ICC revamp January 29, 2014

What happened at the ICC meeting?

Sharda Ugra and Nagraj Gollapudi

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".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • siddhartha 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Hemal on January 29, 2014, 15:25 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2014, 14:26 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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 :/

  • Michael 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.

  • Dummy4 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...

  • Jon 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.

  • 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.


  • Muhammad 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.

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