ICC's revamp plans

CSA demands ICC proposals withdrawn

David Hopps

January 20, 2014

Comments: 199 | Text size: A | A
'Dice heavily loaded in favour of big three'


Graeme Smith receives the ICC Test mace from Vince van der Bijl, Johannesburg, March 28, 2013
CSA president, Chris Nenzani (left), has written an open letter to the ICC's Full Members © Getty Images
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Cricket South Africa has become the first national board to call for the ICC to withdraw the draft proposal that would put power in international cricket in the hands of India, England and Australia.

South Africa have been identified as the big losers in the potential changes, which, if adopted, could be viewed as a power grab by the three nations that bring most revenue into the international game. Calling the plans "in breach of the ICC constitution", CSA has now made its opposition clear.

The "position paper", drawn up by a working group of the ICC's Finance & Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee, is due to be put to the ICC Executive Board at its quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28-29. The proposals would need seven votes out of ten to pass.

Despite South Africa's position as the No. 1-ranked Test side in the world, if the proposals were adopted, their projected share of future revenues at every stage would fall below than even that of the Pakistan board.

South Africa's relationship with India has declined markedly since they appointed Haroon Lorgat as chief executive of their own board. It was Lorgat, as ICC chief executive, who championed the Woolf report, which proposed placing the ICC in the hands of independent directors. Lorgat's subsequent feud saw him ousted at the ICC and cold-shouldered by the BCCI, which refused to deal with him as India undertook a much-reduced tour of South Africa last year.

CSA has now become the first board to publicly state its opposition to the ambush proposals, calling for a more consultative and "constitutionally ordained" process to take place.

The meeting on January 9, where Full Member boards were presented with the paper, was unscheduled and "came out of nowhere", according to the head of one board. Nazmul Hassan, president of the BCB, said that Bangladesh "can't doing anything on our own", while NZC director Martin Snedden suggested the BCCI-ECB-CA plans were not necessarily a bad thing for world cricket.

CSA responded in a statement, saying: "Without addressing the merits of the proposal insofar as it concerns constitutional amendments and changes to ICC competitions, these proposals should first be referred to the relevant ICC committees or sub‐committees for proper consideration and to make recommendations to the ICC Board."

The open letter, copied to ICC Full Members and media outlets, was written not by Lorgat, but by Chris Nenzani, CSA's president and board chairman, directed to ICC president Alan Isaac.

"Although there is nothing to prevent a review of the ICC funding model or finances, the proposal self-evidently is inextricably tied up with a fundamental restructuring of the ICC, which has far‐reaching constitutional implications," Nenzani said.

"The draft proposal is, therefore, fundamentally flawed as regards the process and, therefore, in breach of the ICC constitution.

"In the circumstances we propose that the draft proposal be withdrawn immediately, given that the proper procedures have not been followed.

"In our respectful opinion, a more considered, inclusive/consultative, and properly constitutionally ordained approach is required."

Isaac, a former chairman of the New Zealand board, whose business career involved 35 years with the global accounting firm KPMG, is now facing the most problematic task of a low-key term as ICC president. It is questionable whether he will welcome the attention. The presidential role will officially become a ceremonial role once he steps down in 2014 and he has already done much to hasten that transition.

Tony Irish, chief executive of the South African Cricketers' Association, had previously defined the document as, "concerning," saying it will have "significant implication for cricket, particularly for smaller countries of which South Africa is one - revenue wise."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by SShanto33 on (January 24, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

So do I,nor it'll tarnish the game

Posted by redneck on (January 24, 2014, 1:46 GMT)

@Xolile well its easy when looking at ratios to say south africa are the best nation in tests over the last 50 years. but bear in mind they were missing for the 20 years the west indies were dominating, when pakistan could boast imran, waqar and wasim. when by comparison west indies were touring australia every other summer. make no mistake Australia has a superior record when it comes to tests won, overseas test won and pretty much everything else that has to do with winning test matches. south africa also championed zimbabwes test playing cause and have played plenty more test with the minnows than the 3 in total australia have played against zimbabwe. also using your logic south afrcia have failed to win a series at home vs australia for 44 years, not very fitting for a team you proclaim to be the best in the world over the last 50 years!!!

Posted by Beyond-the-Boundary on (January 24, 2014, 0:03 GMT)

India is afraid of playing other countries... it is time to play cricket with the money that the other countries can generate by themselves and leave India out.

Posted by ukhossain on (January 23, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

Blackmailing...... !! What kind proposal is it ?? Need to kick-out India from ICC.

Shame on you !! shame on you 3 !!

''Save Cricket'' Wish good luck for Cricket !!

Posted by Duidelik on (January 23, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

@Shan_Karthic......India, with your 1,4 billion people, has never ever even qualified to play in a football WC, while SA with a population of just 50 million has already sent 11 players to 2 football world cups (EXCLUDING the one in SA), so stick to the cricketing topic, mate! Also, your model may sound great in theory, but we all know that real life never mirrors the theory!

P.S. Wanna try and play us in rugby??

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

@Chris Wynn Bangladesh already oppose the proposal. CSA can count on the support of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I feel Pakistan would oppose, as will West Indies. If the big 3 countries want to protect their own interests, then the rest need to group together.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

I think that the proposal will get passed by hook or crook. So it would be better to think about including certain conditions in it. I suggest the following: 1. If the FTP is scrapped, tours have to be on a strictly reciprocal basis. So if India invites WI for 'x' number of tests and ODI's they have to play that many in WI as well. 2. The above commitment should be legally binding and if it is not met, the revenue generated from extra home matches should be split 50 - 50. 3. Minimum guarantee of 3 Tests and 7 ODI's home and away with all Test playing nations (current and future) over a 8 year period. 4. A cap on the share of revenue from ICC's divisible pool to a maximum of 3 times the minimum share of a Full Member. The minimum share of a Full Member can not be less than twice the maximum share of an associate member. 5. The clause regarding non-relegation of Big 3 has to go away.

I think that this proposal takes care of merit and financial contributions.

And I am not a Big 3 fan.

Posted by Shan_Karthic on (January 22, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

@gerrardl @roketman: The point is if you think SA is great in many sports, last 8 years data does not show it. Plus the one soccer cup appearance during that period was due to hosting it as they were the lowest ranked team and were the first host ever to be kicked out in the first round.

Now, in terms of population, yours is a valid argument. You will expect a bigger country with more population to do better. My point was anyway not that India is doing great. It is that SA is not doing great either.

Take your argument further. A bigger country with more population will need more funds to develop any sport. So should we distribute the ICC revenue by % population of each country? I mean if SA has to take care of 100 developing players, and India has 25 times more population, then may be they need to take care of 2500 developing players. Do you agree to that model?

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

I think even many Indians, Australians and English will oppose the proposed idea. How NZ cricket support such a stupid thing? I think all other test playing countries will sit together and give the big three a strong feedback.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

Boycot these 'big' 3 and form a new cricket council. I want to see how they can manage to attract the supporters to watch same team over and over again.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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