ICC revamp February 6, 2014

Lord Woolf calls draft proposal 'a retrograde step'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Lord Woolf, the former chief justice of England and Wales who was commissioned by the ICC in 2011 to review its governance, has called the proposed revamp of the organisation initiated by the BCCI, CA and ECB a "retrograde step" and "a really alarming position for the future of cricket".

"It is giving extraordinary powers to a small triumvirate of three people, and everybody else has got no power to say anything or do anything. I would certainly think it would be very difficult to get any person who was completely objective, looking at cricket, to understand how these proposals could take forward the programme for international cricket," Woolf told the Telegraph.

"To say a sport that has got aspirations to be a world-class sport internationally should not have an independent body at the top seems to me to be very surprising. It seems to be entirely motivated by money. I think it will stand out as a retrograde step, and people will be worried for less powerful figures, or countries, in the cricketing world. It is elevating three members - and the assumption is made that if you get large earnings from cricket, they are yours and not cricket's, which is very false."

According to the draft proposal, which will be voted on at a meeting of all Full Members in Singapore on February 8, a greater proportion of revenue and executive decision making powers will be given to the three boards that proposed the changes. In February 2012, the BCCI had been one of the chief opponents to the Woolf report, which had recommended a restructuring of the ICC's executive board to make it more independent and less dominated by the bigger countries.

"It's an undisputed fact that they [India] are the biggest generators of money and that they can say that should be taken into account, but how it should be taken into account is a matter of judgment," Woolf said. "That's why this wants to be looked at. It may seem very attractive to the three countries involved - and they are undoubtedly the biggest countries in the cricketing world. All the more important I would say are the interests of the smaller countries.

"There is a paragraph which says: It is proposed that the ICC executive board forms a new committee of the ICC called the executive committee, which under new terms of reference will act as - and I emphasise this word - the SOLE recommendation committee on all constitutional, personnel, integrity, ethics, developments and nomination matters, as well as all matters regarding distributions from the ICC. I have never seen anything of that sort in a body of this nature."

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  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Vassal, it is because of wide participation and funding of cricket that quality players are developed. India will narrow the flow of money and cripple cricket development, limit other country's international exposure and therefore the pool of quality players to choose from for leagues like the IPL. Take Andrew Flintoff, everybody forgot about him within months after his retirement from international cricket. He targeted lucrative freelance contracts, but nobody saw him play on the telly, therefore nobody picked him. I tell you now India needs world cricket and world cricket needs India. Not only one or the other.

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    The good 3 vs the pig 3 !!!

  • Realist on February 8, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    @Vassal you conveniently forget like many others in this forum that foreign players will choose IPL ahead of their national team because they will be compensated much more just like most asians prefer to work in western countries than their home countries. You can't expect the western countries to fund Asian countries for this reason unless they are altruists which we can only hope but not expect from BCCI or any other cricket board for that matter. My point foreign players will come to IPL regardless and quality of other national teams will deteriorate.

    @Craigchan - interesting point but this was before IPL when it took two to tango. Cricket will go in the direction if ECB and CA does not cave in. Main reason being BCCI will earmark the best players from across the globe, increase the number of franchises and go in the direction of football or baseball. Unfortunately, I believe most international players will choose IPL over their national team because of the money involved.

  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    (1) India A plays India B: some revenue generated (2) India plays Bangladesh: revenue generated more than (1) (3) India plays South Africa: revenue generated more than (2) Clearly the extra revenue generated in (2) and (3) is brought in by the other country.

  • Sajid on February 7, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    I would suggest to PCB, SLC and CSA that they should allow India to have bigger share in profit but they should not let India to control ICC. It is logical that whoever supports cricket better revenues wise then that entity should have an appropriate share. But letting that Entity to chave control over all deciosn making is irrational. India has to be part of board of directors, not boss of board of directors. You invest mpore, ok, you have more profits/loss but you can not be our boss, simple. If you want to be a boss then you can get out of ICC and be your boss along with 2 others.

  • xxxxx on February 7, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    The proposed new rules for the ICC seem to be:

    - All cricket playing nations are equal, but some are more equal than others - Agreement is strictly voluntary, but any nation who disagrees will have their rations / games against India reduced by half - The troika will serve the interests of no-one but themselves.

    And, can you believe it, some commentators have had the temerity to compare the proposed ICC with Animal Farm.

  • Zohaib on February 7, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    @veerang..eliminating all good bowlers from opposition teams won't help you either bcoz their bad or worse bowlers will be better than yours.still a shame.

  • Azure on February 7, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    So called big 3 want their proposal sail this way or that way. No amount of sane arguments and fair logic will dissuade them. It all has come after IPL brought so much money to Indian Cricket and they went to the moon. Only way they can step back and rethink if Pak, SA, SL, WICB and Zim jointly start their own T20 league and rotate venue yearly in UAE, SA, WI, SL and Zim, which will be a success and many players from Aus and Eng will also come; this will bring the so called big 3 demigods to the ground.

  • naeem on February 7, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Soon this matter will be gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Sunil on February 7, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    @SmashingBaby: "I think you'll agree that quality isn't based on the population, or the resulting revenue they inevitably generate."

    a) True, quality has nothing to do with population otherwise India would have been dominating all sports! b) Population does NOT 'inevitably' generate revenue. otherwise SL and Pak boards would have been 'wealthier' than Aus and England.

    "If Australia suggested that they should be in charge during the 10 years of their being the No.1 test nation, the Indians would have called us racist".

    c) If only you could see beyond the nationalistic blinkers: Aus and England were in-charge of cricket for almost a century and they RULED cricket with absolute power and VETO (till 90's). These two teams decides where to play, whom to play and IF to play! When England was generating large money, world cup has to invariably played in England (home advantage)! All this changed NOT because England had benevolent 'change of heart' BUT bcoz BCCI started earning money!

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