ICC revamp

Zaka Ashraf wants consensus before ICC decision

Umar Farooq

January 31, 2014

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

Mustafa Kamal and Zaka Ashraf at the ICC Executive Board Meeting, Dubai, April 15, 2012
Zaka Ashraf: "At the moment we have stopped the Big Three" © Getty Images
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Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, has said the ICC was looking to get resolutions that would shake up the world game approved "hastily". He said the PCB and several other boards managed to hold off the Big Three for the benefit of cricket. He insisted he wasn't against any of the proposals but wanted all decisions to be taken through consensus, with every member board taken in confidence.

Ashraf was speaking after returning from the ICC meeting in Dubai, where proposals by India, England and Australia over the governance and the finances of cricket were discussed. No final decision was taken on the proposals which would give those three countries a larger share of ICC revenues and more of a say in running the game.

The ICC, though, said it had "unanimous support" over "principles" which were similar to what the Big Three originally proposed. Ashraf has called for an emergency meeting of the PCB's board of governors to discuss the issue.

"At the moment, we have stopped the Big Three," Zaka Ashraf said at a press conference in Lahore. "This was our strategy, not to do it in haste and to stop it. It's our wish that whatever decision be taken it should be with consensus, but unfortunately they brought it so hurriedly that few members were on one side and the others were on the other side. I think the first thing was to stop it in which we have succeeded and now we will see what the next strategy should be. We have also got time to consult our board."

The PCB, according to Ashraf, is far from accepting the proposals for the restructuring of the ICC though it had been offered the same amount of money from future ICC events as they currently earn. He however didn't divulge any specific reason why Pakistan is opposing the resolution.

"If we were in favour we would have given our vote but cricket will be destroyed if we go after the money. When we took the stand, the four countries (Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) , we wanted to have some time to think about it. We are not against anything, we want all the ICC members to develop consensus and move forward together. But if there's anything, which is against the interest of our country or cricket, we were against it."

The Bangladesh Cricket Board was one of the four boards that Ashraf claimed were against the proposals, but on Wednesday it accepted the revised proposals for the restructure of the ICC after securing assurance that its Test status will not be revoked. Apart from Pakistan, it is understood that South Africa and Sri Lanka have sought time to study the revised paper.

"Bangladesh has left, they must have seen their interest, but we have to see if it's a short-term gain or a long-term gain, we will also see what is good for our board and for our country.

"It's a matter of calculation. The three countries have raised their share according to the new formula and they have given us surety that whatever we are getting it won't be reduced (from what we are receiving now). We will have a board meeting on Monday in which we will give briefing to all the members and that's the normal procedure with all the other cricket boards.

"We didn't form a group in the ICC, everywhere in the world this new formula had faced criticism and faced a very strong reaction. We also stood firm against it, we have to stand firm on rules, but we also have to look after the interest of the cricket board and the country. They (Big Three) have ensured that whatever money we are getting it won't be reduced, they are dropping lots of clauses with every passing day, let's see what happens."

Ashraf revealed that the BCCI offered to play a series against Pakistan. The two countries haven't played a Test series since 2007, and limited-over matches between the two, which are highly lucrative, have also been reduced due to political tensions. "The BCCI offered all the cricket boards and they offered us a lot too. Since they haven't played our home series in last seven years, we definitely needed a guarantee. Although they have assured a bankable document, we have to look into how sincere they are with their proposition."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sky1two on (February 6, 2014, 0:37 GMT)

Cricket losses out

Pakistan provides unpredictability and fighting spirit to cricket West Indies provide athleticism to the mix and great cricketers Srilanka can beat anyone on any given Day South Africa can chase down a 400+ total with ease New Zealand can wake up like a sleeping bear

Cricket is not Just India , Australia or England

Posted by spellbinder76 on (February 5, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

What a shame the Ehsan Mani or Arif Ali Khan Abbasi are not representing Pakistan in ICC meetings.

Posted by Neel_123 on (February 5, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

It is high time, ICC should be disbanded and let each nation go its own way. England and Aus will keep playing each other as cricket is their National game! NZ, WI, SA public seem to be more interested in other popular sports in respective country.

BCCI would be better without freeloaders leaching on cricket revenue generated by Indian public! Worse part, such freeloaders full members are in majority in ICC; these boards line their own pockets with BCCI money and do NOTHING to bring crowd to stadium.

India (and BCCI) should extend IPL for 3 months and 50-50 franchises based league tournament in winter for another 3-4 months. Test cricket is dying anyway, sooner than later. BCCI would do great if it ceases the opportunity and make IPL and 50-50 domestic league part of Indian contemporary culture as NFL & MLB are to USA. More celebrities, more inning break shows by popular singers and dancers, better stadium facilities for Indian middle class families to have a decent outing.

Posted by anwarma on (February 4, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

BCCI , CA and ECB should stop this bullying unless they agree in writing to play in Pakistani grounds and help in return of international crickets to Pakistan (This should one of the condition for PCB support). Remove all restrictions against Mohammad Amir , Salman Butt, Danish Kineria, MOhamad Asif and all other Pakistani players and last their should not be any tier systems. Cricket should be promoted at internaitonal level and it has viewers than NFL super bowl for peat sake. No one should be allowed to monopolize the sport.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

Lets the fans decide what they want for cricket, what the hell these boards are??? we love cricket and we watch cricket and we truly care about cricket not money involved in it.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 10:52 GMT)

So many people saying that We should leave big three alone and let them play against each other. Well have you guys looked at the fact that Newzealand and Bangaldesh is already on their side, so if they do get separated im sure NZ and Bang will go with them because of Money power. Secondly even if big 3 go on their way. Cricket will be destroyed. Because We need them as much as they need us. No wants to see SA vs Pak again and again. There wont be any big tournament, NZ BANG and Wind already lack quality cricket atm, I see NZ and Bang is improving in ODI but not in test, well NZ maybe improving we will see how they do against India in test match I hope they give them very good fight. I think PCB will give in too soon, so whether like or not cricket will be controlled by big 3 which may not be good for the cricket because I am sure BCCI will force t20 and transform ODI into t20 and we will not have good qulaity cricket anymore, it will be just smash mash, I hope im proven wrong!

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

limited overs cricket are not as important as Tests - only world cups are competitive. If the ICC want to hold a "world cup" WITHOUT the PCB and SAC that's fine - but at least as far as Pakistan and SA are concerned it could not be a world cup - just an ICC cup for second rate competition, playing second rate fast food cricket under BCCI rules, primarily to satisfy the financial greed of the BCCI. May I suggest that PCB and SAC agree to participate in such an ICC world cup on a "winner take all basis", all profits as prizemoney to the winner. How could the BCCI and the other 2 refuse such an offer - they think they are the best teams and "winner take all" would satisfy their greed. Any cricket other than Test cricket doesn't really matter - the ICC could play 10 overs of rounders if they want.

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 21:37 GMT)

There should be some VETO thing put in place or a majority verdict put in place because putting power solely on big 3 will cause such huge problems especially BCCI who are only concerned about themselves. Anyway it will end up being just India who will be in control eventually. The demise is nigh

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

I would love to see Amir playing again for Pakistan, but to relate Amir's return and PCB's vote will be shameful, PCB should never help big 3 to destroy cricket at the expense of a cheater's (Amir) return. if Big three manage to get what they want, cricket should follow WWF/WWE and wil become ICCE

Posted by   on (February 2, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

Whether the Big 3 proposals need to be accepted by Zaka Ashraf is dependent on whether it is beneficial to Pakistan and cricket on a long term basis. For me personally these proposals won't be of great advantage to cricket. I mean if u look at it no one would want to watch Austaralia and INDIA contest all the time. Honesty when Pakistan and south Africa fought for the third time I was extremely bored. This is one reason why the two tier system is not very good. Also the Big 3 hardly ever win a series outside of home. Finally countries like West Indies and New Zealand. have given so much to cricket. The West Indies. were. unstoppable uptil the late 80's after all this they do not deserve to be in the second tier. Heck their shouldn't even be the two tier system. or big 3

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