ICC annual conference 2014 June 24, 2014

Big Three attempt to reassure Associates

16

Wally Edwards and Giles Clarke turned on the charm at the MCG on Tuesday as they attempted to reassure Associate and Affiliate nations that the "Big Three" will lead cricket with more benevolence than belligerence.

Edwards and Clarke spoke on behalf of the boards of Australia and England at an informal meeting ahead of the official Associates & Affiliates gathering in the Jim Stynes Room. Alongside India's BCCI, they have hatched plans for the game's strongest nations to lead the rest.

The third member of their triumvirate, the barred BCCI president and yet ICC chairman-elect N Srinivasan, was not at the MCG, relying instead on his colleagues to articulate the new landscape they have created together, stressing meritocracy and closer bilateral links between nations.

Edwards told members that the path was now open for cricket's second- and third-tier nations to earn their way up the ladder through success on the field and sound governance off it. Tim Anderson, the ICC's head of global development, said the management of the governing body in Dubai had grown more at ease with plans for the next eight years after working at turning broad resolutions into more detailed blueprints.

"ICC management didn't have a large role in the proposals when they were first put up four or five months ago, but as we've moved through this phase we have been able to get more involved and talk to our full members about what's important, and as far as I can gather a lot of that's been taken on board," Anderson said.

"I've had conversations with CA, ECB and the BCCI over the past couple of months along with our own development committee, and all of those discussions have been really positive about what the future might look like. I feel pretty good about the future even though there are some changes to come. The fact that our full members seem to be engaging more and more with other countries is a very good thing."

Among the major concerns raised by Associate and Affiliate members are changed financial modelling, which will offer nations a reduced percentage of ICC revenues when lined up against the previous plan, even if the next set of television rights is set to fetch an appreciably larger price and thus an increased injection of cash for all.

According to an insider, the ICC is showing a "lack of care for Associate cricket," underlined by their narrower focus on the tier below Test members. The High Performance Program will, for the next few months, concentrate on the four teams participating in next year's World Cup - Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and the UAE - leaving the rest wondering how they will keep cash flow going and whether their teams will get sufficient game time.

They have managed to attain some certainty in terms of the new financial model. Associate and Affiliate members will receive a total amount of US$225 million but it will be divided according to a new model. Half of that money (US$112.5 million) will go to top performing Associates but it is yet to be decided who those teams will be while. The other half will be shared among the rest. There is also the possibility of another tier of Associate countries who will be classed as high-performing countries, who may not benefit from the high performance program but will receive additional financial support.

"Change is difficult at any stage, and we go through a process of change every eight years given our new rights and events cycle, different structures and funding models come through," Anderson said. "I think what's been good for this group today is Wally Edwards and Giles Clarke came in and spoke to them this morning and talked to them about the background of some of the changes.

"Some of them who were involved in our committees have a broader understanding of what's been happening, but this has really helped get their head around what's going on and maybe more why it's happening. I think they understand that the rights for world cricket are going to be sold very well, the international game's in a good place and we expect our media rights will go for significantly more than they have in the past, which will mean more money will flow down.

"I would imagine that coming into this meeting there would have been uncertainty, but now there's a bit more comfort with what's going on."

Also a source of disquiet is the plan to reduce the number of competing teams at the World Cup from 14 to 10 from 2019, though two qualification places will still be open. "One of the things they are perhaps understandably worried about is the World Cup and why are we going from 14 teams to 10 teams," Anderson said. "As a member that's a fair enough question, and in isolation I can understand where they're coming from - you don't want to lose something because you don't want to lose something.

"As a package though if you look at the opportunities coming in T20, opening up Test cricket and a big shift is the fact that up until now Full Members have by right received an automatic spot in the World Cup. At 2019 that won't happen anymore. If they play well at the next World Cup they can put forward a case to say it should probably be more than 10, and if I were them I'd do the same thing."

Thirdly the game's smaller nations have wondered aloud about a wider philosophical shift from expansion to consolidation, with Edwards, Clarke and Srinivasan eager to improve the performances of numerous existing Full Members. However Anderson suggested that targeted expansion into cricket's major untapped markets - namely China and the USA - was now more likely than before.

"There might be more of a focus on that moving forward as opposed to having a wide strategy to try to grow everybody, to really target some of those key countries and say 'We really want to have a go there because we think they'll make a big impact moving forward'," he said. "Even though there's been a lot of talk about China and the USA, there hasn't necessarily been a huge amount of investment or events haven't been put in those places.

"I'm not sure the action has backed up some of the words, but moving forward I think that's one of the things that'll probably happen."

The three Associate and Affiliate positions on the ICC board will be taken up by Imran Khawaja of Singapore, Neil Speight from Bermuda and Francois Erasmus of Namibia. There was no room for Keith Oliver from Scotland which is believed to have caused consternation among the European Associate and Affiliate members who were lobbying for Oliver to get a position on the board. Oliver was instrumental in winning the right for Associate nations to have a pathway to play in international and many Associate members believed he would continue to champion their cause.

The day was rounded off by the first installment of the two-day Chief Executives Committee meeting, at which recommendations from the cricket committee's discussions in Bangalore were to be discussed. The Associate and Affiliate nations also discussed their situation with regard to the Big Three administrative and revamp of the ICC and arrived at the conclusion that "rebellious" postures would not help their cause at a time when "logical" thought was required.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jackthelad on June 25, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @2nd slip - agreed, three Tests should be the norm - even the financial boys would be happy - you could fit two Test series into a season instead of (usually) one. The Ashes is unique, and should be left alone - there is a history and a mystique about this series which you'd search long and hard to find an equal for in any sport.

  • 2nd_Slip on June 25, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @Kadmin wells said but 2 test series become a waste of time when one test gets affected by rain and the other ends in a dull draw on a flat batsmen friendly wicket. 3 tests should be the norm.

  • Kadmin on June 25, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    You can blame me for being naive, but I'm far more satisfied with 2-3 tests per bilateral series. 5 Tests...? Don't understand the point. If some one can convince me I'll be glad. Specially if the game is one sided, it would be a big waste of time and surely losing side fans don't bother watching. i.e. Ashes - England has to match up with Ausies or control the number of games for the sake of cricket. My point is to allocate the number of tests depending on their ranks. 2-3 is good. If the bottom team can show the worth then they will earn them. Like SL did in this series. Ramp up ur rank you will earn those tests. I guess it might stiffen up the competition as well.

  • Mr_ICC on June 25, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    I am watching football coz WC is crazy here in South America. We all watch IPL and loved all the matches...I now eager waiting India series in english land. hope India does good this time.

  • India_boy on June 25, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    @regofpicton....you clearly did not understand what I said and in what context. Try harder this time ...

  • 22many on June 25, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    @ regofpicton. May I suggest to you that there would be very little room left under the NZ rug...

  • Anil_Koshy on June 25, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    @Mihir, fully agree with you ICC should concentrate on Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland,Netherlands,Kenya,PNG,Nepal and Namibia rather than promoting expatriates cricket in USA. Cricket will never become a global sport until we generate interest among locals. In USA, locals don't take cricket very seriously.

  • JustIPL on June 25, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Cricket was played by few countries and will remain the same. Even today when SL/Eng were creating history many cricket streaming websites were broadcasting soccer. Let alone the associates, many full members are about to die due to lack of finances and don't get to play enough games to make money. No doubt Indian population around the world prompts at more money if all the games are heavily attended and for that Indian team has to be at the top of their game. While most of the indian fans will still opt to watch the games, it will be bad advertisement for the game when a mediocre side gets more games and a side like SL just gets just 2 tests.

  • jackthelad on June 24, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    The BCCI will do what they want, and use their financial muscle to pull the rest in line. Perhaps the organisation should be renamed the 'BICC'?

  • regofpicton on June 24, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    India Boy surely has the wrong end of the stick. Does he really think spectators stayed away from Headingley in droves because Sri Lanka are playing? Isn't it because they thought that England isn't worth watching?

    Even weirder, you thought the games a yawn? Look mate, cricket simply isn't your game, and you should find something else to watch.

    The saddest thing about the recent debate over 2-tier tests was the number of Indian posters who thought it a good idea because it swept teams like NZ and the Windies under the rug. In this regard the contemptuous attitude of the BCCI does seem to genuinely represent the contemptuous attitude of many Indian fans. Like I said, sad.

  • jackthelad on June 25, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    @2nd slip - agreed, three Tests should be the norm - even the financial boys would be happy - you could fit two Test series into a season instead of (usually) one. The Ashes is unique, and should be left alone - there is a history and a mystique about this series which you'd search long and hard to find an equal for in any sport.

  • 2nd_Slip on June 25, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @Kadmin wells said but 2 test series become a waste of time when one test gets affected by rain and the other ends in a dull draw on a flat batsmen friendly wicket. 3 tests should be the norm.

  • Kadmin on June 25, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    You can blame me for being naive, but I'm far more satisfied with 2-3 tests per bilateral series. 5 Tests...? Don't understand the point. If some one can convince me I'll be glad. Specially if the game is one sided, it would be a big waste of time and surely losing side fans don't bother watching. i.e. Ashes - England has to match up with Ausies or control the number of games for the sake of cricket. My point is to allocate the number of tests depending on their ranks. 2-3 is good. If the bottom team can show the worth then they will earn them. Like SL did in this series. Ramp up ur rank you will earn those tests. I guess it might stiffen up the competition as well.

  • Mr_ICC on June 25, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    I am watching football coz WC is crazy here in South America. We all watch IPL and loved all the matches...I now eager waiting India series in english land. hope India does good this time.

  • India_boy on June 25, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    @regofpicton....you clearly did not understand what I said and in what context. Try harder this time ...

  • 22many on June 25, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    @ regofpicton. May I suggest to you that there would be very little room left under the NZ rug...

  • Anil_Koshy on June 25, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    @Mihir, fully agree with you ICC should concentrate on Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland,Netherlands,Kenya,PNG,Nepal and Namibia rather than promoting expatriates cricket in USA. Cricket will never become a global sport until we generate interest among locals. In USA, locals don't take cricket very seriously.

  • JustIPL on June 25, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Cricket was played by few countries and will remain the same. Even today when SL/Eng were creating history many cricket streaming websites were broadcasting soccer. Let alone the associates, many full members are about to die due to lack of finances and don't get to play enough games to make money. No doubt Indian population around the world prompts at more money if all the games are heavily attended and for that Indian team has to be at the top of their game. While most of the indian fans will still opt to watch the games, it will be bad advertisement for the game when a mediocre side gets more games and a side like SL just gets just 2 tests.

  • jackthelad on June 24, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    The BCCI will do what they want, and use their financial muscle to pull the rest in line. Perhaps the organisation should be renamed the 'BICC'?

  • regofpicton on June 24, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    India Boy surely has the wrong end of the stick. Does he really think spectators stayed away from Headingley in droves because Sri Lanka are playing? Isn't it because they thought that England isn't worth watching?

    Even weirder, you thought the games a yawn? Look mate, cricket simply isn't your game, and you should find something else to watch.

    The saddest thing about the recent debate over 2-tier tests was the number of Indian posters who thought it a good idea because it swept teams like NZ and the Windies under the rug. In this regard the contemptuous attitude of the BCCI does seem to genuinely represent the contemptuous attitude of many Indian fans. Like I said, sad.

  • nursery_ender on June 24, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Posted by India_boy on (June 24, 2014, 14:12 GMT) @paddles952....unfortunately, it is also seen that the stadiums in the ongoing test are mostly empty. Right now, there are no more than 100 people sitting in the stadium

    Hardly a surprise given that the game could have been over inside the first hour. First four days were fine crowd-wise.

  • ladycricfan on June 24, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Before ECB started scheduling 2match test series in the early summer in addition to the usual mid summer test series consisting of 4-5 test matches many countries had to wait for a long time to tour England. You should be thankful to the ECB that even the two match series were made possible. It could be better if it is 3 matches instead of 2. For that to happen they will have to reduce the number of ODIs played, which is a possibility.

  • India_boy on June 24, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    @paddles952....unfortunately, it is also seen that the stadiums in the ongoing test are mostly empty. Right now, there are no more than 100 people sitting in the stadium, even given the 30 mins rains. Teams like SL etc. are not able to bring in the crowds given their brand of cricket. No offence, but SL & Eng play some of the most yawn inducing cricket, and when these 2 teams clash, it is usually comedy of errors. Teams like Aus and India bring in the crowds and hence the moolah, which translates into survival and expansion. You can go and on and on and whine about how India brings in the money because of it's huge population or whatever, the fact is that they do. As long as this keeps happenig, they will form the big three

  • ArifDost on June 24, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    top-performing Associates such as Afghanistan and Ireland get more opportunities frequently against the lowest-ranked Full Members who have large gaps in their schedules. Such bilateral tournaments would need to be accommodated into the FTP considering that match officials would have to be appointed, and is something the Associates would be interested in deliberating on with the ICC. Arif Dost

  • paddles952 on June 24, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Will quality cricket be rewarded? Look at this current series of sri lanka v eng...2 gripping closely fought test matches going down to the wire on the 5th day.... with a team not part of the big 3 (sri lanka) who are only deemed worthy of 2 tests yet india get 5....! THIS IS THE FUTURE .... Unfortunately...

  • mihir_nam on June 24, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    What kind of Joke is this all i see again they are looking only for Financial markets like USA and CHINA..forget USA they will never take your game now .for China it is long way 20years.. Concentrate on Ireland ,Afghanistan,Scotland,Netherlands,Kenya,PNG,Nepal . Atleast in countries like Afghanistan,Nepal,PNG,Kenya,Ireland Cricket can be one of Major sport if they get regular fixture against top teams. Even though Kenya,Nepal,Netherlands,Namibia have lost ODI status provision should be made for them. And Along with Test Status Full Membership with same funding should be granted for IC cup winner for 4years , If they fail then send them back to associate level

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  • mihir_nam on June 24, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    What kind of Joke is this all i see again they are looking only for Financial markets like USA and CHINA..forget USA they will never take your game now .for China it is long way 20years.. Concentrate on Ireland ,Afghanistan,Scotland,Netherlands,Kenya,PNG,Nepal . Atleast in countries like Afghanistan,Nepal,PNG,Kenya,Ireland Cricket can be one of Major sport if they get regular fixture against top teams. Even though Kenya,Nepal,Netherlands,Namibia have lost ODI status provision should be made for them. And Along with Test Status Full Membership with same funding should be granted for IC cup winner for 4years , If they fail then send them back to associate level

  • paddles952 on June 24, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Will quality cricket be rewarded? Look at this current series of sri lanka v eng...2 gripping closely fought test matches going down to the wire on the 5th day.... with a team not part of the big 3 (sri lanka) who are only deemed worthy of 2 tests yet india get 5....! THIS IS THE FUTURE .... Unfortunately...

  • ArifDost on June 24, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    top-performing Associates such as Afghanistan and Ireland get more opportunities frequently against the lowest-ranked Full Members who have large gaps in their schedules. Such bilateral tournaments would need to be accommodated into the FTP considering that match officials would have to be appointed, and is something the Associates would be interested in deliberating on with the ICC. Arif Dost

  • India_boy on June 24, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    @paddles952....unfortunately, it is also seen that the stadiums in the ongoing test are mostly empty. Right now, there are no more than 100 people sitting in the stadium, even given the 30 mins rains. Teams like SL etc. are not able to bring in the crowds given their brand of cricket. No offence, but SL & Eng play some of the most yawn inducing cricket, and when these 2 teams clash, it is usually comedy of errors. Teams like Aus and India bring in the crowds and hence the moolah, which translates into survival and expansion. You can go and on and on and whine about how India brings in the money because of it's huge population or whatever, the fact is that they do. As long as this keeps happenig, they will form the big three

  • ladycricfan on June 24, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Before ECB started scheduling 2match test series in the early summer in addition to the usual mid summer test series consisting of 4-5 test matches many countries had to wait for a long time to tour England. You should be thankful to the ECB that even the two match series were made possible. It could be better if it is 3 matches instead of 2. For that to happen they will have to reduce the number of ODIs played, which is a possibility.

  • nursery_ender on June 24, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Posted by India_boy on (June 24, 2014, 14:12 GMT) @paddles952....unfortunately, it is also seen that the stadiums in the ongoing test are mostly empty. Right now, there are no more than 100 people sitting in the stadium

    Hardly a surprise given that the game could have been over inside the first hour. First four days were fine crowd-wise.

  • regofpicton on June 24, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    India Boy surely has the wrong end of the stick. Does he really think spectators stayed away from Headingley in droves because Sri Lanka are playing? Isn't it because they thought that England isn't worth watching?

    Even weirder, you thought the games a yawn? Look mate, cricket simply isn't your game, and you should find something else to watch.

    The saddest thing about the recent debate over 2-tier tests was the number of Indian posters who thought it a good idea because it swept teams like NZ and the Windies under the rug. In this regard the contemptuous attitude of the BCCI does seem to genuinely represent the contemptuous attitude of many Indian fans. Like I said, sad.

  • jackthelad on June 24, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    The BCCI will do what they want, and use their financial muscle to pull the rest in line. Perhaps the organisation should be renamed the 'BICC'?

  • JustIPL on June 25, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Cricket was played by few countries and will remain the same. Even today when SL/Eng were creating history many cricket streaming websites were broadcasting soccer. Let alone the associates, many full members are about to die due to lack of finances and don't get to play enough games to make money. No doubt Indian population around the world prompts at more money if all the games are heavily attended and for that Indian team has to be at the top of their game. While most of the indian fans will still opt to watch the games, it will be bad advertisement for the game when a mediocre side gets more games and a side like SL just gets just 2 tests.

  • Anil_Koshy on June 25, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    @Mihir, fully agree with you ICC should concentrate on Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland,Netherlands,Kenya,PNG,Nepal and Namibia rather than promoting expatriates cricket in USA. Cricket will never become a global sport until we generate interest among locals. In USA, locals don't take cricket very seriously.