ICC revamp February 8, 2014

Changes in resolution forced PCB, SLC to abstain

The Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket, the only Full Members to abstain from voting in the ICC Board meeting on Saturday, said that they had done so due to changes in the "comprehensive resolution" that required the approval of their respective governing boards and stakeholders. Their decision to abstain from voting, however, did not stop the ICC Board from approving a large number of changes affecting the governance and structure of international cricket.

In the lead-up to the meeting, the PCB, SLC and Cricket South Africa had been vocal in their opposition of the proposed changes to the ICC. Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, however, said that the resolution presented to the Full Members for a vote on Saturday was a revised one that differed from the earlier draft. CSA's decision to vote in favour of the proposal also affected the other two boards.

"They got the revised proposal with many things toned down," Ashraf told ESPNcricinfo, without getting into the details. "Now we need to take our governing board into confidence before returning in April. We had a mandate to oppose the revamp but we were forced to rethink after the present situation and after South Africa opted to vote. Maybe they saw things differently and in their interest."

SLC clarified that the revised resolution presented to the board required a fresh mandate from its executive committee and stakeholders, which the board was unable to obtain at the last minute.

"At the ICC Board meeting … the revised resolution relating to the governance, competition and financial models of ICC was presented," a release from SLC said. "The scope of the resolutions presently proposed was substantially changed, for which SLC required a fresh mandate from the executive committee and stakeholders.

"As this was intimated to SLC this morning, the SLC representative at the ICC Board meeting abstained from voting as SLC were unable to obtain such mandate today, and would therefore have to go back to the executive committee and stakeholders before voting on the resolutions. We will seek to obtain a fresh mandate based on the above in order to express SLC's stance at the next ICC Board meeting scheduled in April."

Ashraf stressed that the move to abstain would not have an adverse impact on the PCB and had bought the board some time to think over the proposals before the next ICC Board meeting in April.

"We are not a loser in all of this," Ashraf said. "We and Sri Lanka stood on our principle stance but it's important to mention that we are not against any board. We want to address the concerns before reaching a consensus. We understand there is a need for change in the ICC structure but it has to be on an equity basis. India is already not playing Pakistan and there is no remedy if any board pulls out of its commitment. There should be a legal course we can pursue being an aggrieved party if any board deviates from their commitment until the new FTP comes into being."

The ICC paved the way for the end of the Future Tours Programme (FTP) in its current form, with future tours being dependent on "contractually binding" negotiations between boards. The governing body, in its release, also urged members to enter into bilateral agreements "as a matter of urgency" to confirm a schedule of the matches between 2015 and 2023. The ICC Board also approved the "contribution cost" model of revenue distribution and said that Full Members would 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."

Ashraf said the Pakistan board did not object to the financial model and said the ICC had promised a financial value that would not fluctuate from the present revenue Pakistan was getting.

"They didn't give us a precise figure but asked us to trust them," Ashraf said. "We are not worried about any repercussion as we are still financially sound, if not the strongest without playing India, as other boards are fulfilling their commitment. Despite the fact that no international cricket is being played in Pakistan, we are not in deficit or debt."

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