ICC revamp February 8, 2014

ICC Board clears governance, financial changes

ESPNcricinfo staff

'CSA would want to patch-up with BCCI'

The ICC Board has gained the necessary votes to approve a large number of sweeping changes relating to the governance, financing and structure of international cricket. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the PCB were the only two Full Members who abstained when a "comprehensive resolution" was put to vote.

The BCCI, in particular, but also Cricket Australia and the ECB can now anticipate a period of greater wealth and influence in the ICC, although their proposals have been reduced in some areas and the ICC continues to claim that all nations will be better off as a result of the changes adopted.

The ICC has presented key elements of the resolution as follows:

  • More revenue for all nations because of a programme designed to secure a lucrative new rights deal.
  • A Test cricket fund to sustain Test cricket through to 2023.
  • Contractually-binding agreements between nations about Test series.
  • A clear pathway for Associate Members to become Test nations.

Plans to give widespread powers to an executive committee dominated by India, England and Australia have been watered down. Although this committee will still draw up major policy, its decisions will need to be ratified by the full board.

BCCI president N Srinivasan will become the ICC chairman from July this year, while CA chairman Wally Edwards will head a newly-formed Executive Committee, which will report to the ICC Board. The ECB chairman Giles Clarke will continue to be the head of the Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) Committee. This will be for an initial two-year transitional period to 2016.

The ICC confirmed that at the end of this transitional period "the Chair of the ICC Board will be elected from within the ICC Board with all Full Member Directors entitled to stand for election. BCCI, CA and ECB - will be represented on both sub-committees, along with two representatives of the other Full Members (who will be elected by the Board)."

An F&CA committee "working group" made up of Srinivasan, Clarke and Edwards had first presented the draft of their radical revamp to the rest of the ICC Board at an unscheduled meeting called in Dubai on January 9. Central to the draft was the ICC revenue distribution model which was reformulated to give the BCCI, ECB and CA a graded percentage share of ICC revenue, with a larger chunk going to these three Boards when compared to the rest.

Today the ICC said, "Full Members will gain greater financial recognition based on the contribution they have made to the game, particularly in terms of finance, their ICC history and their on-field performances in the three formats."

The release stated the decision around the new revenue distribution model was, "the outcome of a negotiation between Members that has been required to provide long-term certainty of participation of all Members in both ICC events and bilateral series against other Members." The absence of any such "certainty" would impact on, "the rights for ICC events, which are to be taken to market this year... and by extension, so would the financial support that has driven the growth of cricket around the world.

"The structure of the model will ensure that none of the Full Members will be worse off than they are at present and - if forecasts of revenue generation prove to be correct - all will be significantly better off. The agreement of the model has been an important part of a wider negotiation that will now provide long-term certainty of participation in ICC events by all of the Full Member teams."

The meeting confirmed the end of the FTP in its current form, with future schedules being dependent on "contractually binding" negotiations between boards. "There was also confirmation that all Full Members will enter into a series of contractually binding bilateral agreements as a matter of urgency so that they can confirm a comprehensive schedule of matches in a Future Tours Programme that will now be extended to 2023."

"With the ICC Champions Trophy alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 and the formats and venues already confirmed for all of these events the ICC has a really attractive package for 2015-23 to take to the market."
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The ICC Board also paved a clearer path for high-performing Associate nations to gain Test status. "The winner of the next ICC Intercontinental Cup will be entitled to take part in a play-off against the bottom-ranked Full Member and, if successful, obtain Test status," the ICC said. "This complements the pathways that are already in place for any Member to be able to qualify for the major events in ODI and T20I cricket."

The ICC confirmed that the proposed World Test Championship would be scrapped and replaced with the Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021 to strengthen their commercial property. "It proved impossible to come up with a format for a four-team finals event in Test cricket that fits the culture of Test cricket and preserves the integrity of the format," its release said. "The most recent ICC Champions Trophy event proved to be very popular with supporters around the world and the future events will build on this success.

"With the ICC Champions Trophy alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 and the formats and venues already confirmed for all of these events the ICC has a really attractive package for 2015-23 to take to the market."

At the same time, the governing body announced the introduction of a Test Cricket Fund "to help ensure all of the Test playing teams will be able to sustain a home programme of Test cricket through to 2023."

"The fund will be available to all of the Test playing Members except the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)."

The ICC release said, "several of these decisions" would need to be "considered and adopted" by the ICC's Full Council when it meets in June. While there were no specifications made as to what these decisions were, as full council voting is required of constitutional amendments, that procedure is largely regarded as a formality.

ICC president Alan Isaac said: "The Board has made some significant decisions today which provide us with long-term certainty in relation to the future governance, competition and financial models of the ICC. There were eight Full Members who were in a position to support the resolution today and the two [SLC, PCB] who abstained have pledged to further discuss the issues with an aim to reaching unanimous approval over the coming weeks."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Keith on February 12, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    While no clear statement of exactly what is going on has emerged into the public eye (so much for transparency in the administration of the cricket!), what begins to emerge appears distinctly half-baked. The "playoff" between the top Associate and bottom-ranked Test team is a prime example. Will this be a true Test match, or a 4-day game? Will it be one match, or a proper series? Whatever does "success" amount to, particularly if honourable draw(s) are played out? The whole thing seems to be a mere sop to quieten the little people and convince them to let the Big Men in the Sky Boxes have their way in cricket governance. And free reign they will have for the next 2 years! In return, the chant goes up: "we give you money, money, money". Can there be a more cynical form of undemocratic manipulation than this?

  • Dhushan on February 10, 2014, 23:02 GMT

    I'm glad & proud that we SLC, & PCB still stood firm on their decision, even though there apparently was a lot of bullying and threatening by the big 3. We maybe cash strapped, but this has shown that we still stand up to the values of the game. Sad to see the sport being bought over for money. Extremely disappointed about CSA.

  • Subodh on February 10, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    I support the statement in the article which says - The Big three's contribution to the game is immense. That is why they are at the top. SL board is still figuring out its issues, Pakistan - is not allowed to hold a match in their own country ans SA - surprised by the way the board works. Support to the Big three. That how the UN also works. The top five. Proud to be a Indian Cricket fan today!!

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    The day is very near that India will be at the bottom of Test rankings.See how their last ten matches out of India. Only one win.Must be out of Test cricket. Then how about joining with Aus. and Eng. for greedy of money

  • Hassan on February 10, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Whatever may be the motive of PCB and SLC, from a spectator's point of view they did the right thing. Hopefully, they will continue their stance in some capacity. Doing the right thing will only help these nations, maybe not so soon but surely in the future.

  • Simon on February 10, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    Anybody interesting in starting a new international board? We might not have money, tv or anything else but at least we'll do what's best for the sport we love, and not just use it for a massive power trip.

  • D on February 10, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    I marvel at all these aghast cricket fans saying they will switch to football because of BCCI's domination of world cricket. Okay, so which team will you cheer for? Will it be the Pak, SL, Bangladesh, SA, Jamaican, NZ, Zim, Australian or English football team? If its any one of the first 7 I mentioned then we're talking about either a tier 2, 3, or 4 football team. And if its the 2nd last one then I've never seen them win a WC. And finally, if its the last one I mentioned I wasn't even born when they last won. Anyway, good luck with switching your cheering from a tier 1 test cricket nation to whatever banana republic football team you're going for.

  • a on February 10, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    I wonder if the BCCI will now instruct the opposition fast bowlers to stop bowling short-pitched balls at their batsmen? And no balls to be bowled faster than 135kmph?

  • buddhika on February 10, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    come on guys u saw what happened to India in NZ today...cricket is not money..its about talent, courage, determination etc..u while u guys collecting money form other side india is loosing Test matches continuously...wht a shame

  • C on February 10, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    I see some merit in India demanding a larger share of the revenues. To me it seems fair that the biggest contributor to the kitty gets the lion's share of it. In the long run this may be good for cricket overall and time is the best judge of it. What I strongly object to, is a small group of three nations lording it over all other countries . Vesting power in the hands of a few can never be good and is hardly democratic. BCCI can be churlish and a downright bully at times. Witness the recent scrap with CSA over the tour itinerary. BCCI even demanded the Mr. Lorgat be kept away from negotiations . We will see more of such irresponsible behaviour in future from BCCI. With greater power comes greater responsibility and BCCI hereafter should show maturity and keep the interests of world cricket at large in future. I am not optimistic this will happen but what else can a keen cricket fanatic do but hope.

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