India news February 20, 2016

TNCA questions Manohar's Big Three stance

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Shashank Manohar had suggested at the last ICC board meeting that he would speak to the BCCI about the possibility of giving back a percentage of India's share of ICC revenues © AFP

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has taken strong exception to recent comments made by BCCI president Shashank Manohar with regards to the constitutional revamp carried out at the ICC under the chairmanship of his predecessor N Srinivasan. Srinivasan is the president of the TNCA.

TNCA secretary Kasi Viswanathan has written a letter asking Manohar whether he had told the ICC board that he was willing to dilute the BCCI stake on powerful committees of the world body and revise the contribution costs the BCCI was supposed to gain from the formula worked out by the Big Three, which was approved in 2014.

Manohar, who replaced Srinivasan as ICC chairman, has noted in the past few months that he does not agree with the Big Three boards - the BCCI, the ECB and CA - "bullying" the rest of the ICC.

At the last ICC board meeting in Dubai in January, Manohar suggested to the Full Members that the he would speak to the BCCI about the possibility of giving up about 6% of India's 22% share of ICC revenues back to the world body. Manohar had made both these statements in a personal capacity.

Viswanathan questioned how Manohar could make such statements without having discussed and explained the reasons first to the BCCI members. The letter, accessed by ESPNCricinfo, and sent on February 15, was also addressed to BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhury, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhury, the five vice-presidents of the board and all its full members.

"Is it true that you have made any statements in the ICC giving up BCCI's permanent membership in the ICC Committees?," asked Viswanathan. "Have you made any commitments to the ICC on BCCI's share of contribution costs? If the answer to one or both of the above questions is in the affirmative, kindly let me know under what authority have you taken this decision when this matter has not been discussed in either the Working Committee meeting or the General Body meeting of BCCI held recently?"

The TNCA letter came up for discussion at the BCCI special general body meeting, held in Mumbai on Friday. According to a member of the Srinivasan camp, Manohar told him the seven Full Members in the ICC (Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies) along with Cricket Australia told him that they supported undoing the revamp carried out by the Big Three.

"He [Manohar] said he never committed to asking for less money and that he hasn't given up [BCCI's rightful share]," the Srinivasan camp member said. "He said: 'In order to protect our interests, instead of giving up 21 percent, I said I will share something and make sure we get at least 16 to 17 percent. That's the deal I want to do.' He told me that."

The member also said Manohar had told him he had not committed to any definitive figure during his interactions with the ICC board members on what percentage the BCCI was willing to give up. "He told me: 'I can assure you I never mooted this idea. I told them I can't take a decision without consulting the members'."

Without naming Srinivasan, Viswanathan impressed upon Manohar that after being ignored for "several years" by the ICC, the previous BCCI administration had worked hard to "achieve important breakthroughs" for Indian cricket. Viswanathan even listed three specific achievements.

The first was a BCCI nominee being elected as the inaugural ICC chairman when the previous rule would have meant the BCCI nominee's next turn at the ICC presidency would have only come in 2023 under the then prevailing rotation system. The second was the BCCI having a permanent seat on the powerful Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee and on the Executive Committee of the ICC. "Thirdly and above all, ICC saw reason and logic in BCCI's demand for a higher share of the broadcast income of ICC. All of these were discussed and approved by the Working Committee of the BCCI on 23rd January 2014," Viswananthan wrote.

Viswanathan noted that it had come as both "shock and surprise" to read Manohar's comments that he wanted to "dilute" the second and third points. "To our collective shock and surprise, possibly pandering to some dissenting media press report regarding this matter, it appears that in your recent meeting of the ICC held in Dubai last week, you have made some suggestions to the ICC Council by which the second and third points above referred are sought to be diluted, if not removed altogether."

Viswanathan explained the revised formula under which the Big Three would be guaranteed handsome monetary returns for their contributions to ICC revenues. "From the pre existing measly 3.39% (USD 52.5 Million out of Gross income of USD 1.56 Billion), BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB were recognized as the primary contributors and hence entitled to a major share of the revenue. Accordingly BCCI was to get 22.37% (USD 570.5 Million out of gross revenue of USD 2.5 Billion) from ICC which in monetary terms works out to approximately Rs. 3,822 Crores, the said amounts being receivable from the period commencing from 2015-23," Viswanathan wrote. "It is also ensured that for the subsequent period from 2023-31, the BCCI would not receive less than this share of revenue from ICC for participating in ICC events. These monies are to be ploughed back into the game and to develop infrastructure in the grass roots."

Viswanathan questioned Manohar about how he could take decisions without consulting the rest of the BCCI. "When your action could cost BCCI hundreds and thousands of crores by way of revenue," Viswanathan wrote, "was it not legally and morally obligatory on your part to take into confidence the member associations whose bottom-line is finally affected?"

Additional reporting by Arun Venugopal

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KricketWicket on February 22, 2016, 16:56 GMT

    CRKT4EVR and FOREXCELIENCEINCRICKET I agree with you both. What people forget is that BCCI might get to share the most under the revised model and might be the richest board in total revenue terms, but BCCI definitely won't be the richest board in per capita terms - i.e., if you look at the average wages across the BCCI world - administrators, domestic players, and all the staff - they probably will be some of the lowest. One needs to recogonise the fact that India is huge, with so many states, associations, and staff. It is only right that they get their fair share, when they are contributing to this great game, in possibly its most worshiped country.

  • crkt4evr on February 21, 2016, 16:36 GMT

    biggest contributors ought tp get bigger share its too straight forward and absolutely correct! no need for this utopian view of sharing equally with everyone when they barely contribute

  • forExcelienceInCricket on February 21, 2016, 6:27 GMT

    The revenue sharing model based on source of revenue is logical. The needs for funds for a large country like India are far greater. Any reduction in the revenue could hurt the development of cricket in IND. IND is yet to promote cricket in many of the states. Cricket Boards have to function independent of government control and have to manage the development of sport & related infrastructure in their countries. Cricketers need to be looked after by a fair payment model during playing days & post retirement by respective cricket boards. Boards have also to plan funding of sport thru sponsorship etc. Adoption & success of Cricket in countries is more dependent on popular support, infrastructure, professional management by respective boards. BCCI can however help development of sport by offering facilities for use by associate members like Afghanistan, Nepal etc.

  • Whizz on February 21, 2016, 4:51 GMT

    Every time someone new comes on top the fancy thing is to change what the predecessor has done.....but this one does not make sense.....SL board made a huge loss and cld not recover the money it spent on revamping or building stadiums - Classic case of expecting more frm ICC than what they cld generate on their own.....

  •   Avinash Gudapati on February 20, 2016, 16:00 GMT

    I completely agree & support Shashank Manohar scrapping Big 3 formula which is a major obstacle and Roadblock to the Growth of Game Cricket at the Global front.

    Manohar & co., must scrutinize each and every single decision made under Srinivasan administration period in the office of both BCCI and ICC as it is Black Period in the History of Cricket.

    ICC & other Full members must take steps to promote & prevail growth of the Game Cricket at the Global front beginning with Strengthening Cricket of Associate Countries from the gross route level.

    ICC must review number of participants in the World Cup 2019 and take all the necessary steps to ensure at least 12 Teams participation if not 14 Teams like the Successful 2003, 2011 & 2015 World Cup Tournament's.

  • seth_cricket on February 20, 2016, 15:57 GMT

    I guess anyone works for BCCI have responsibility to increase BCCI revenue and its authority in ICC. Not the opposite way. Most people do not support big three, it must be changed but BCCI deserve few rights as one of the big contributor in cricket world. Find a way to increase revenue of BCCI, ICC and other struggling boards but not by giving up BCCI share. Anyone need money to run cricket, not the image.

  • aravindhancan on February 20, 2016, 13:50 GMT

    Most unfortunately things are getting worse in BCCI. A charade is being performed in implementation of Lodha Committee recommendations. Mr Manohar is busy giving up the hard fought rights, why all the benevolence ? What is the real reason ?

  • Critic7_mh on February 20, 2016, 13:39 GMT

    I am happy many of the above comments are sensible and some few brainy people exist.

  • Critic7_mh on February 20, 2016, 13:31 GMT

    As an Indian, I seriously agree with this guy, even though I don't like TNCA. if you c the comments under every match played, people comment vigorously against India, many are very very jealous and many love to c us lose. We are a developing country and this is one area in which we are authoritative and are quite good, if we give up our grip then no other board will respect us. already many leagues are forming like Pakistan cricket league...

  • Adway on February 20, 2016, 12:26 GMT

    OH Thank God that sensible people like Vishwanathan still exist. Its a madness when an oppressed country like India finally gains upper hand in ICC that somebody gives up the benefits. BCCI is a very poor board & it needs every penny it can get to enable survival of the cricketing infrastructure. Thanks to TNCA for showing some sense.

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