanistan, Netherlands, etc. Four of these markets have strong sports and entertainment markets, commodities as yet untapped by the ICC. The reliance for capital generation from the Big 3 should decrease continuously - and a concrete "FTP" schedule should be incorporated, ensuring that the 10/12 test playing nations play each other at least once over a 2-year period (5 series per year) exposing sides like Canada to the likes of SA, Pakistan, Australia at least once every second year. That's the only way to grow test cricket. Do the financial and commercial numbers add up? Probably not. The growth of the game is first and foremost important - from there commercial success normally sorts itself out. But keep the game clear from modern day dictatorship.

  • Bruce on January 20, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Little Aussie Battler: when did India start taking test cricket seriously..? Their recent actions in cutting short the series against SA cost that country around $200m in lost revenue, all because they don't approve of the man appointed as CEO of CSA..! And as cricket fans we shouldn't be worried that they will be given even greater power..?!

    With no FTP in place and the threat of relegation removed there is no incentive for any of the so-called "big 3" to schedule tests against the minnows. What does that do for test cricket.? Its really hard to find any upside in this proposal.

  • rehan on January 20, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    If these three are starting to governed cricket, it is competent for other countries to originate new ICC center, leaving them into triangle series for some long time. we will see, how the test cricket cease living in these triangle.

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