ICC revamp January 28, 2014

Alan Isaac pushed Big Three to collaborate

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jigar 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.

  • ian 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?

  • Prabish 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Muhammad 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.

  • Jon 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.

  • ajith 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...

  • Dummy4 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!

  • Dummy4 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 ,,,

  • richard 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.

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