ICC revamp

Alan Isaac pushed Big Three to collaborate

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 28, 2014

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Alan Isaac and Dave Richardson during the ICC meeting, Colombo, October 9, 2012
Alan Isaac said the key proposals discussed in the ICC Board meeting could introduce meritocracy in cricket © ICC/Getty

Alan Isaac, the ICC president, said that he had encouraged the Big Three - the BCCI, the ECB and Cricket Australia - to work together on finding a resolution for "commercial and governance issues facing the game". He further stated that the strong criticism of the leaked draft proposal, which intended to give more power to the three boards was unwarranted.

Isaac's statements were part of a media release related to the ICC's Board meeting on January 28 and 29 to discuss a "working group position paper" drafted by the ICC's Finance & Commercial Affairs committee (F&CA), which suggested structural overhaul of world cricket, giving more power to the BCCI, ECB and CA. Some of the changes suggested in the "position paper" included a change in the ICC's FTP and a greater share of the revenue to the three boards.

"Several months ago I encouraged the BCCI, CA and the ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game," Isaac said. "These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions."

Isaac welcomed the "unanimous agreement" over the key proposals discussed in the Board meeting on January 28, saying the draft suggested by the BCCI, the ECB and Cricket Australia emphasized the primacy of Test cricket and introduced meritocracy in the game worldwide.

"This is an important time for world cricket and it is extremely encouraging that the ICC Board has unanimously supported a set of far-reaching principles that will underpin the long-term prosperity of the global game," he said. "These principles emphasise the primacy of Test cricket and that, for the first time in cricket's history, participation will be based entirely on meritocracy, giving everyone powerful incentives to play better cricket and develop better cricketers."

The draft proposals created a stir in the cricket world as many former players and administrators saw it as a concentration of power in the hands of three boards driven by financial influence. Cricket South Africa, who were likely to suffer financially if the draft was implemented in its original form, had protested against the implementation of the proposals.

Ehsan Mani, the former ICC president, called the secretly drawn proposal an indicator of "serious weaknesses in ICC's governance" and charged the BCCI, the ECB and CA with "completely undermining the integrity and standing of the ICC". Malcolm Gray and Malcolm Speed, former senior administrators of the ICC, backed Mani's protests and signed a formal letter requesting the "Big Three proposal" be withdrawn immediately. The letter was also signed by former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, former PCB presidents Shahrayar Khan and Lt Gen. (retd) Tauqir Zia and former BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan joined the chorus of criticism on Tuesday night. "The idea of a 'Big 3' will divide cricket world.I recall rep Pak at ICC in '93 & cannot forget the imperial attitude of England & Australia," he tweeted. "The idea of a 'Big 3' will divide cricket world."

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, former England captain Michael Atherton and global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, are among those who also slammed the proposals.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jigar_Shah on (January 29, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

It is so funny to read some of the comments. I guess most people are missing the point that having teams like Bangladesh and West Indies play test cricket in their current state is really degrading the VALUE of cricket. Look at their pathetic display year over year for the last 10 years. Tell me one series where they have looked to improve. Really is the World Benefiting from watching mindless cricket against teams whose caliber even at home (Yes, I agree Indians only perform in India) is terrible? Question then is how do we improve cricket? The answer for ever has been we need weaker nations to play more games with Stronger nations - and we can see that the results are poor. What you need is for these weaker nations to be part of a county system within the stronger nations with an incentive like a two tiered structure to play with the big boys. As far as revenue is concerned we can argue in many ways but if Indians dont watch cricket then there will be no money in Cricket.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 29, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

With reference to the opening of this report: *Alan Isaac, the ICC president, said that he had encouraged the Big Three - the BCCI, the ECB and Cricket Australia - to work together on finding a resolution for "commercial and governance issues facing the game". *

And if you toss this in the direction of the specified boards, Mr Isaac, then you failed to mention that they should act disinterestedly - thinking only of the best interests of the game, staying in harmony with the ICC Mission Statement & stated Values - and not merely how they'd like to carve things up to suit the three of them at the expense of the rest.

If the ICC is the guardian of the future of our game, then who monitors the guardians ? - Certainly not the rich & powerful! The rich & powerful only understand self-interest - which is precisely why they are where they are! If anything a democratic body should check their powers & call them to account, not give them a turbo-boost! Mr Isaac - what on earth possessed you?

Posted by cricketer4ever on (January 29, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

Surely Isaac can expect some rewards in IPL and Big Bash. ICC can be soon renamed to HMV.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

"These principles emphasize the primacy of test cricket". Are we really supposed to believe that utter nonsense? Look how the BCCI has treated the FTP already, what is going to change now? The fact that once they in control they can pick and choose who they play is the only thing that will change. Test cricket has never been at the top of the BCCI's priority list and with them in control things will only get worse for test cricket.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 29, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

Whether Isaac had been part of the "Big 3" plan right from the beginning or he simply made up a story now is inconclusive. But this is an excellent ploy to void Mani and other's premise (to oppose the overhaul) that the proposal is secretly drawn, it shows weakness in ICC's governance and undermines the integrity of ICC.

Posted by tokoloshe on (January 29, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

Isaacs is full of it. I'll bet my bottom dollar he knew bugger all about this and has been made an offer and them came up with the ridiculous statement that he requested it. A week ago no=one in the ICC knew anything about it and now its their idea? Pathetic. Does he take us cricket lover for fools? Truly a dark cloud over cricket for years to come...... Shame on Aus, Eng and India and it seems that Isaacs has sold out the kiwis too.

Posted by screamingeagle on (January 29, 2014, 6:17 GMT)

So not blaming BCCI now, for initiating the paper? All that angst from some posters were in vain...

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

While I oppose most of the things that said in the Draft, now I agree with one aspect of it: ICC is having truly bad management or how else this wonderful sample of ... lets say human... can be the president!

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 3:26 GMT)

Mr. ALAN ISAAC .. you asked these people to come out with this idea? you are taking credit for destroying millions of people trust in ICC. very nice, I want to congratulate you for such a good job. Speak the truth please. Tell people this so called big three money and control freak are trying to do, enslave the rest of the cricket world???? Shame Shame Shame ,,,

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 29, 2014, 3:18 GMT)

So Alan Isaac says, listen fellas, get together come up with some money making ideas and get back to me............ so how did your meeting go....... (big wallets) yeah good, here is our idea take it or we will boycott ICC tournaments.... (Isaacs) there you go told you it would work.. any jobs going.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

Indemnity for three nations against relegation - you call it meritocracy? It is imperialism plain and simple.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 29, 2014, 2:43 GMT)

With Alan Isaac being on board (pardon the pun) it looks like the Kiwis are the 4th. for those of us against. it does not look good, SA are the only vocal against that I have heard. apart from fans and past players (but we don't count)

Posted by Potatis on (January 29, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

An earlier report I read here said that the ICC knew nothing about this plan, it came out of the blue. It did look like the ICC was being undermined, but now we see that this was initiated by the ICC and the proposals have the ICC's unanimous support.

Posted by android_user on (January 29, 2014, 2:15 GMT)

With people like Alan Isaac in the ICC administration it goes to show how pathetic the organisation is.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 29, 2014, 2:07 GMT)

Why should cricket be immune from human greed? Greed is almost everywhere else in the world

Posted by Equanimous on (January 29, 2014, 2:03 GMT)

Can't believe this guy Issac. Is he saying what he saying or am I just reading it wrong. He should resign immediately for lack of impartiality and practicing favoritism .

Posted by flowersintherain on (January 29, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

Surely Isaac's position as ICC President is no longer tenable.

Posted by AH_USA on (January 29, 2014, 1:45 GMT)

Mr. Alan Isaac, it is people like you who have brought ICC to where it is today because of your inability to govern it. May I ask who gave you the right to ask ONLY three boards to work "tirelessly" to come up with a proposal that would affect all cricket playing nations?

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (January 29, 2014, 1:19 GMT)

I am sure there will be plenty of offers from BCCI on the next few weeks. But the small 7 should not forget to discuss among then the value of synergy that could be created of they worked together independently of the big3. The offers by BCCI should surpass the benefits of a small7 coup!

Posted by IPSY on (January 29, 2014, 0:57 GMT)

Why did Mr Isaac chose just three countries "to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game"? This decision was a gross lack of respect for the other seven nations! He is the man therefore who initiated the debacle; so I think that he should be replaced immediately!

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 29, 2014, 0:12 GMT)

Bottom line is the ICC is a complete joke the way it was run under the current understanding. You had some countries doing whatever they wanted eg: bowlers with suspect actions being permitted, nations who do not care a bit about tests ignoring playing them altogether, some doing DRS others not, some countries developing domestic four day cricket others just not bothering. It goes on and on and on.

All of a sudden when the party is over do people start caring about their 'test match status' and their 'welfare handouts'.

For those nations outside of the 'big three' they need to get people along to games, and get people watching on tv. Do not rely on Oz, England and India to keep saving your collective skins.

Right now, as it stands presently. I believe the best course of action is to scrap the ICC altogether. We are just wasting our times with the whole body.

Posted by Shongololo on (January 29, 2014, 0:10 GMT)

Yes, the ICC has long been a spineless and dysfunctional body but to replace it with what promises to be an arrogant, self-indulgent and iniquitous collection of bullies makes no sense at all. South Africa should start the protest rolling by wearing black armbands when they take on Australia in the First Test next month, the bands signifying the death of cricket as we know it. They should then proceed to absolutely thrash Clarke and Co. in all three Tests.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 0:02 GMT)

How does a meritocracy include protection from relegation? In a meritocracy the top tier of test cricket would be played by the best cricket teams, not the richest.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 28, 2014, 23:56 GMT)

Its a shadow cabal system. Kinda similar to caste system based on economy. In that even if other country makes revenue they will never allow pakistan or srilanka to make any decision. Basically keep weaker as weaker forever. This will never going to help grow cricket. Only goal it seems make more revenue for those three boards.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 28, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

Alan Isaacs' actions suggest that he has not understood the Woolf Report. Either that or he has understood it, but has chosen to wilfully ignore it and pursue bad corporate governance.

It was made quite clear that the ICC already fails to meet acceptable standards of corporate governance because the individual Boards' representatives fail to act independently and instead exhibit conflicted interests by representing their own interests, which is not what they are there to do.

Isaacs' actions in setting the "Big Three" out to write their own rules suggest that he is not capable of undertaking his duties as ICC President with the best interests of the cricket world in mind, but rather is preoccupied with ingratiating himself with the big and the powerful.

The honourable course of action would be to resign.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

I cannot believe what he did. I think the extremism by BCCI has something to do with this man. Isaac, how do you know these are the right people (and the only people) who can sort this ICC rubbish out?

Posted by Cricket_Only on (January 28, 2014, 21:47 GMT)

Alan Raymond Isaac, is a former New Zealand cricket player and administrator. He went on to become president of the New Zealand Cricket Board in 2008 and succeeded Sharad Pawar, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, as president of the International Cricket Council in 2012. Hmmm, A New Zealander asking big three to come up with a policy...which means not Big three but Big 3 plus 1..

Posted by CMIS on (January 28, 2014, 21:41 GMT)

@haq33, he doesn't almost sound proud of himself, he is atually proud of himself.

Posted by PlaySafeus on (January 28, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

So it makes sense why NZC was first to support the draft in favor of 3 boards.

Posted by i_amVIVA on (January 28, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Apparently, it was leaked purposefully by the so called B3. There should be no big or small in a game, all are equal, that's the key mantra of any sports in the modern era, - any sensible person can understand that. Then why not the three stooges BCCI-CA-ECB propose to play their teams with 22 players each in them and the smaller ones 11 currently, how about that, since they are big and strong, and then they can win all the games, all the time and the world cup all the time!!! The ongoing proposal and issues are merely ridiculous proposal, and the mighty power they are manifesting in front of the whole world is simply childish in my 2 cents. I urge the Remaining7 to stand tall, form their own league, boycott those political others until they come to sense in love of the game, not the politics or money. If you love the game you expand it, not shrink. Lastly, I hope everyone comes to sense in no time until the next meeting takes place, and save the Cricket for all.

Posted by fzsTrio on (January 28, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

Hey Alan! Please update your resume and send it to BCCI, CA and the ECB. You sound like big goon's attorney. The India cannot win overseas and trying to become biggest goon.

Posted by haq33 on (January 28, 2014, 20:37 GMT)

John Firth you are correct. I would like to know something else as well from any Indian out there. Presumably as part of a deal clincher to sway the weak willed PCB, India will guarantee more games against Pak. However, what would become of the supposed principled stance taken by India in recent years to refuse to play Pakistan and bar their players from IPL for political reasons and because of military tensions? Will we see the true colours of our Indian neighbours who will gladly sell this supposed principle for an extra vote at the scavenging table for cricket's carcass? I know pcb will sell out, it is just a question of when. I also know the ongoing revelations of indian hypocrisy will not stop the bcci bandwagon from rolling on without an iota of shame.

Posted by Extra...Cover on (January 28, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

Difficult to see how Alan Isaac can survive this. Whatever the outcome he is compromised. The "minor" unions (incl. NZ but that might be a stretch) cannot have faith in his independence, and frankly the 3 Musketeers (all for me and none for all) will no doubt be prepared to hang him out to dry if they can get the prize they're after. All this really shows is how detached Isaacs is from proper governance principles. And now to try to defend the process, dismiss the criticism, and then lie about the outcome of today's meeting (unanimous agreement ??.) - the game is bigger than such people and will hopefully survive their follies.

Posted by SkyClean on (January 28, 2014, 20:19 GMT)

Alan Isaac must resign for belittling a sports that he was expected to protect by the charter of ICC. He has allowed ICC to turn into Indian Cricket Council.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 20:13 GMT)

Cricket never was and never will be a global sport just because of weak governance. ICC has always been a sham organization. ICC doesn't own cricket. I say the "SMALL 7" should altogether give up ICC membership and create a new governing body which can help make cricket a global sport.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

Can hardly claim they've undermined the ICC when their president was in on it. This whole situation is disgraceful, and makes me ashamed to be English.

Posted by   on (January 28, 2014, 19:40 GMT)

it looks like he is the man of them. His voice is repeating for their support. Shame. Cricket will die soon in the hand of greedy people.

Posted by sudhir98 on (January 28, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

This sounds like my husband didn't beat me on his own, I asked him to beat me. Shame on everyone involved- these guys are presiding over the demise of cricket as we know it.

Posted by OpenTalk on (January 28, 2014, 19:07 GMT)

If the proposal is implemented I would say ICC nailed the last nail in the coffin!

Posted by haq33 on (January 28, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

Mr Isaac....just who are you to encourage 3 members of the international cricketing fraternity to discuss among themselves such matters of importance that will affect the whole family? You almost sound proud of yourself. The ICC is clearly dysfunctional and has clearly been undermined as an organisation. It is as though the other teams were non-existent.

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