ICC revamp February 8, 2014

BCCI welcomes approval, confirms talks with CSA for series

The BCCI has welcomed the ICC Board's approval of the new governance, financial and competition structures.

"After rounds of discussions over the last three weeks, the proposals were approved without any objection. Two members abstained from voting since they felt it wouldn't be prudent for them to take a call without the go-ahead of their respective boards," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told ESPNcricinfo from Singapore. "Now that the resolutions are passed, we can move on and the Chief Executives' Committee and ICC Board can continue to work on strengthening the structure of cricket."

On the eve of the ICC Board meeting in Singapore, Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani had a long meeting with BCCI president N Srinivasan. It is learnt that the meeting resulted in CSA's change of heart. Patel confirmed that the BCCI and CSA are on the verge of clinching a bilateral agreement from 2015 to 2023. While the Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket abstained from voting, CSA, who was the first Full Member to publicly call the proposals "fundamentally flawed", opted to vote in favour of the changes.

"It was nice to see that they (CSA) have realised the need to support the proposal and the BCCI had no role to play in their so-called change of stance," Patel said. "The BCCI and CSA had fruitful discussions and have almost reached bilateral agreements in the next cycle."

Another official from one of the Full Member countries echoed Patel's sentiment: "Historically for the first time everything was approved. It was not a give-and-take situation at all. It was a presumption that some of the Members might not sign anything or they will not play."

Some of the proposed changes, including the conversion of FTP agreements into legally binding bilateral agreements, required two-third majority (seven votes out of ten), while other reforms, like the appointment of a new Executive Committee, needed a three-fourth majority (eight votes). CSA's decision to side with the Big Three was a turnaround in this context. On the eve of the meeting, CSA had written a "formal response" to ICC president Alan Isaac and, citing their own long history at the ICC, asked for the hosting rights for a major ICC event between 2015 and 2023.

The decision by CSA to agree to the revamp, framed by the Big Three, could be an indication that the South African board's prolonged tussle with BCCI has come to an end. The dispute between the two boards has reportedly centered around the appointment of former ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat's as CSA's chief executive. The appointment is said to be one of the factors that led to the BCCI curtailing the Indian team's tour to South Africa last year.

Patel, however, denied that a patch-up with CSA, with regard to Lorgat, is in the pipeline. "As for Haroon, it is a matter between CSA and ICC," Patel said. "The BCCI has nothing to do with it and the matter wasn't even discussed."

With regard to the PCB and SLC's decision to abstain from voting, an official in Singapore stated that the Sri Lankan board wanted to understand more details of the new model of revenue distribution. SLC said it needed more time to go back and explain the details to its board members. The official said: "They wanted to understand how the financial calculations were made. The criteria in working out this model was told to them: the historical background, the main contributors to the ICC revenues, the performances of teams in the past and on this basis the (financial) scorecard was made."

PCB's issue could be related to their stance of wanting a written seal on approval of bilateral agreements, but the PCB was told that until the resolutions were ratified at the annual conference in July, no bilateral agreements could be made binding.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo