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No knowledge of draft proposals, says Associate representative

Sharda Ugra

January 19, 2014

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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?

Posted by OttawaRocks 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.

Posted by Pot_Blou_Gevaar 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.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler 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!

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 20, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

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

Posted by VisBal 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.

Posted by Matt.au 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

Posted by Pot_Blou_Gevaar 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.

Posted by bundybear55 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.

Posted by Garang321 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.

Posted by samedwards on (January 20, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

@John-Price," a first division without England, Australia or India would not be financially viable" And whose fault is that? The only way to make cricket more financially viable is to open up the structure to everyone, without any conditions. True, it might lead to short-term losses, but eventually it will be good for the game.

Look at FIFA. They don't rely on the big nations, and have even conducted World Cups where England has not qualified.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

Wow name one Nz cricketer who has opted out of test cricket other than to prolong his career? Also name another sport where it's international board looks after the best interests of 3 countries?

Posted by dreamliner on (January 20, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

@Little_aussie_battler I for one would love to save test cricket but not at the cost of fair play and revenue allocation. Please do not associate the proposal with saving test cricket like there is no other objective. There are unequivocal motives at play here which are using the 'save test cricket' banner as an opportunity to kill fair play and seize immunity from relegation. The proposed revenue allocation is also underwhelming for anyone other than ENG, IND and AUS and suspect for the aim of welcoming emergent nations in to the Test world. Samedwards does well to expose these while you fail to address them in your response. To re-iterate, there are many other ways to save or grow Test Cricket; thanks to cricinfo we probably found out about teh proposal before some of the the associate members did; that doesn't bode well for the proposal being consulted upon and probably tells you a lot about what it entails and how it will be received.

Posted by John-Price on (January 20, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

The no-relegation clauses are regrettable but essential for one simple reason - a first division without England, Australia or India would not be financially viable - it would go bust.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Where are those Indians fans who pour in their comments in 100s when there is a bit of Indian interest involved ? This is now the future of the 6 test playing nations and many other associates hanging on thread. Common, the sincere fans of cricket who are in their millions in India speak up for the interest of the game of cricket .

Posted by samedwards on (January 20, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

@Little_Aussie_Battler, mate, 20 years ago West Indies were at the top, and a decade ago, England were one of the most pathetic Test sides, even losing series to NZ at home. India have mostly been patehtic in Tests till the 2000s.

If there is one basic truth about any sport, it is that is is cyclical in nature. There is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee that the trio of Aus, Eng and Ind will always DO well in Tests. Stop having a short-term mindset and open your eyes to look at the bigger picture.

Posted by anteaus on (January 20, 2014, 8:45 GMT)

@Barry Glynn based on current form people are probably as likely to want to watch England as Zimbabwe...

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 20, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

Just to clear this up, the day Australia, England or India will always be at least be in the top seven test playing nations simply because they actually take it seriously and make the effort.

You get nations like New Zealand or West Indies for example and a number of their players elect to play white ball cricket only to save their "money making potential".

Please people, READ the draft before commenting. This is no conspiracy it is an effort to SAVE red ball cricket. At the moment the other seven are KILLING red ball cricket by your recalcitrance.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

test cricket is about revenue as much as anything else. No one us going to pay what can be a lot of money for a day, for watching England play Bangladesh or The Zimbas. Simples.

Posted by sulie786 on (January 20, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

to all those who think Jarrod Kimber is paranoid please read all the associated articles carefully. The 'position paper" clearly states that maximum revenue will go to big 3 and that they will be allowed to play each other and not have to play smaller countries (bilateral agreements). Furthermore CSA have not been mentioned? will they not be recieving any revenue after this? Cricket is only popular in a few countries and should be encouraged to grow. I fear that after this cricket will only be playes amongst big ,3 CSA will be sidelined and smaller boards will be marginalised even further. If thats the case the game will surely die elsewhere. I trully hope this does not happen.

Posted by Pot_Blou_Gevaar on (January 20, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

On the one hand, the ICC in its current guise is a spineless animal who can't hold to task the likes of the BCCI chopping and changing FTP schedules, same like Sri Lanka and others opting out of test matches, etc. The cricketing world needs a strong international body like FIFA, the IRB etc., where tough decisions are made in the greater good of the game and member bodies who infringe get dealt with appropriately. It is as much up to the ICC as well as its members to ensure that the state of the game is healthy, and if that means taking to task inept and corrupt bodies who fails to pay their player's salaries, so be it. The flip side is that the same rules should apply across the board, i.e. promotion and relegation should be applied to the likes of India, England as well when these teams lands up at the bottom. Representation to the Exco should be distributed equally. Profits/ royalties spread out amongst members appropriately.

Posted by samedwards on (January 20, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

@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. That means if these 3 come are in the bottom, then the teams above them are relegated. Also, the FTP gets scrapped, leaving only bilateral series between the powerhouses of Ind, Eng and Aus to be regularly conducted. What use is Division 1 status if you don't get to play regularly with top teams? Also, the funding scenario is foolish optimism. The increase in Assoc & Affil funding is predicated on a huge leap in revenue surplus which is predicted for no real reason. Assoc & Affils aren't getting a bigger cut, it's staying at 25% of surplus. The only real changes there are that the top six associates will get more at the expense of the bottom 90, leading to 4 layers of teams 1. The top 8 teams 2. BD & Zim who are in Div 2 3. Top 6 Associate who get 12.5% of the total Surplus 4. Associates living on scraps

Posted by Soulcircus on (January 20, 2014, 6:25 GMT)

To all those in favour - how is England, Australia and India being exempt from relegation anything other than unfair?

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

For a change folks, read Martin Crowe's article. "My foot."

Posted by Matt.au on (January 20, 2014, 5:58 GMT)


Perfectly summed up. It's just amazing the hysteria that's been seen by people that just don't seem to get what exactly is going on.

Jarrod Kimber is a perfect example.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 20, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

Just read the draft proposal has anybody else?

What I am reading from the outraged correspondants on this site does not correlate with what England, Australia and India are proposing for test match cricket.

Everyone, stop the insane outrage and please read the draft proposal.

In essence it means, MORE funding for long form cricket for everyone. Every country that is a member of cricket can someday become a division one test match nation. That means Canada, Ireland even Argentina.

The "Test Match Status" "Associate", "Affiliate" titles are out the door.

There is a top 8, which is essentially all the test match playing nations except Zim and Bangladesh. But there will be a play off of 4 tests every four years of the top Intercontinental Cup nation versus the last division 1 test nation(West Indies) to see who stays.

It is common sense proposal to get test cricket played by nations who actually are serious.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 5:07 GMT)

If test cricket dies then the sport might as well not exist

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 4:39 GMT)

Well if BCCI is contributing 80% to the total revenue pool of ICC, then they have full right to claim a large share in Net Profits...that is simple commerce and it is the practice which is followed everywhere. Why BCCI should share their revenue with other boards....other boards should become self dependent rather than cribbing about this and that...

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

Who are these Sundar Raman and Perera? Are they from the ICC? Who has given them the power to make such proposals?

It seems ICC has got so much corrupted that these administration needs to stand down immediatly. They are such pathetic. As a journalist said- this is more than match fixing giving exemptions to the so called big 3 from relegation.

And what about Bangladesh adn Zimbabwe? Why AFG or any other team will come into test cricket at the expense of them? Why not rise another test nation? World cricket have seen how much passion and popularity Bangladesh have brought, they have seen it in WC 2011, ASia Cup 2012. They will also see it in 2014 during Asia Cup and WT20.

Shame on you ICC.

Posted by sanghvir on (January 20, 2014, 3:54 GMT)

In the last 15 odd years has there ever been a committee that thinks about CRICKET any more. It seems all the cricket boards want to think about is money. People should ponder that in the good old day if the West Indies, England and Australia had put up things like this where would cricket be right now. In a few years from now cricket will die if such things continue. It will be become a game on Computers and mobile devices only.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 3:53 GMT)

@InsideHedge . I think we better keep things to cricket here. and this big three drama is not going to do any good for cricket, period.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

Why don't the other Boards get together and form another association;leaving the Big 3 to keep playing with each other?

Posted by vigneshmurali on (January 20, 2014, 3:33 GMT)

its total nonsense comin to think of it CA,BCCI,ECB have enough money.guess the revenues should go to the other boards in a straight world.BCCI cant even think of finishing all the money they have even if their life depended on it!!!

Posted by johnstanley on (January 20, 2014, 2:32 GMT)

If India, Australia and England want to control ICC and therefore Cricket, perhaps they should play the World Cup amongst the three of them and let rest of the countries form their own cricket body or as another reader says let the game die. Have people been so blinded by money?

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 0:54 GMT)

It makes no sense to suggest two-tier test cricket on the one hand and then suggest on the other that three teams be immune from relegation and that team rankings are irrelevant. That's a very convenient thing to say when you're not the no 1 ranked team.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (January 20, 2014, 0:53 GMT)

@adrian but through t20, cricket will get more new fans, so no problem.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 0:10 GMT)

Let test cricket die? Do you actually like cricket? If you just want to watch a wee slog, might as well just tour the Hong Kong Sixes format instead.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 23:22 GMT)

Love test cricket and would love to have it stick around for the next 100 years. I want the rest of the world to experience and have the thrill of the action of back and forth matches which the outcome isn't known until the final session. At the moment we can't say that the Ashes tests this year. Perhaps take an idea from the Women's game where every match counts toward points for the series.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 23:08 GMT)

If this big three drama comes to fruition then I will encourage people to say goodbye to this game. Bring on Football!

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 19, 2014, 23:00 GMT)

What this means is if your country is not serious about playing test match cricket and develop as test match nations they WILL fall out of the top level of cricket.

But that does not necessarily mean you will fall out of the top division in short form cricket.

So, if you and your country do not care for test cricket and you do not attend or rarely watch these matches on tv then it will allow your nation to fall out of the way for states that are serious about playing cricket. It is a win-win. If you cared about tests you would go along and watch it like we do in England and Australia.

Some examples I can think of, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are not serious about test cricket. So, they can fall down and let in possibly Afghanistan and Ireland who are determined to make it. Who knows, maybe Scotland or Canada also want to play tests.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 22:54 GMT)

I reckon in 30 years professional cricketers will only play T20 and tests will be played by amateurs.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

@Sajid111, you don't let anything die if it's worth fighting for...Test cricket certainly is. A world of ODI cricket and T20 would be dire and unthinkable. Leave Test cricket to the ones who seriously want to play it. If nations don't, let them do what they want if that means playing their ODI dross...

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 19, 2014, 20:37 GMT)

@Sajid111: At least they're good in their own backyards, eh? Some are so bad in handling their affairs that they can't even play in their own backyard.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

@Sajid111: People say that, but it's not true. England recently beat India in India. India had a chance to beat South Africa in South Africa if they could've just been a little more aggressive to take those last couple of wickets. Australia should've won at least one of the Tests in England recently, and they had great chances in other Tests as well. Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport because it pits team against team, captain against captain, will against will for 5 days and 6 hours for each one of those days in freezing cold, boiling hot and sometimes quite slick conditions for the players. No other sport bar football (soccer) has the same range of weather conditions. No other sport can claim to be so mentally or physically taxing for so long. THAT is what make Test cricket such a great game to watch, and THAT is why T20 and ODI cricket can't even come close to comparing to Test cricket.

Posted by Sajid111 on (January 19, 2014, 20:22 GMT)

@Adrian Ratnapala: cricket have evolved over time and when ODIs were created it pulled in a lot of crowd and now T20s are here which gets in more crowd. Stadiums are near full capacity even for domestic games. Maybe they shouldnt have introduced limited over cricket. Back in the 70s. Why is everyone so worried about TEST cricket? If people loved TEST cricket so much why arent they filling the stadiums?

Posted by   on (January 19, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

@Sajid111: If test cricket dies, then I for one will not follow cricket. Football is better.

Posted by Sajid111 on (January 19, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

The so called big 3 are only good in their own backyard. It is pointless to create 2 tier system. One question: why cant they just let test cricket die? People will move on with time.

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