January 23, 2014

Cashing out the future of cricket

Russell Degnan
The ICC's draft proposal seeks to distribute more wealth among the rich, mostly at the cost of development and investing in the future of the sport
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In many ways I'm surprised by the angst generated by the ICC's F&CA working group paper. It proposes things that have been proposed by many people many times: the removal of underperforming Bangladesh and Zimbabwe from Test cricket; tiered Test leagues with theoretical promotion and no less than four Tests against the lowest ranked top-eight side for the top-performing Associate; a significant reduction in the vote-for-tour trading that plagues the ICC executive board; and the marginalisation of several Full Members who are up to their armpits in corruption and mismanagement.

That the decisions being proposed by the leading ICC members are based purely on promoting their own financial benefit ought not to be a surprise either. The FTP was created to give financial security to the Full Members, and it has declined, as cartels inevitably do, as those members devised more profitable arrangements on their own. Even there, though, the draft carefully threads together enough clauses to maintain the Full Members outside the big three in their current states, at least in the medium term. The real losers are the ICC's administrative arm, castigated for waste and mismanagement, and the dozens of smaller members whose tournaments have been cancelled without anyone outside the tiny development community even noticing.

Taking the long view of ICC history this is perhaps no more than we ought to expect. Much is said, in praise, about the revolution of 1996 that saw the veto pass into history, but not enough is said in condemnation of what replaced it. As Rod Lyall's history of ICC development makes clear, the growth in Associate numbers (even with each vote counting for half a Full Member) brought forward a restrictive clause on their influence: that a two-thirds majority of Full Members be required to pass a binding resolution. After 1997, under the reforms proposed by New Zealand's John Anderson, no Associate vote mattered; they could no longer influence decisions because there were but three of them on a 12- (then 13) member board.

It was those reforms that laid the foundation of the venal and incompetent ICC executive board, which is sorely in need of reform, even if the proposed ones are not necessarily of the right type. The combination of a vast increase in ICC revenue, the significant structural limitations most boards face in generating revenue of their own, and the subsequent creation of the FTP to protect revenue streams derived from the hosting of tours has been immensely damaging to cricket. Test cricket has stagnated at ten (realistically eight) nations, with no context worthy of the name, and the gradual erosion of smaller tours. A tragedy of the commons has played out amongst the smaller members, each fighting for its piece of a large Indian pie, while neglecting to build the multilateral institutions and robust competition that might have acted as a counter-weight. That is, in the main, on their heads.

In theory they remain Full Members under the proposals, but while the working paper argues that "no member will lose any of their current voting powers", having the four-person executive committee act as the "sole recommendation committee" means they are a rubber stamp, significant beneficiaries of ICC largesse and little else. But we ought not to lament the demise of a body that has been dysfunctional, self-serving, and myopic in its vision.

However, any improvement in governance from the proposed reforms would rest on whether the big three govern sensibly and with some imagination regarding the development of the game. There is precious little evidence in the draft document to suggest they will. The lack of transparency and wider consultation that leads to a paucity of ideas will remain. The chasing of short-term financial wealth over development will worsen. The ideas put forth in the working paper are doomed to fail - slowly perhaps, but eventually.

The biggest proposed change is the removal of the FTP in favour of bilateral agreements (with an implied guarantee from the ECB and CA, though notably not the BCCI), and the introduction of a tiered system of Test cricket.

In its last cycle the ICC reported $1564 million in revenue. If revenue stayed roughly the same, the savings outlined above would find their way into the big three's pockets, the BCCI taking some $63 million... If revenue increases to $2 billion, the big three will take 108% of that increase

Tiers are a solution. They are not a good solution. The working paper manages to recognise this when it states that the big three cannot be relegated. Finance, much as we'd like it not to be the only thing considered, is important. If India were relegated or the Ashes ceased to be played for a period, the effects would be monumental. The costs of relegation, even with the protections imposed, are enormous for any member subject to it. Any half-way sensible body would put out a working paper that looks across different sports and discusses alternatives.

Cricket, in its asinine obsession with maintaining status gaps, presses on, creating, in effect, a four-game play-off, with the reasonable probability that the current inept rating system will raise some interest in a few matches leading up to it.

There is a vastly superior alternative for Full Members concerned that their bilateral matches aren't profitable: cede the rights to bilaterals that are not against any of the big three to the ICC, share the revenue, and create a two-to-three-year tournament that integrates a large number of nations into a profitable and marketable entity. That, in essence, is what the World Cup is: a massively profitable tournament, despite India only playing in ten or fewer of the matches.

The details pertaining to relegation may overstate the risks in any case. Firstly, a side must lose a four-match play-off against a side with little cricket against strong teams behind them - and if that side is an Associate, a significant financial disadvantage. Secondly, even when relegated, a nation will maintain its previous bilateral agreements and lose only 10% of its dividend payments in the following rights cycle. Meanwhile, a promoted team is guaranteed no matches at all, and must find space within the existing (maintained) bilateral agreements for Tests of their own, with only a 10% ICC funding increase and whatever hosting rights they can sell to sustain a professional structure.

In essence, this is little more than a convenient way to remove any obligation to play Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, by relegating them to the Intercontinental Cup. That may not be a bad thing, as it will certainly improve the quality and value of that competition. Relegation at least recognises that teams can improve and decline; that there are (possibly permanent) differences in the quality of sides; and that a structure must accommodate that. It isn't a terribly good structure, but it is something.

At the top end, the dropping of the FTP merely reflects the unstated status quo. Australia's main summer opponents from 2010-11 until 2014-15 were and (are to be) England, India, South Africa, England, India. Four-year cycles good, three-year cycles better; except now the ICC lacks even the moral authority to argue for a more even distribution.

This is a process, needless to say, defined entirely by finance, though there is nothing new in that. The saddest aspect of the working paper is that there is no justification for the decisions other than financial.

The ICC ought to have a role in defining and structuring competitions; indeed, it is hard to see what the point of the ICC is if not that. The MCC controls the laws; no one in cricket administration seems to collect statistics or define what constitutes an official match between the majority of members; and the ICC rankings are a joke, mathematically flawed and excluding 90% of the membership. Yet the ICC has done good work in its development offices - work I don't always agree with, but with some reasonable progress, and after some mistakes they have created a structure that incentivises grassroots growth and player development.

The working paper trashes that work. There are complaints about administrative costs, though how they might be lessened is not made clear; of tournaments being run "without approval" (presumably the Division Three regional ones now scrapped); and of the costs of minor cricket, though it represents only a $20-30 million outgo on $1.5 billion in revenue. The cost of Associate and Affiliate cricket is inflated by including under it everything development-related, such as the women's World Cup, reserves and development funds. Any independence the development committee had is proposed to be reduced, and it is to be made subject to the F&CA committee.

Far and away the most ethically questionable element in the working paper is the concept of "distribution cost", where members' shares in revenues are sought to be made proportional to their contribution in the generation of those revenues. The BCCI receives a much smaller proportion of the money generated in India than comparable nations do from their local markets. This is, in part, because ODI cricket is popular there, and the World Cup is far and away the most popular tournament of that type. The implications of the working paper are that the BCCI has made its future (lucrative) involvement in the tournament that props up the ICC, and by extension, most of its members, dependent on more of that revenue going to them. There are several points to be made on this:

Firstly, deceptively, the working paper doesn't specify amounts, only percentages, of total revenue. The table below helps fill some of them in, because actual amounts are much easier to understand and compare.

In its last cycle the ICC reported US$1564 million in revenue. If revenue stayed roughly the same going forward, the cost savings outlined above would find their way into the big three's pockets, the BCCI taking some $63 million. In other words, the likes of Estonia and Peru will not play any international cricket, so the world's richest cricket board will have an extra $63 million to pay some of the world's richest athletes. If revenue increases to $2 billion, the big three will take 108% of that increase. That's not just wrong, that's a disgrace.

Distribution of ICC revenue
ICC revenue 1500 2000 2250 2500 2750 3000 3250 3500
BCCI (Dist cost %) 4.2 17.4 19.7 20.3 20.7 21.9 21.9 21.9
ECB (Dist cost %) 0.9 3.8 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.7 4.8 4.8
CA (Dist cost %) 0.6 2.3 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.9
Full Member surplus payment 52.5 55.5 59.625 63 70.5 73.35 78.98 85.13
BCCI Dist cost 63 348 443.25 507.5 569.25 657 711.75 766.5
ECB Dist cost 13.5 76 96.75 110 123.75 141 156 168
CA Dist cost 9 46 58.5 67.5 77 87 94.25 101.5
Distribution cost (big three) 85.5 470 598.5 685 770 885 962 1036
% additional revenue captured   108 87 73 65 62 57 54
Figures in US$ million

Secondly, there is an implied ownership of the local market. Clearly the representatives of the BCCI, the Indian team, are more marketable to the Indian public than other teams, but ICC events are organised and operated by the ICC, the business. The money generated by that business is a payment from fans to the ICC for providing a product. Moreover, the money the ICC generates out of the World Cup is significantly higher than what India generates from a whole season of matches. The World Cup has cachet that a bilateral series does not; to claim money generated in a locale as otherwise belonging to that locale's cricket board is a nonsense. As a fan, I object in the strongest possible way to being considered a serf to Cricket Australia.

That money should be cross-subsidising development initiatives, smaller tournaments, administration, and anything that grows cricket as an international sport. That should be the ICC's remit and its option as an independent entity. FIFA may be riddled with corruption, but it spends big on development, and well it should. ICC revenue was already overly oriented towards funding members, and in turn, their professional programmes, instead of grassroots growth, infrastructure and development. The World Cricket League currently shuttles between a small handful of nations for lack of turf pitches and decent facilities.

There is little market growth and development in cricket but a lot of redistribution. The working paper proposal would serve only to exacerbate that problem

Thirdly, the accounting of the "distribution cost" is questionable in the same way Goldman Sachs bonuses are. The standard Full Member/development split is 75%/25% of the surplus. But as the table above shows, the surplus barely increases with revenue even though costs (and therefore the scope of services offered by the ICC) stay nearly the same. The difference is made up by accounting for payments made to Full Members (naturally not Associate members), to cover the opportunity cost of participation instead of playing elsewhere. Instead of investing ICC revenues in the game, they are being paid out as a "cost" to nations for the right to have them turn up: a kind of corporate bonus from management to part owner that strips value from the firm.

And for Associates and Affiliates, these payments mean they get a double kicking. Not only is ICC development funding being reduced, the 25% surplus has now been redefined to exclude the "distribution cost" that makes up almost a third of revenue in most scenarios. As the "distribution cost" is larger than the projected surplus, this represents roughly a halving of the Associate and Affiliate development payment for most revenue projections. Add in the Test fund (which will help the financially strapped Full Members with their challenges relating to "uneconomical or unfeasible tours"), also a cost, and the scrapping of subscriptions, which added to revenue, and the Full Members are getting an enormous increase in payments without giving anything back in return. Sometimes you just have to stand back and admire the sheer brazenness.

Other issues pertaining to global growth could go either way. The accounting of events as event costs, rather than putting them under the head of development might be an improvement. But the subjugation of development to the F&CA committee means it comes under the control of Full Member representatives, who have repeatedly demonstrated little knowledge of development issues, and even less care, and who now have a vested interest in cutting as many programmes as possible.

The increase in funding to the top six Associates is likely to backfire too. We have already seen in the recent past that high-performance-programme grants are mostly used to pay professional players to train, which adds nothing to long-term development. The scorecard system in place provides a much more nuanced assessment of needs, and represents greater value added, and while it will no doubt remain, increases in funding to teams without increasing playing opportunities is a waste of time.

There is little market growth and development in cricket but a lot of redistribution. The working paper proposal would serve only to exacerbate that problem. There is no development of cricket's products, though the most lucrative bilaterals can now be played even more often. And there is a clear aim to reduce the scope of ICC operations under the guise of cost-cutting, a lot of re-accounting to increase distributions to Full Members (but mostly the big three) at the expense of ICC programmes and independence.

For the most part the proposal leaves cricket exactly where it is now, and that is a very short-sighted solution to very real problems. The ICC certainly needed reform, but any change also needed to build on what was there. Limiting the only multilateral body capable of moving the game forward is a backwards step. This proposal is a power-and-money grab by bodies that believe in little else, and have no demonstrated capacity for leadership or growth.

Cricket will survive it, but any notion of it growing into a global sport recedes. You can't grow a sport without investment, and that just isn't happening, in product development, in market development, or in administrative capacity. Even if we consider the ICC as purely a business, those in charge should still be held accountable for investment decisions; when investment is foregone for asset-stripping then it is time to sell your stock instead.

Russell Degnan is a web developer whose blog Idle Summers focuses on statistics, governance and associate cricket. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 25, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    @DrLitt: Your assumption is flawed; suppose 10% of Coca-Cola Corporation income comes from China; could China claim proportionate share of Coke income? ICC events are products, marketed by ICC.: how does it matter how much profit comes from which market? BCCI have every right to market their own products: bi-lateral series, IPL and other tournaments organized by them and nobody is asking for a share from them! India could reasonably ask for a larger share of development fund, as they have to cater to a population of 1200 million.

  • DrLitt on January 25, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    Very revealing article. Moot point that an Indian fan will make is --- what's the chain of flow of money to the ICC ? Broadcasters, who get paid by advertisers of consumer products , who take money out of product sales charged to the consumer, who in turn is the represents the cricket fans. And if an India-based broadcaster is paying 80% of money received by ICC for its tournaments, safe to assume it is coming from Indian consumer hence the fan, through the chain. Thus Indian consumer /fan is funding 80% of money coming to ICC money. And if this Indian consumer /fan through her representative BCCI does not receive proportional share of its contribution to ICC back, and say consumers from NZ offering 10 % to ICC get the same absolute sum as India in return ; it clearly tantamount s to Indian consumer / fan subsidising consumer/fan from other nations in ICC (NZ is just an example here) . Is that fair ? Is Indian consumer/fan richer than consumer/fans in Aus, Eng, NZ, Caribbean ?

  • NSUrockr on January 25, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Guess since India pays all the money umpires will be threatened with their jobs if they give lbw or caught behinds against indian batsmen and vice versa when they'r bowling. England and Australia will get the obvious benefits too but probably not as much as india.

  • Moppa on January 25, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, er, spectators at the ground + TV viewers = $. I'm not sure how big the cricket-watching public is in South Africa, but I daresay it's a lot smaller than England and Australia. Hence, "Big 3". @Jose Puliampatta, a strange post. Let's start with the point that Kerry Packer was a 'rent seeker'. Quite wrong. He invested money in new grounds, lights, more cameras, coverage innovations like stump cam, and enhanced the product (while taking large risks). The result, more, better cricket at viewer friendly times and more money. This is the opposite of 'rent seeking', which is seeking *unearned* income. Whether the Big 3 proposal is rent-seeking depends on your concept of how cricket income is earned. It could be argued that ICC voting rules allow small members to earn a slice of Indian revenue that they have not cultivated or developed, and therefore smaller members are the 'rent seekers'. Equally, the opposite might be true, it is very hard to 'prove' one way or another.

  • bundybear55 on January 24, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    You only have to look at the BCCI's behaviour over the past few years to know why nobody trusts them. Add the ECB and CA's record of dictatorial and selfish behaviour through the best part of the 20th century into the mix and it's little wonder that there is such an outcry from the TRUE fans of the game. None of these boards engender any confidence in the fans that they might actually want to do the right thing by cricket.

  • on January 24, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    (Part-2) Last year Bangladesh scored the highest number of runs in an innings in all test cricket; they are one of the only two countries to win an away test;they have drawn a test against much higher ranked opponent Sri Lanka on their soil (wasn't an well earned draw considered a good result in tests?) one Bangladesh player scored a hat trick (and a 6-wicket haul) along with a century in the same test( a first in the history of test cricket). The point I want to make is, when Bangladesh performance is definitely on the rise; it is unfair to judge them on the basis of their past 'underperformance'.Bangladesh is a good one-day side now (in fact they are the second most successful team after India last year) and given some more time would sure to become a decent test side as well. Cricket needs more passionate countries like Bangladesh to make it a truly global sport, not less.Cricket can do with a little overhauling, but let it be in a more transparent and inclusive way.

  • ZainE111 on January 24, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    Excellent article. I think there may be some misunderstandings from some of the Indian fans who support the financial implications of this proposal. Money generated from bilateral series involving India goes to the BCCI - not the ICC. Money generated from ICC events (essentially multilateral competitions like the World Cup) goes to the ICC.

    As the author explains, the ICC is selling a product to Indian fans (viz the World Cup). Said fans may of course choose not to support the ICC and not purchase the product. But if they do, why must the ICC be constrained in the distribution of resultant surpluses from revenue "it" generated by "itself"?

    The BCCI already earn

  • Ryan_H on January 24, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    I have a big problem with revenue generated from India - through the Indian fan being re-distributed to other countries including rich countries like England and Australia. If Indian generated money is significantly helping run cricket in countries like SA, West Indies, PAk, SL etc, I would like full accountability on how that money is being spent and on what activities. It should be spent to improve and spread cricket at the grassroots level. The thing that annoys me the most is England and Australia benefitting from Indian money.BY GOD, has not England done that enough in the last 400 years through the East India Company! You have to understand conceptually that most of the money in the game comes from the viewership of the Indian Fan! BCCI, unfortunately indirectly speaks for the INdian fan. Although I do agree with the BCCI on some aspects.

  • on January 24, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    A rather good article on this thorny issue. I've something to say on removal of Bangladesh (and Zimbabwe) on the basis of their 'underperformance'. Before their self-inflicted absence from Test cricket, Zimbabwe was reasonably competitive and only last year they beat Pakistan (and Bangladesh); by any yardstick a very good test team. As for Bangladesh : let us be very candid; Bangladesh was given test status NOT on the basis of performance (alone); globalization of cricket and popularity of the game in a country of 160 million was the main agenda. Mark my words: Bangladesh is the MOST CRICKET CRAZY NATION in the whole world (even India wouldn't come anywhere near). Where would you find a near capacity stadium for an under-19 International? Even for a test match in this youngest of the test nations, you would certainly have 8-10 thousand spectators on any given day! And while they sure didn't perform reasonably in the first ten years; things are moving positively of late.(cont'd)

  • Sabbir007 on January 24, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    And how can we put aside TEST cricket here? This draft will take away the rights of playing test cricket from us, when we just start to stable for last two years! The more you play and the more you learn! Once innings defeat was a very common to us, but I can't remember our last innings defeat, and it was probably more 2.5 years ago! Yeah, I can remember your, because it is still not more days!!! BCB is not that poor since 2003. You want money, take it bit administration and regulation control? NO WAY! Just because of BCCI, a lot of revolutionary decisions couldn't take place in the near past! What BCCI currently enjoy, is quite more! No more again!!!

  • on January 25, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    @DrLitt: Your assumption is flawed; suppose 10% of Coca-Cola Corporation income comes from China; could China claim proportionate share of Coke income? ICC events are products, marketed by ICC.: how does it matter how much profit comes from which market? BCCI have every right to market their own products: bi-lateral series, IPL and other tournaments organized by them and nobody is asking for a share from them! India could reasonably ask for a larger share of development fund, as they have to cater to a population of 1200 million.

  • DrLitt on January 25, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    Very revealing article. Moot point that an Indian fan will make is --- what's the chain of flow of money to the ICC ? Broadcasters, who get paid by advertisers of consumer products , who take money out of product sales charged to the consumer, who in turn is the represents the cricket fans. And if an India-based broadcaster is paying 80% of money received by ICC for its tournaments, safe to assume it is coming from Indian consumer hence the fan, through the chain. Thus Indian consumer /fan is funding 80% of money coming to ICC money. And if this Indian consumer /fan through her representative BCCI does not receive proportional share of its contribution to ICC back, and say consumers from NZ offering 10 % to ICC get the same absolute sum as India in return ; it clearly tantamount s to Indian consumer / fan subsidising consumer/fan from other nations in ICC (NZ is just an example here) . Is that fair ? Is Indian consumer/fan richer than consumer/fans in Aus, Eng, NZ, Caribbean ?

  • NSUrockr on January 25, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    Guess since India pays all the money umpires will be threatened with their jobs if they give lbw or caught behinds against indian batsmen and vice versa when they'r bowling. England and Australia will get the obvious benefits too but probably not as much as india.

  • Moppa on January 25, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, er, spectators at the ground + TV viewers = $. I'm not sure how big the cricket-watching public is in South Africa, but I daresay it's a lot smaller than England and Australia. Hence, "Big 3". @Jose Puliampatta, a strange post. Let's start with the point that Kerry Packer was a 'rent seeker'. Quite wrong. He invested money in new grounds, lights, more cameras, coverage innovations like stump cam, and enhanced the product (while taking large risks). The result, more, better cricket at viewer friendly times and more money. This is the opposite of 'rent seeking', which is seeking *unearned* income. Whether the Big 3 proposal is rent-seeking depends on your concept of how cricket income is earned. It could be argued that ICC voting rules allow small members to earn a slice of Indian revenue that they have not cultivated or developed, and therefore smaller members are the 'rent seekers'. Equally, the opposite might be true, it is very hard to 'prove' one way or another.

  • bundybear55 on January 24, 2014, 23:12 GMT

    You only have to look at the BCCI's behaviour over the past few years to know why nobody trusts them. Add the ECB and CA's record of dictatorial and selfish behaviour through the best part of the 20th century into the mix and it's little wonder that there is such an outcry from the TRUE fans of the game. None of these boards engender any confidence in the fans that they might actually want to do the right thing by cricket.

  • on January 24, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    (Part-2) Last year Bangladesh scored the highest number of runs in an innings in all test cricket; they are one of the only two countries to win an away test;they have drawn a test against much higher ranked opponent Sri Lanka on their soil (wasn't an well earned draw considered a good result in tests?) one Bangladesh player scored a hat trick (and a 6-wicket haul) along with a century in the same test( a first in the history of test cricket). The point I want to make is, when Bangladesh performance is definitely on the rise; it is unfair to judge them on the basis of their past 'underperformance'.Bangladesh is a good one-day side now (in fact they are the second most successful team after India last year) and given some more time would sure to become a decent test side as well. Cricket needs more passionate countries like Bangladesh to make it a truly global sport, not less.Cricket can do with a little overhauling, but let it be in a more transparent and inclusive way.

  • ZainE111 on January 24, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    Excellent article. I think there may be some misunderstandings from some of the Indian fans who support the financial implications of this proposal. Money generated from bilateral series involving India goes to the BCCI - not the ICC. Money generated from ICC events (essentially multilateral competitions like the World Cup) goes to the ICC.

    As the author explains, the ICC is selling a product to Indian fans (viz the World Cup). Said fans may of course choose not to support the ICC and not purchase the product. But if they do, why must the ICC be constrained in the distribution of resultant surpluses from revenue "it" generated by "itself"?

    The BCCI already earn

  • Ryan_H on January 24, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    I have a big problem with revenue generated from India - through the Indian fan being re-distributed to other countries including rich countries like England and Australia. If Indian generated money is significantly helping run cricket in countries like SA, West Indies, PAk, SL etc, I would like full accountability on how that money is being spent and on what activities. It should be spent to improve and spread cricket at the grassroots level. The thing that annoys me the most is England and Australia benefitting from Indian money.BY GOD, has not England done that enough in the last 400 years through the East India Company! You have to understand conceptually that most of the money in the game comes from the viewership of the Indian Fan! BCCI, unfortunately indirectly speaks for the INdian fan. Although I do agree with the BCCI on some aspects.

  • on January 24, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    A rather good article on this thorny issue. I've something to say on removal of Bangladesh (and Zimbabwe) on the basis of their 'underperformance'. Before their self-inflicted absence from Test cricket, Zimbabwe was reasonably competitive and only last year they beat Pakistan (and Bangladesh); by any yardstick a very good test team. As for Bangladesh : let us be very candid; Bangladesh was given test status NOT on the basis of performance (alone); globalization of cricket and popularity of the game in a country of 160 million was the main agenda. Mark my words: Bangladesh is the MOST CRICKET CRAZY NATION in the whole world (even India wouldn't come anywhere near). Where would you find a near capacity stadium for an under-19 International? Even for a test match in this youngest of the test nations, you would certainly have 8-10 thousand spectators on any given day! And while they sure didn't perform reasonably in the first ten years; things are moving positively of late.(cont'd)

  • Sabbir007 on January 24, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    And how can we put aside TEST cricket here? This draft will take away the rights of playing test cricket from us, when we just start to stable for last two years! The more you play and the more you learn! Once innings defeat was a very common to us, but I can't remember our last innings defeat, and it was probably more 2.5 years ago! Yeah, I can remember your, because it is still not more days!!! BCB is not that poor since 2003. You want money, take it bit administration and regulation control? NO WAY! Just because of BCCI, a lot of revolutionary decisions couldn't take place in the near past! What BCCI currently enjoy, is quite more! No more again!!!

  • Sabbir007 on January 24, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    @ HealthyCric, Man, you guys are really out of your mind!!! Minnows cricket board are saved by Indian Cricket??? Man, you must be a stand up comedian, aren't you? Ok, lets come to the point one by one. Sorry, as a Bangladeshi, I know it very well that, India helped us to get test status in 2000 (because of political reasons!!!), along with other 7 cricket boards, and that was the end of your help! You never called us in your yards and I don't know from where you get the information and statistics that India help the minnows cricket boards along with us. I don't know about others, But Bangladesh, NO! And if you have read carefully my previous comments, you also got answer of your other questions! It's not only your players, who are currently benefited with this money, it is actually them, who are behind this nonsense policy actually, because your system never let your people to get benefited with this money! Rich will get richer and cricket will die!!!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 24, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    What makes Australia and England big? Why doesn't South Africa make the list? What happens when and if China decides to promote cricket big-time? I don't like and approve of any cosy 3some involving England and Aus, however attractive the deal. The 3rd partner would invariably suffer and end up getting jacked!

  • SanjivAwesome on January 24, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    It is clear BCCI have the market, hence the financial clout. Still, this adminstrative debate is happening in full view of the fans. And there will be clear winners and losers when the debate settles. Administrators on the losing side, I suspect, will not exactly harbour good feelings for decades to come!

  • on January 24, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Unfortunately, a new international cricket body,without England, Australia & India is not economically viable. Such an organisation will become financially anemic & die in a few years. Or, if they try to run it as a low-cost-low-wages group, to exist financially, their players will quit, giving some excuse, and will migrate or become mercenaries in England or Australia. Like KP, Morgan, Ballance, Stokes, Khawaja and the like. Look at the England team playing in OZ now; one will understand what I am talking about.

    On the contrary, the big three can still sustain & thrive on their own. They are fully aware of it. And, they are colluding like a cartel and trying to reap the 'superior rent', as the economists call it.

    All these are happening, since cricket has transformed into 'rent seeking' enterprises, the seeds of which were sown by Kerry Packer, aided and abetted by many great cricketers of that time.

    For a cricket lover, it is a painful thought! And, it wasn't easy to write this.

  • on January 24, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Fairly good analysis! Not liking the thought of international cricket officially being handed over to remain a slave of revenue generating boards and governing systems almost entirely being based on finances. Not that Bangladesh deserves a Test Status, and agreed that Tier system may make sense to invite and encourage teams to play good Cricket. But why do the big three need the protection? Is not it right to keep the rules the same for all countries? Those who earn more revenue may deserve a larger share of the pie. But that should have nothing to do with global scene of governance, administration and development of the game! Someone needs to remind them, it is 'Test Cricket' that they are talking about; and that game survives in the hearts of countless passionate people around the world. And they do not do it by occupying seats in stadium or accepting any products thrown at them by the sponsor companies. They silently 'follow' the game in whichever way they can. Because their intere

  • on January 24, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Cricket is not a business.

  • Clyde on January 24, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    If cricket is now a commercial matter, why is there only one firm? Why is there no competitor? It looks to me like a legal pushover, on such ideas as anti-trust. I am sure Australia, for example, can finance its own cricket, and specialise in the five-day format, internally and internationally. Should the present benighted administration interfere with a player's ability to compete at the level of his ability, in this would lie another easy angle for correction on legal grounds. I would certainly join with others in boycotting cricket ruled by overbearing administrators. The historic exclusion of South Africa and the phenomenon of World Series Cricket come to mind. If television advertising is so important, I can see a boycott situated there. Advertisers must be chary about assuming we will be attracted to the triumvirate's presentations.

  • on January 24, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Wow! It initially started with BCCI bashing, but has now turned into outright hate and hostility against India as a nation itself. If all these people hate Indian cricket so much, why lament the fact that BCCI wants to leave the ICC? I know the reason.You guys want the money from India, but do not care one bit for Indian cricket or cricketers.

  • Practical_person on January 24, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    I think it's fair that India gets its share of revenues since they generate majority of the revenue from Indian public. However there should be transparency and accountability for those funds to be used for developing cricket for the population. BCCI needs better governance. We have to accept the fact that cricket is now commercial and I would like to tell the fans all the world you are all responsible. The fact is majority of the fans all over the world prefer shorter and don't have the time to watch 5 days of cricket. Test cricket has its place and will continue. Ultimately cricket boards are catering to the interest generated by fans.

  • bundybear55 on January 24, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Little_Aussie_Battler do you follow world news at all..? I'm not sure any of the so-called 'Big 3' are in a position to be delivering lectures on ethics..!

  • on January 24, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    @SnowSnake I If you are an English capitalist you are simply cutting your own throat for who is going to play for England United when your playing supply from Ireland, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Denmark, West Indies etc etc dries up due to lack of development funds ??

  • bundybear55 on January 24, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    What you need to understand dabbadubba and others is that the BCCI, ECB & CA generates this revenue by presenting a product - cricket - to a GLOBAL audience. Remove that global audience and the 75% revenue you suggest BCCI should take will end up being far less in $ terms than the 20% it is currently asking for. The world-wide TV audience (and that is what the TV companies pay good money for) will soon tire of watching India thrash Australia & England in India and then see the same thing happen to India as soon as they set foot outside their own country. If cricket is to survive, let alone thrive, it needs to have a global audience..

  • Dashgar on January 24, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    Great point made here. The World Cup makes heaps of money, and a lot of that is from Indian people watching it, but that doesn't mean the BCCI earnt that money! If an Indian TV station buys TV rights or an Indian sponsor gets on board it doesn't mean the BCCI deserve money. The ICC run these events, they have earnt the money. All the BCCI have done is provide a team, which is what all the other nations have done too, so all the other nations deserve the same cut of the money, that includes associates.

  • on January 24, 2014, 0:52 GMT

    @ coldcoffee123: because of the bilateral system India won't go outside of their country to play anymore. So they wont be in the relegation whatsoever. otherwise if they play equal amount of matches inside and outside of their country then India will have to play in the intercontinental cup very soon.

  • cricfaninlv on January 24, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    Just to put this in prospective, in United states top 10% of the richest people pay about 75% of all income tax collectedand obviously top 10% wants most of that money back and wants the rest to pay more in taxes, exactly what BCCI is recomending here. Keep in mind that 99% of the top 10% is wealthy business owners. The taxes collected from the wealthy goes into building roads, educating children and building the infarstructure so people go to work, create new products. All of these generate more money for the wealthy. how this relates to BCCI? money collected from BCCI funds most other countries and it levels the playing field. I'm sure Indian fans wants to see good competitve games, they dont care about a game between india vs netherlands, so one sided. do you want to see india just playing eng and aus? that would get boring real quick. cut the funding, it will bring down the quality of the game resulting less revnue.its like shoting their own foot. IPL would be the only thing left.

  • Moppa on January 24, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    An interesting and well-reserached article that allows a casual reader a chance to understand what is actually being proposed here. Nevertheless, I feel it misses a key point. In criticising cricket for 'not a lot of development and lots of redistribution', I think the author misses the point that the overwhelming financial muscle of India creates this situation. In effect, through ICC governance and voting rules, other members manage to extract a slice of the pie from the Indian market. What people need to remember is that India now has an alternative business model to playing Tests and ODIs against other nations and giving them a slice of the pie - the IPL. The Indian market is big enough to be self-sustaining without pesky foreigners (or funding development). This is the nightmare scenario that kills international cricket. For better or worse, ICC governance can only evolve in this context - any changes need to do enough to keep India from taking their bat and ball and going home.

  • HealthyCric on January 23, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    @Sabbir007 I am pretty sure many minnows are getting benefited due to Indian cricket. If you don't know the history and statistics, I can help. India wants every one and some money too for countries development and involvement.

    IPL is truly making many people rich that includes few 100s of Indian players, Foreign players and ICC as well. But I am talking about the common millions of poor people who need help from the sport. Because of them the sport is developing every day and, by the looks of it, share will increase beyond 80% in few years.

    Now, its a big joke when you talk about cricket with out India any more in these circumstances. Find out from your country cricket board. Those minnows are saved due to Indian participation in the cricket.

    After all, One day/T20 cricket is not charity there is big business revenue involved in it. If you put test matches aside it is just FUN/MONEY. Nothing wrong in paying to the countries who are helping the cricket build aggressively.

  • on January 23, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    There are two points to be mentioned here. First, the Woolf Report also would have allocated more money for India (probably not for Australia and England) as it was built upon a need-based formula. The problem BCCI had on that was it needed to be transparent on the needs i.e. they had to show whether they are spending on buying a new sports-car or upgrading a pavilion in a stadium. BCCI backed off, as they hate transparency - for obvious reasons. The second point is that IRB, which is also run in the same model (Tier one, two and three teams sharing unequal revenues) also faced the threat last year from big three - AUS, NZ and SA to break out of the WC in case they are not allocated a larger share of the revenue. IRB bowed to them. So, most likely, ICC will bow to the larger share of revenue and the issue will be resolved in short-term.

  • coldcoffee123 on January 23, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    India's oversees Test (ODI) record: 4-0 Eng, 4-0 Aus, 1-0 & 2-0 SA, 2-0 NZ. I will not be surprised if India soon finds itself relegated and join NZ/WI. That will be fun, and real justice to NZ/WI. I hope NZ blank India 5-0. And I am an Indian.

  • Sabbir007 on January 23, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    @HealthyCric, you missed the most important thing, mate! Your so called 80% revenues comes for that 20% minnows!!! Without their presence and participation in cricket, you alone are not even able to make it 8%!!! And you need money to improve your infrastructure! Fun again! Indian cricketers are the most wealthiest cricketers in the world in terms of payment. In IPL, an average Indian player get more money than a foreign 100 times better quality player than him! How much of your earnings are upon cricket spend for your national interest? Only a few are currently enjoy the money and they will in the future! Please stop make these nonsense excuse!!!

  • HealthyCric on January 23, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Cricket is not just a sport/fun/religion in India, at least, not any more. It is a RESOURCE, generated by millions of Indian people on which they relied up on, including many people from other cricket playing nations.

    I am not sure why people are not considering the Indian role in increasing the income. 80% of total ICC income is not good enough to explain? I can't believe some people are MOANING about 20%, it is ridiculous. It is not control over power, it is asking for a little share of success India got to the world... and I feel bad for the Indians who are not supporting this!

    India is still developing and under developed in many areas compared to the other part of the world. India needs money for improving the living standards of sports too. Many of the people didn't care about Indian cricket or India for a long long time, and they won't, when India can't generate much money in the future.

    It's still a draft version wait and see what happens.

  • Sabbir007 on January 23, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    There is so much fun of reading some so called capitalist's comments here! FIFA never would be able to reach this position today if the British Empire thought football as their own property! Yes, there is a big market is waiting for cricket, but you so called big 3 nations always try to keep the markets on hand! You want revenues? Let host Bangladesh the T-20 World Cup and see the amount of REVENUES! Just imagine the improved political situation in Pakistan and then imagine the revenues! Have you ever seen the stadiums of Sri Lanka during an international match? There is China, there is USA, there is other European countries, there are American countries waiting and you say NO MARKETS??? Yes, today probably they are not the markets, as well as for football before 100 years ago! And I really welcome your idea snowsnake! I guaranty you, your revenue will reach the lowest stage that you can't even imagine! Why? People never like to be bored, you are going to make your spectators BORED!!!

  • SnowSnake on January 23, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    If I were working for BCCI, I would break from ICC and create my own independent board. This is the way to go, let other ICC teams play their own cricket and keep their own revenue.

  • SnowSnake on January 23, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    I am a Capitalist and rich getting richer is the way to go. If poor want money then bring more business. None of the top three has any responsibility to pull the weight of other nations that do not bring in more revenue.

  • on January 23, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    There is one way of checking why World Cup makes that much money. Every one who pays for the ticket, should be asked why they are here to see the match, i.e which team. The % of share determines the % of money that would be distributed to that particular board.

  • Rafelgibt on January 23, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    @Atish_Man on (January 23, 2014, 10:57 GMT) Thanx for noticing...If IND gets into Tier 2 then lets it be in Tier 2...If IND is not there then i can agree with you that less PROFIT would occur but that doesn't mean that without playing against IND all team are going to die...

  • dabbadubba on January 23, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    The BCCI is being very lenient .. as we have from another cricinfo article [The proposal recommends a maximum allotment of 21% of the ICC's revenues to the BCCI on the grounds that Indian cricket helps generate 80% of ICC's global revenues.]

    When BCCI is generating 80+% of revenue, why should it take only measly 20% and be subjected to such negative comments from other members ? BCCI should definitely make an amendment to take in at least 75% of revenue..

    BCCI is being so generous to the other boards by giving FREE 60% and instead they get only brickbats in return... time for change

  • DwightR on January 23, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    oh how that Woolf Report key recommendations are looking now...the Big 3 are right that the ICC needs a restructuring but not like this...the ICC needs independent governance from the boards, unfortunately it'll never happen..read the Woolf Report again now that the future of our sport is on the line http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/DOWNLOAD/0000/0093/woolfe_report.pdf

  • Twinkie on January 23, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    As a West Indian, I am happy that people are finally noticing what I have always known. The "powers that be" have always worked for some nations against others. When we were winning it was only because we were three times as good as the opposition. Rules changes, decisions by umpires and match referees usually went against us. When we were the drawing card for all international matches every nation made money off our backs. Now they are eager to discard us because we are in a prolonged slump. The WICB never stands up to these "powers that be" but meekly and silently allows them to do everything to dismantle our cricket. And we the people and players aid and abet them with our silence. West Indies players and administrators need to lift their game and make it impossible for them to disrespect us in this way. And can someone please enlighten me as to what qualifies one for the "Big Three"?

  • lee_man on January 23, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Any ambition to make cricket a world sport is now dead and buried. Its just about MONEY, nothing else. This is being penny-wise and pound foolish. I wonder how much longer cricket will continue to have any relevance as a sport.

  • chapathishot on January 23, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    I agree with V swami.The income should be shared based on their contribution,Then only the others work to increase the income and get their share of contirbution.Some of the boards like the SLC are squandering money taken from ICC and they dont even have money to pay to their international cricketers leave alone the development of cricket in the country.Same can be said about many other boards.South Africa played very less cricket last year but still got their assured share.So market share to income is absolutely correct.Do any one know India has how many state associations and first class teams ,how many district level teams in various age groups.It will hundered times that of Srilanka or any other country.The amounts generated from India should come back to India in some form and should be utilised for the development of cricket in India.

  • Neel_123 on January 23, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    Under the existing model India which generate more than 1200 m$ out of total 1500 m$ gets same money (10-20 m$) as NL or SL or BD. And considering that India much poorer country and 300 times bigger in population (and probably in size) than NZ, it is daylight robbery by other countries (ICC) from India. Smaller countries which don't generate any funds or do nothing to bring crowds to ground are DEMANDING equal money to India. Some gall they have.

    I was a skeptical earlier but after reading this article I suggest: India should STAND its ground. If test cricket dies, so be it. Anyway India gets literally nothing out of ICC. Let all be equally pauper.

  • Amit_13 on January 23, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    And then there were three...

    Its remarkable that not many parallels are being drawn. Only recently (relatively speaking) cricket was controlled by ONE country. It took the emergence of World Series Cricket and the Windies to reduce that hold on and off the field. Wonder what market threats need to be put in place to stop this storm. Not a single line says India will host Ireland or Kenya. Or even India A for that matter. If the cake gets bigger, the slice gets bigger too. And there's too much focus on the slice and not enough on the cake.

  • on January 23, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    This article is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for spelling it out in such detail. This coup is despicable.

  • on January 23, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Shame on India .now i hate indian team also

  • on January 23, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    As currently India, England and Australia are playing good cricket, I think, these countries should form another cricket council, then they can go with their proposed plan. Rest of the countries might form another cricket council and follow current rules. People from India, England and Aus are talking in such a way that these countries only play cricket, others play "Danguli". Remember, everyone has ups and downs, and currently their good shape doesn't mean that they will remain the same forever. Any sport should be globalized. If BCCI thinks that it contributes major portion of the money to ICC, then why doesn't it get separated from ICC and act like a separate entity? We wont mind at all, please. I wonder, when there was an era of WI, England and Aus, what India would do if they took such decision. Very poor thinking!! Even I think, FTP rules should be revised as well. I hope everyone will be more considerable.

  • ChanaL on January 23, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    If one entity is brining in 80% of the revenue, come on guys....then it is only fair for it to get a major share of the "REVENUE'. But, all this controlling and deciding who plays who (e.g. India deciding on bilateral series), and where it's played (e.g. have a ICC tournament in India every 2 years)and how it's played and who will win (e.g. Inviting a week team (WI) to play in a farewell series so you can win and have good averages) is decided by India is a little too much. ( with all the money and corruption in IPL, this will creep in to so callinternational cricket too. I am sure its already there..) Well, all good things must come to an end. If you don't like something and you cant do anything about it, the next best thing to do is to avoid it without whining. I am sure a couple of cricket lovers not following the game would not be a big thing in an audience of 1/6 of the world population. It has being fun watching the game called Cricket. But, its about time to start following a

  • Lord_ABRACADABRA on January 23, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    So this is how BCCI wants to destroy cricket... shame on BCCI

  • malepas on January 23, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    @ Rafelgibt, this is an idea which I've been raising for a while and under the circumstances a fair one which will make more cricket and business sense. The distribution of funds and especially Indian reservation of funding should also be looked into but response should not be the one we are getting from so called big 3,, this will ruined cricket of what we know, ICC needs structural reforms but that has to come from a cumulative and objective all inclusive way and not by taking over by a group of boards who think they know best,, the article is a very good read and good on the writer who spend time to put some number on the speculative and secret nature of this infamous draft. Hope smaller boards wouldn't buy into "Bribery offers" of big 3 and common sense will prevail.

  • flickspin on January 23, 2014, 12:44 GMT

    i doubt that the current australian would do as good vs the lesser nations that what they did 10 years ago,the australian team for 15 years was seldom beating with a all star team that beat a world-11 and everyone else

    they had a close call against bangladesh in 1 test in bangladesh, and in the series with matt hayden scored 380 zimbabwe were more competitive than england this year.

    bangladesh held thier own vs sri lanka, zimbabwe beat pakistan this year, and new zealand drew with australia in the last chappell/hadllee trophy.and new zealand nearly beat england this year.

    when australia last toured the west indies only 1 australian scored a century matt wade.

    how do you know that you will beat teams if you never play them,before relegating teams on suspicion that you will beat them easy, why not play them.

    its a fair point to point out the series which make the most money, but i think for the global game the future tours program must be obeyed

    we need more test teams not less

  • on January 23, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    So basically England a team ranked 6th in T20, 5th in ODIs and 4th in test cricket think they part of a big three?? Are England not staring at a 10th straight loss right now? Hardly big three material, right now I would back Bangladesh to give England some competitive fixtures. South Africa would run circles around this England side with Steyn and Phillander and other top class bowlers.

  • on January 23, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    This is one of the most outrageous proposal any game has ever seen, not only cricket. In short what the big 3 wants? Power and money. And what we are meant to do with the ICC's profit? Of course give every member an equal share and help the poorer nations to build. This is not a business, it's a sports. ICC is not an asset of the big 3, rather cricket is an asset to us and this asset is endangered by the some corrupt species.

    Has anyone ever seen the passion, emotion put by a smaller nation i.e Bangladeshi fan? Has anyone visited Dhaka on a match day? Has anyone seen the sincere love for the game? I am not sure they have. If smaller nations are not allowed to play tests then cricket ultimately will die. Cricket will be poorer without Bangladesh or WI or ZM. This proposal will not be passed I am sure. Be cricket the winner.

  • on January 23, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    simple answer to question. I am Pakistani and big cricket Pakistani team fan but from last 4 years i am following Indian team more than Pakistani team because what happens in cricket in India is just mind blowing and pleasant to watch. Look at IPL and it's awesome entertainment so why to run away from reality. Let's give chance to BCCI to improve cricket and if BCCI some how fails then we can revert back to this system. I mean i have no interest in watching zimbabwave vs bangladesh test match because it's not interesting but if you ask me to watch zim vs bangala T2020 match then i will be more than happy. So let's accept then change and move on.

  • on January 23, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    from india. i feel very bad for wasting our money. Hmm. what i can do? simply type my thoughts in cricinfo

  • on January 23, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    I should add my congratulations, having just completed the article. A cool, detailed, practical and thoughtful analysis of a superficially complex but really rather shameless piece of short-sightedness. And a dollop of righteous indignation thrown in, too - bravo!

  • Bensti on January 23, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Mills & Boon Jasper van der Westhuizen? Well, Kyle Mills was a handy bowler and David Boon a reliable batsman. Yes I am a fan of both. But back to this article. The key point here is that the associate and affiliate nations - those with the least to lose - are going to have their funding cut while the wealthy grow wealthier. Cricket was slowly but surely expanding out of it's insular past. The big three proposal will prevent any further long term expansion in the game and this is a tragedy for the sport and for all those that are putting their hear and soul into coaching and development on an already tight budget in associate and affiliate countries.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on January 23, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    Interestingly the nations most against these plans are South Africa and Pakistan, both states paralyzed by corruption both in their societies and on the sporting fields. The number of players found to have been involved in all manner of skullduggery boggles the mind we still have a sport left.

    The new ICC's first task will be to clean out these scandal plagued pseudo states and bring the wrong doers to task.

  • on January 23, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Having just checked out Rod Lyall's brief but thorough and thoughtful ICC history as commended, I wonder how you view A. C. Smith's claim, as recalled by Lyall, that he gave in over staging the 1995/96 World Cup in England for the good of the game? Having staged the first three of the six WCs to date, was this really such a magnanimous, noble gesture? The world was moving on and Lord's wanted to play Canute.

  • on January 23, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    This proposal is a package of authoritarian rule that exists in the United Nations... Where you can sanction anybody else , with their approval, but these five nations cannot be sanctioned..They have created such a monstrous abnormality, which is being used under the disguse of civilized world to do anything that they (the five permanent) think it is necessary.... This kind of structure is being proposed for the ICC... It is going to be counter productive, because it is being proposed by the three members who are fincancailly well to do, and who are mainly drvien by Greed and nothing else... It could result in a scenario that cricket will not be able to flourish in africa or latin America or some parts of Europe.... Those who have money they will have more and those who have no or less they can pray to God for money.......ICC will not be able to help.....

  • CricketFever11 on January 23, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    Who says Bangladesh is under performing. Of course, they have gone through a rough patch but with all those experiences now they just begins to perform well at top level.

  • Atish_Man on January 23, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    @Rafelgibt every thing is good . However if India gets relegeted to tier2 then tier1 wont like it as no matches against India. So no profit. Also Indian wont accept it as less revenue for them. Wht do u think....?

  • on January 23, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    Well said Rahul Bhatia, vswami and jimbond. The existing system is loaded against India and it has to change.

  • VisBal on January 23, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    @Rahul Bhatia: You do not seem to understand the underlying truths. The money generated by BCCI on bilateral series, sponsorships and TV deals stays within India. Same as with all other countries. The money they are trying to redistribute is actually the profits from ICC Events (World Cups, Champions Trophies, etc.), ICC sponsorships, ICC TV deals. That is why it is inherently unfair. ICC is the umbrella body that performs these activities for COMMON events. The question then arises why the profits should be distributed based on an opaque formula? The previous even distribution of commonly generated funds is much more fair.

  • bestbuddy on January 23, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    So many flawed arguments. Firstly India does not directly contribute to the ICC's earnings; the ICC contributes the India's earnings. The ICC makes almost all its money directly from the tournaments it organises (the various world cups and champions trophy). and GIVES to the other countries. India point in fact does NOT give any money towards the development in other countries, so there would be no change. Secondly, if we are basing things on size of population, well China is an associate member; perhaps we should give more money to them than India? The USA is bigger than India (and with a bigger population than SA, Aus, Eng, Windies and Sri Lanka combined) so they should also get more money based on some of these arguments

  • on January 23, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    I am against money from India being distributed across the world.. all things said and done we are still a third world country and a lot needs to be done for development.. why should precious $$ flow from here to other countries?? there is no guarantee it will be put to good use by these other country cricket boards.. i would rather like it if it were pumped back into our domestic scene - increase remuneration for Ranji players, coaches, give them better facilities to train, improve grounds(most indian grounds have pathetic facilities for the ticket-buying public-anyone(me) who has spent a day under the scorching Indian sun in roofless stadiums would know), pay more to curators and their staff - basically invest our hard-earned money back into our country and not some xyz country in Latin america where money will go intothedrain..i might sound a little selfish here but if anyone came and looked at the poverty in our country you would understand why we need that money for ourselves

  • BobFleming on January 23, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Turkeys & Christmas... For some reason, I keep thinking about turkeys & Christmas...

  • vswami on January 23, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    India has 1.2 billion people, and is almost 300 times the size of New Zealand !! It happens to be one country and hence one vote, while 4.5 million New Zealand has equal voice as 300 times bigger India ? The job of BCCI is to generate revenues from India market and develop Indian market. The amount of money generated in India market may sound a lot, but it isnt considering the size of the country and the needs to develop every state association ( which are a couple of dozen each of which are as big as a western european nation ). There are vast parts of India that have populations 50 times that of a country like New Zealand that are hungry for and have never seen international cricket. Lots of journalists outside India simply do not have the perspective of a large country ( or almost a continent ) to make an analysis.

  • on January 23, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    Extremely patronizing... basically trying to justify the paper under the guise of criticizing it. Lot of rubbish here, but these for me were golden: "Tiers are a solution. They are not a good solution. The working paper manages to recognise this when it states that the big three cannot be relegated..." Err, well thanks for that. Also: "The increase in funding to the top six Associates is likely to backfire too. We have already seen in the recent past that high-performance-programme grants are mostly used to pay professional players to train, which adds nothing to long-term development..." Ahh, nothing like straight facts. Bensti, you must be a Mills & Boon critic.

  • on January 23, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    couldn't agree with u about Bangladesh prospective , i guess that's bcz u didn't follow Bangladesh cricket properly over the last years or so , Bangladesh drew the last 2 match test series against NZ where Bangladesh was in very good position to win , whitewash NZ in odi , they drew a test match against srilanka by making highest team total in an inngigs 638 of a year . drew against WI where they were close to win too . beat WI at 5 match odi series , and thats all happens over the last year , all i just wanna say this proposal is a dark cloud over Bangladesh cricket while they were becoming a really competitive team in the world , and at the same time proposal is very very concerning where will future cricket go

  • Rafelgibt on January 23, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    'Relegating Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to the Intercontinental Cup will improve the quality and value of that competition' are you really serious???Why not make a 2 tier TESTs competition consists of 6 each for 3 years (Tier1 IND,PAK,SL,AUS,SA, ENG and Tier2 NZ,WI,BAN,ZIM,AFGAN,IRE) and then last 2 of each tier will relegate in to the lower tier...That means if SL & IND comes 5th and 6th of tier 1 then they will be relegated into tier 2 and if AFGAN and IRE comes 5th and 6th of TIER2 then they will be relegated into Intercontinental Cup.Same way if WI and NZ comes 1st and 2nd of Tier2 then they will be upgraded into Tier1 and 1st and 2nd position holder of Intercontinental Cup will be upgraded into Tier 2....Sounds logical???I really think so what about others???

  • jimbond on January 23, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    If the concerns are that India doesn't get enough of the total wealth generated- proportionate to its contribution, I think it is a legitimate concern. That the wealth generated from sport in a third world country be used to develop the sport elsewhere is (to use the author's words) 'a nonsense'. One way out could be to register zones or even states of India as members so that they would have access to their shares. One could also visualise 'international' matches between these states and countries like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe that would be more evenly matched. While the revenues generated from international events like world cup cannot be seen as belonging to any country- one must accept that revenues are generated even in these- from different countries. While the respective boards represent on paper- the countries, and the ICC is a confederation of these, none of these have strict legal control. It makes great sense to ensure that money remains and is used where it is generated.

  • Bensti on January 23, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    This is an outstanding piece of journalism.

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  • Bensti on January 23, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    This is an outstanding piece of journalism.

  • jimbond on January 23, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    If the concerns are that India doesn't get enough of the total wealth generated- proportionate to its contribution, I think it is a legitimate concern. That the wealth generated from sport in a third world country be used to develop the sport elsewhere is (to use the author's words) 'a nonsense'. One way out could be to register zones or even states of India as members so that they would have access to their shares. One could also visualise 'international' matches between these states and countries like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe that would be more evenly matched. While the revenues generated from international events like world cup cannot be seen as belonging to any country- one must accept that revenues are generated even in these- from different countries. While the respective boards represent on paper- the countries, and the ICC is a confederation of these, none of these have strict legal control. It makes great sense to ensure that money remains and is used where it is generated.

  • Rafelgibt on January 23, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    'Relegating Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to the Intercontinental Cup will improve the quality and value of that competition' are you really serious???Why not make a 2 tier TESTs competition consists of 6 each for 3 years (Tier1 IND,PAK,SL,AUS,SA, ENG and Tier2 NZ,WI,BAN,ZIM,AFGAN,IRE) and then last 2 of each tier will relegate in to the lower tier...That means if SL & IND comes 5th and 6th of tier 1 then they will be relegated into tier 2 and if AFGAN and IRE comes 5th and 6th of TIER2 then they will be relegated into Intercontinental Cup.Same way if WI and NZ comes 1st and 2nd of Tier2 then they will be upgraded into Tier1 and 1st and 2nd position holder of Intercontinental Cup will be upgraded into Tier 2....Sounds logical???I really think so what about others???

  • on January 23, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    couldn't agree with u about Bangladesh prospective , i guess that's bcz u didn't follow Bangladesh cricket properly over the last years or so , Bangladesh drew the last 2 match test series against NZ where Bangladesh was in very good position to win , whitewash NZ in odi , they drew a test match against srilanka by making highest team total in an inngigs 638 of a year . drew against WI where they were close to win too . beat WI at 5 match odi series , and thats all happens over the last year , all i just wanna say this proposal is a dark cloud over Bangladesh cricket while they were becoming a really competitive team in the world , and at the same time proposal is very very concerning where will future cricket go

  • on January 23, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    Extremely patronizing... basically trying to justify the paper under the guise of criticizing it. Lot of rubbish here, but these for me were golden: "Tiers are a solution. They are not a good solution. The working paper manages to recognise this when it states that the big three cannot be relegated..." Err, well thanks for that. Also: "The increase in funding to the top six Associates is likely to backfire too. We have already seen in the recent past that high-performance-programme grants are mostly used to pay professional players to train, which adds nothing to long-term development..." Ahh, nothing like straight facts. Bensti, you must be a Mills & Boon critic.

  • vswami on January 23, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    India has 1.2 billion people, and is almost 300 times the size of New Zealand !! It happens to be one country and hence one vote, while 4.5 million New Zealand has equal voice as 300 times bigger India ? The job of BCCI is to generate revenues from India market and develop Indian market. The amount of money generated in India market may sound a lot, but it isnt considering the size of the country and the needs to develop every state association ( which are a couple of dozen each of which are as big as a western european nation ). There are vast parts of India that have populations 50 times that of a country like New Zealand that are hungry for and have never seen international cricket. Lots of journalists outside India simply do not have the perspective of a large country ( or almost a continent ) to make an analysis.

  • BobFleming on January 23, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Turkeys & Christmas... For some reason, I keep thinking about turkeys & Christmas...

  • on January 23, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    I am against money from India being distributed across the world.. all things said and done we are still a third world country and a lot needs to be done for development.. why should precious $$ flow from here to other countries?? there is no guarantee it will be put to good use by these other country cricket boards.. i would rather like it if it were pumped back into our domestic scene - increase remuneration for Ranji players, coaches, give them better facilities to train, improve grounds(most indian grounds have pathetic facilities for the ticket-buying public-anyone(me) who has spent a day under the scorching Indian sun in roofless stadiums would know), pay more to curators and their staff - basically invest our hard-earned money back into our country and not some xyz country in Latin america where money will go intothedrain..i might sound a little selfish here but if anyone came and looked at the poverty in our country you would understand why we need that money for ourselves

  • bestbuddy on January 23, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    So many flawed arguments. Firstly India does not directly contribute to the ICC's earnings; the ICC contributes the India's earnings. The ICC makes almost all its money directly from the tournaments it organises (the various world cups and champions trophy). and GIVES to the other countries. India point in fact does NOT give any money towards the development in other countries, so there would be no change. Secondly, if we are basing things on size of population, well China is an associate member; perhaps we should give more money to them than India? The USA is bigger than India (and with a bigger population than SA, Aus, Eng, Windies and Sri Lanka combined) so they should also get more money based on some of these arguments

  • VisBal on January 23, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    @Rahul Bhatia: You do not seem to understand the underlying truths. The money generated by BCCI on bilateral series, sponsorships and TV deals stays within India. Same as with all other countries. The money they are trying to redistribute is actually the profits from ICC Events (World Cups, Champions Trophies, etc.), ICC sponsorships, ICC TV deals. That is why it is inherently unfair. ICC is the umbrella body that performs these activities for COMMON events. The question then arises why the profits should be distributed based on an opaque formula? The previous even distribution of commonly generated funds is much more fair.