ICC revamp

What happened at the ICC meeting?

Sharda Ugra and Nagraj Gollapudi

January 29, 2014

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

AHM Mustafa Kamal, Alan Isaac and David Richardson at the ICC executive board meeting, London, Friday, October 18, 2013
File photo: The ICC's Mustafa Kamal, Alan Isaac and Dave Richardson were among those present at meeting © Getty Images

Participants of the ICC executive board meeting have two contrasting views of the proceedings on the first day, thus rendering slightly disingenous the ICC's press release that stated that there had been "unanimous support" for the matters at hand in Dubai for the better part of Tuesday.

These accounts came from what are clearly now opposite sides of the fence with regards to the proposals on the revamp of the ICC.

On one side are the three cricket boards that are architects of the position paper, which seeks to restructure the ICC's administration and hand over greater executive power and financial advantages to these three, the most powerful cricket boards in the world: the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the ECB.

On the other side is the group of protestors who stood up to be identified between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning: the cricket boards of Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The difference between two accounts was so pronounced that they could have come from observations being made of events held in two different rooms and involving two different sets of people.

The meeting was held among the heads of the 10 Full Member boards, three Associate representatives (from Bermuda, Scotland, Singapore) and the ICC president Alan Isaac, vice-president Mustafa Kamal and CEO Dave Richardson. The members were not formally presented with the slightly amended "resolutions" that had been compressed from over 50 proposals into five specific categories by the Big Three, but had the principles behind the changes read out to them.

These are two varied versions of the same event, presented to ESPNcricinfo staff, in the order in which they were made to us:

Version one

"Those who raised concerns at the outset of the meeting, did not object to any of the principles discussed. ICC president Alan Issac asked everybody: Do you all support the principles? Not one dissenting voice was raised. Many of the boards have already signed the fiver-resolutions, enough to carry the day. It is not that four have prevented or block anything. Actually they all supported it. All members were asked three times and not one member objected. The decision draft had been postponed because it was in need of fine tuning to be done with respect to the bilateral tours, which formed an important segment in the discussions the Big Three had with the rest of the countries."

Another member broke down the opposition's main concerns.

  • The BCB's was around losing Test status. "They did not understand completely. It was never proposed that they lose their Full Member status. When the point about relegation was removed, the BCB was fine."
  • The PCB's concerns centered around the FTP and bilateral series, and BCCI's offer of a "neutral venue" may be a positive sign.
  • CSA and SLC wanted more time: "They agreed in principle but wanted to discuss more when the board reconvenes next month."

Version two

"We were harangued at the meeting and it has only deepened divisions and polarised the whole issue. Some statements were made against various boards and some responses were received. The term "unanimous support" is a misleading one… it's attempt to mislead the world public. We haven't agreed to the terms that were offered. Yes, they offered amended terms but we only said we would discuss it - no one had signed any terms, and that is our position. There is nothing more to it. Unless the smaller boards don't take a stand world cricket as we knew it is over."

Another member said that there had been broad support given out on certain issues but "no resolutions had been signed and there was no vote. The atmosphere was quite heated, everyone was pretty much into it. It was both hot and cold. We were not given any documentation but had things read out to us. They are trying to call on the next meeting quickly, maybe inside a few weeks. No more meetings tonight. It will get calmer. It is a big thing that we managed to have the resolution to not go through."

Pick your truth. Other than "unanimous support".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sid4391 on (January 30, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

with all due respect to other cricket boards, the proposed revamp was not so harsh , because it is the money evolving from the game which lures to everyone directly or indirectly. YES the quality matters , but think who would be watching a women world cup , if ICC men world cup is going on side by side. It is not the matter of quality as i don't think out of these two world championships .anyone is less in quality.It is the money & the viewers response which decides . So why go with the FTP for billateral arrangements . LET the viewers decide what they want to see. This can only be done if FTP agreements are removed

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 19:51 GMT)

There is only one winner behind this revamp. Its BCCI and be sure the other boards from Big 3 cant see that. Every board should be run by former cricketers and not by business men. They only look at money first.

Its really obviosly that BCCI will rule the Cricket World and dictate other boards. Poor Pakistan, the big monster is just behind you.

Posted by demonslogger on (January 29, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

Could this be the rise of domestic cricket and the death of international cricket.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

PCB weldone and salute to Mr Zaka Ashraf for his feedback to Greedy3

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

I totally agree with @Paul Stafford text!! It will obviously correct decision ECB to leave the INDIA BCCI and then I believe that they will do nothing and will come back to join ICC again!! BCCI want ICC to make a money machine and Destroy the natural game of cricket seriously!! I don't know why Big2 board take a long time to say to with their decision! If they like Cricket they should do it ASAP! ICC should give the same right to all full member of ICC...... It will be start another new drama if ICC take long to reach their final decision so......Lets See :/

Posted by bobagorof on (January 29, 2014, 13:38 GMT)

I'm pretty unhappy with the way the 'Big 3' are throwing their weight around. I wonder how long they would be able to sustain themselves if they are just playing amongst themselves - I think the public would get pretty sick of seeing the same teams series after series. I would actually encourage the 'Small 7' to stand their ground and call the bluff of the 'Big 3'. India might be able to survive just on the IPL but Australia and England need outside matches as much as everyone else. Like World Series Cricket, eventually there would need to be a reconciliation and the 'Small 7'/ ICC would be in a strong bargaining position.

Ahh, I can dream. I fully expect the carrot to be dangled in front of each of the boards, and then forgotten once they've signed on. Such is the way of politics these days.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

Just give BCCI whatever share in revenue they are asking for. I think if they are the major contributor to it, then they should have it back as well. People who are saying that ICC should abandon BCCI must realize that India is actually the one providing maximum financial assistance. And nothing can run today without money.

But I can't see the point in giving them complete control and freedom to do whatever they like in terms of FTP and all other matters. In the case the Big 3 get all the control, what will happen is that even audiences in these 3 countries will get bored of seeing each other every year. Thus the boards will lose their main source of revenue which they get through the audiences.

So that will be foolish in long term. Eventually cricket will die a slow & painful death.

Unless the Big 3 are actually looking to promote cricket along with filling their coffers, this move will be horrendous. And if the other boards remain silent, they will be equal culprits...

Posted by jon4cricket on (January 29, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

Alan Isaac clearly knows who pays his salsry at the ICC, so he is happy to go along with these unethical proposals put forward by the BCCI. Shame on him and shame on the New Zealand cricket board as well as West Indies and Zimbabwe. When you allow money to be more important than high ethical standards then it is time to give up on the game of cricket.

Posted by Manager_Alamgir on (January 29, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

The Game would be hostage to the big three.. On every resolution or point they would be like hey u agree with us or we are not touring you blah blah..

Would India vs Eng vs Aus playing twice every other a year bring in hoards of money without games being played with PAK or WI or SL or NZ or SA? I would not be watching cricket anymore.

India sucks big time at being the big brother.. Even now they did not let Pakistani players in IPL.. After this they will uh no Pak team at WC too.. How pathetically they are doing this.


Posted by mzm149 on (January 29, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

I am impressed with the guile with which Big Three put the proposal first and later toned it down to get votes:

First Bangladesh's test status was in danger. Now they will play test cricket but there is no guarantee of how much will they play or who will they play.

South Africa were not being given money from test fund. Now they have been assured of the money (which is their right btw) but it is still less than the Big Three.

India did not play Pakistan even with FTP agreements in place. Now they say they will play on neutral venue. But still there is no guarantee they will visit UAE as much as they want Pakistan to visit them. They claim to take entire gate money of matches played in India against Pakistan but they are not willing to give even half the amount of gate money of games played in UAE against Pakistan.

There have been assurances of bilateral series against Sri Lanka as well which were already taking place with FTP in place with the same low frequency.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 29, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

@stormy16: Imran Khan write on his twitter:

"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."

"Now india will join Eng & Aus because of its financial clout but back in '93 india was with us. I totally disagree with this new proposal."

Posted by SaadSB on (January 29, 2014, 11:48 GMT)

Give the financial 'benefit' to big3 but to distribute the rights and control of how to organize cricket in the world to a mere 3 countries is a nonsense.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 29, 2014, 11:29 GMT)

Can we get these names right please. The big 3 should be named the greedy 3 or alternatively the dictatorship. The 7 should be called the ICC, the normal everyday folks. In addition the ECB and CA should called the traitors - the traitors who turned their back on cricket in its darkest hour and ran for the money. What a disgrace on ECB and CA who have been preaching to all and sundry on how the game should be played, the spirit of cricket, the values, the history, the traditions, the Ashes - all amount to nothing when it comes to money.

I also cannot get over how none of the past players are saying anything about this. Where are Ian Chappel (Border, Gavaskar, Botham, Lloyd, Khan, Richards)? Why are they not saying anything. This is the time to speak up in favor or not. This is the time to stand up for cricket - they will be no point talking later when the BCCI has gobbled up everything including the game and its money!

Posted by igorolman on (January 29, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

If this goes through I shall be sending the ECB some money, since that's all they seem to be interested in.

£1.50 in 5p pieces.

(Matthew 26:15)

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

It seems that the Death of cricket has arrived unfortunately because of the irrational and stubborn attitude of Inida, England and the Aussies !!! RIP international Cricket.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 29, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

Does this mean that cricket is now run by Indians?

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

As an Englishman I'm disgraced at the fact that the ECB have joined in on this. I hope ECB and CA see sense and leave India to it. All cricketing countries should be equally represented.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

Now the real bargaining and gives and takes will take place.

BCB's issue is only test status. They are ok with other stuff . and their concern has been dealt with and it was mentioned that no status will be taken.

SLC is financial struggling. There are reports that they were looking for icc loan. so they are also not in good shape.

PCB's issue is also financial and they will be offered some extra matches / series and some other incentives.

question remains that how much they can trust on big 3?

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

As an Australian Citizen I am ashamed of ACB behaviour as well. The only thing they are doing is ruining the game of cricket. May be it is not a gentleman's game any more

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

As an Australian and one who plays cricket I apologise for the behaviour of my board. They are acting in self interest and not in the interest of cricket. It will be a sad future for the game we all love if these proposals get up

Posted by getsetgopk on (January 29, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

PCB should not and cannot go for the offer of a few games from India. Its not worth it, cricket is not about a few games from India, its much more than that. A sport that can not be played with a spirit of competition, fair play and equality is not worth playing. We can waste our times doing something else rather than watch an orchestrated circus where the main purpose is money instead of all the virtues of a fine sport like cricket. Cricket has lost enough already, the last time India toured SA with reduced matches, because they wanted to teach CSA a lesson, killed the competition right there, the rest was just a formality if you ask me. The competition got reduced to petty politics, cricket was robbed, those who call themselves cricket fans in the great country of India, need to ask these questions of their board. They didn't teach anyone any lessons, all they did was to let everyone know that they are capable of anything but the minor task of LEADING THE OF WORLD CRICKET.

Posted by mkarslan on (January 29, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

I think BCCI, CA & ECB are now making it dirty. They presented a proposal and any change require 8 members to support, if they get the weight in voting the change must be applied. If not the threat should not be made that, "we will not play T20 WC ot Asia Cup or similar events." There are comprehensively defined rules and regulations available to change any of the standard procedures. Cricket is a passion in India,Sri lanka, W.Indies, South Africa, Pakistan and Australia. the proposed set of proposal will make the game a gamble club. Still due to IPL the game has lost its repute and money & glamour is playing in everywhere.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

While this is not acceptable, one must not forget that Pakistan was involved in "illegal" stuff at Sharjah w.r.t cricket. No one is a saint. Some are sinners. So today it is BCCI CA and ECB but BCCI was blamed for helping BD get test status and for favoring WI, SL, and CSA players for IPL. In a way this is a representation of geopolitics. But for Cricket's sake the best solution is to hand over administration to former players - one from each country.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

I think it is one of the worst thing happening to the game of cricket. In the last ten years I have noticed a great growth and a lot of developed countries are taking the sport more serious than before. But this is getting extremely ugly that 3 countries are taking over the sport for their own financial benefits. I think the rest of the boards and we all cricket fans from all over the world should stand against it for the sack of this great sport (to remain exciting and stay in its original shape)

Posted by aarifmushtaq on (January 29, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

everyone should understand that so called "big 3" also need other countries to play with. How much cricket they can play among them selves. They should take themselves out from ICC and play with each other only. BCCI has played every role to make this game dirty.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (January 29, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

The clarke guy and this srinivasan guy are the worst things that are happening to world cricket right now...they do not care about game just money.

Posted by haq33 on (January 29, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

What PCB needs to understand is that we, the fans of Pak cricket DO NOT CARE if India refuses to play us for all eternity. We have lived like this for 3+ years now, the world hasn't ended! PCB must not give in to this plan, no matter how much the big3 water it down it still results in the creation of an executive decision making body based on financial strength, which is reprehensible. Do not give in to some promise of a few games here and there. Who cares?? We can play the other nations quite happily and forget the big3 ever existed. We should nurture the game in China and build an alternate financial plan to aid recovery in the small nations' boards. It is possible and plausible. Get Eire and Afg in and suddenly who ever needed the big3?? The new order should remain a meritocracy, represented by all members equally, with all discussions held on a level playing field, in a brotherly spirit and for betterment of the game. Rebel ind, eng, aus teams should be welcomed.

Posted by haq33 on (January 29, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

What PCB needs to understand is that we, the fans of Pak cricket DO NOT CARE if India refuses to play us for all eternity. We have lived like this for 3+ years now, the world hasn't ended! PCB must not give in to this plan, no matter how much the big3 water it down it still results in the creation of an executive decision making body based on financial strength, which is reprehensible. Do not give in to some promise of a few games here and there. Who cares?? We can play the other nations quite happily and forget the big3 ever existed. We should nurture the game in China and build an alternate financial plan to aid recovery in the small nations' boards. It is possible and plausible. Get Eire and Afg in and suddenly who ever needed the big3?? The new order should remain a meritocracy, represented by all members equally, with all discussions held on a level playing field, in a brotherly spirit and for betterment of the game. Rebel ind, eng, aus teams should be welcomed.

Posted by javed.agrawala on (January 29, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

Distribution of revenue should be changed to more for the home team or some such alternative. That would be fair. Other areas of unfairness can be similarly addressed. India can keep its millions and stop raising odium. What lackeys in CA and ECB they have! Cricket is losing a lot with an unnecessary controversy and really there would be little fun to continue with a disadvantaged role.

Best to form your own World league with SL, SA, Pak and BD. If NZ, WI and ZWE can be shaken from their stupor all the better. Associate states may also join in; nobody with any pride accepts a secondary status. Shameful for India and others to overlook a part of human nature. Perception is as important as reality!

This is like the odious VETO at the UN that other than those who enjoy having it, find repulsive. India too and were at the fore front of the non-aligned movement. For all their laudable protestations then they are pretty hypocritical.

Let BCCI, CA and ECB play within, if they stick!

Posted by OttawaRocks on (January 29, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

This is Machiavellian politics at its best! The BCCI unites with the CA and ECB to push the remaining test nations and the Associates face first on the ground. Once they're down, within a short time expect the BCCI to go after the CA and ECB. Whereas before the BCCI would have had trouble bullying the CA and ECB, given they would have normally received strong support from the SA, NZ etc, now they're all alone, leading to their annihilation by the BCCI thereafter. To be honest this plays like a movie. No sympathy from this Canadian given how the CA and NZ boards tried to unscrupulously maneuver to eliminate the Associate nations from the ODI World Cup in 2015. Good riddance!

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

This is really getting ugly now - more than the proposal I would say....

Posted by tokoloshe on (January 29, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

Alan Isaacs sound like a snake. I am not sure it was he who asked for the 3 nations to make a proposal. It sounds like an after the fact save-face statement. I hope the small nations hold out for what they want and need to see cricket grow and not for Aus,Eng and India (cant even manage to call them the "BIG 3" as it makes me physically sick) to line their pockets.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 6:14 GMT)

A big scam going on. Everything seems planned that how to fool smaller boards and somehow get the draft signed. What a rubbish statement of "Unanimous Support". This is a big attack on cricket and if it gets approved, it would be a sad demise of fair cricket.

Either boards reject it or do not cry afterwards for wrongdoings by Big 3. It sure is going to be a "Mission Hijack".

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

Cricket used to be a simple game. Each team toured each other home/away in a structured basis. The team that showed the best versatility (except during the world cups, champions trophy & faulty ranking systems) would be crowed the best in the world. That's what Windies of the 80s & AUS 2000s & modern S Africa have done.

Now we have a situation where AUS/ENG/IND are telling the world, they don't want to play them because it isn't a financially durable tour for them. While most understand why this strange dynamic has come to pass - but if cricket tours becomes dictated on those financial basis & not on the field efforts, the sanctity and sanity of the sport, would be totally derailed.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

Version One is clearly written by the BCCI. The quality of English says so. Version Two seems the more credible scenario.

Posted by Udendra on (January 29, 2014, 5:41 GMT)

Whatever that press release says, I don't think it was "unanimous". For example, how can SLC agree on points non-beneficial to them?

Posted by i_amVIVA on (January 29, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

Kudos to the 'Fabulous Four' for sticking to the gun at the 'Shameless Three', the so called B3. But all should be watchful of the crooks mind game now, they're probably playing time game, let things cool down a bit until the next meeting with a bit water down version. At the same time the 'Silent Two' of WI and Zim needs to strengthen the Fabulous Four without delay, and the cricket lovers in the respective members can try to create pressure on their board for the same... Don't forget: UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL. All the best for the game of Cricket.

Posted by elwarko on (January 29, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

what did NZ, WI and Zim say or do, anyone know?

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 29, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

Version two appears to be what I have been hearing on radio what went on.

It is a real mess. We might be going to have a split similar to what occured in the rugby world at the end of the 19th century. One group went union and the others formed a new game called league.

Posted by vish2020 on (January 29, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

I love how bigger boards especially BCCi who brings in 80 percent of all the revenue and pretty much are the oxygen of cricket, says they want little more of their revenue, everyone especially the boards who are always saved by India from being broke like Bangla, sri lanka and pak are saying things like cricket will be over and what not! this whole thing has made me all respect i had of these boards. sad

Posted by Northandsouth on (January 29, 2014, 5:17 GMT)

The most irritating bit is the patronising "unanimous support" piece; feels like the kind of comment you would get from a North Korean media statement. Even though I disagree with the Big 3 concept, I would have liked them to have taken the time to employ someone with enough basic human judgement to appreciate trying to pretend everything was fine would do more harm than being grown up enough to admit "yes, there are still some differences out there, but we're working to resolve them". That kind of disingenuous assertion is what turns the neutrals against you: if you're not going to be honest about the tone of a meeting, how can we trust you to run the game in a mature way...

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

What ICC tried to do here is to cover up the whole issue. There has been conversaitons, albeit heated ones. Some serious arguements have been made as well, but as the ICC President said all member nations supported the resolutions unanimously then it's wrong. Mr Issac is trying to be clever here.

Hope the 4 boards stand tall and resist the final push. One little statement that 'we would form another global governing body' will see the proposal off. The so called big3 needs a lesson here.

Posted by BurhanMirza on (January 29, 2014, 5:00 GMT)

The term "unanimous support" is being used to float false impression by our weaklings "the ICC." Can't imagine any sporting body being so fragile. weak and void of self respect. That is what is being used by the big 3 to their unfair advantage. Shame on them. Had ICC been the governing body similar to other structured ones, this issue would have have never aroused. Cricket deserves a lot better as it provides entertainment to millions over the world.

Posted by satchander on (January 29, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

@arif29 - version two may be closer to truth but version one will be the final winner (much as I hate to say this)

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 29, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

Version two seems the more likely. Version one reads like a government cover up, like it is written by someone who has something to hide. Maybe there is a third version even that is more truthful, but we aren't even being told it yet, and perhaps we never will.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 4:26 GMT)

according to media reports there was serious argument between Zaka Ashraf and Australian board head

Posted by arif29 on (January 29, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

Version two seems closer to the truth to me.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days
Sponsored Links

Why not you? Read and learn how!