India news June 24, 2013

Srinivasan not to participate in ICC annual conference

BCCI president N Srinivasan has decided not to travel to London for the ICC annual conference, to be held from June 25 to 29. Srinivasan has stepped aside from BCCI functioning till the completion of probe into alleged IPL corruption scandal.

However, it does not necessarily mean that Srinivasan won't attend the three ICC sub-committee meetings, including the important finance and commercial affairs (F&CA) committee, of which he is a member in individual capacity.

A close associate of Srinivasan confirmed that he "will not" travel to London but didn't deny the possibility of Srinivasan attending "some of the meetings" via video-conferencing.

Last week it was decided that while Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has been taking care of day-to-day BCCI affairs since Srinivasan stepped aside, will represent the BCCI in the ICC board meeting, Srinivasan will attend the sub-committee meetings.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel was going to attend the ICC chief executives' meeting, while Sundar Raman, the IPL chief executive officer, was going to attend the working group meeting of the CEOs.

A BCCI source revealed that since the BCCI contingent was getting bigger and the fact that Srinivasan would be at the conference but wouldn't represent the BCCI in the board meeting, it "wouldn't have reflected well on the board's image. So the president agreed not to travel to London. In case he is pressed (by the ICC) to give his inputs during the sub-committee meetings, he may join them via video-conferencing," he said.

The F&CA committee primarily recommends to the ICC board regarding the shape ICC's commercial rights should take. The ICC is looking to negotiate the next tranche of rights for eight years after the 2015 World Cup. The committee also decides on when the various primary ICC-owned events take place, how many events should be included, who might host those events, what sort of fees might accrue to host those events, the format of the event, what should be the strategy to sell the rights for these events, to whom should they go, should the rights be sold as a bundle, as was the case last time. The broadcast rights are sold as a bundle but the sponsorship rights are sold on an individual basis and that is managed by the ICC. Even though the committee has been discussing the commercial rights issue, the decision over the next tranche of rights is unlikely to be finalised this year. It is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2014. 

Meanwhile, Patel and Raman will hold the key in continuing BCCI's opposition to implementation of the DRS in all Tests. Ever since the DRS was first used in a Test series featuring Sri Lanka and India in 2008, the BCCI has not allowed the technological aid for umpires to be used in any of its home series.

While Patel, who was appointed the secretary earlier this month, will attend his first ICC meeting, Raman has enjoyed an increased profile over the last couple of years with regard to BCCI's functioning and been a regular at recent ICC meetings.

Raman had been inducted into the CEOs working group, which included representatives from the ECB and Cricket Australia (Dean Kino) with the ICC adding on two of its own representatives to carry out backroom work in preparation for contractual arrangements to be put in place by the time the final rights agreements discussions begin. 

Meanwhile, the ICC annual conference is likely to discuss anti-corruption measures in detail, following the spot-fixing scandals which erupted in the Indian and Bangladesh Premier Leagues. Besides, the fate of Bangladesh as hosts for the next year's World Twenty20 may also be decided since the BCB has admitted lack of adequate facilities.

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