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NZC not worried over power takeover - Snedden

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 20, 2014

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Martin Snedden, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, addresses the media, Christchurch, July 1, 2005
'Don't jump to the conclusion what they're doing is not good for world cricket' - Snedden © Getty Images
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Martin Snedden, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) director, has said that the possibility of the ICC handing over power to the Big Three - India, England and Australia - and allowing them to control the game's finances may not be a bad thing for world cricket.

The proposals from the ICC's Financial & Commercial Affairs "working group position paper" seek, among other things, to scrap the central FTP agreements between the ICC and its members and replace it with bilateral agreements between member nations. It led to concerns that the other Test playing nations, including New Zealand, might not get the share they deserve, at the expense of the Big Three, but Snedden was confident that NZC's interests will be enhanced if the latest proposals are approved.

"Do we [NZC] have power at the ICC table? No, not a hell of a lot. Do we have the ability to influence and persuade? A little bit. The critical thing is to identify the things most important to us. That means ensuring the stability of our playing programme and revenue generation," Snedden told the New Zealand Herald.

The reason the FTP is to be removed from central ICC control, according to the position paper, is because "the draft FTP, as it stands, contains a large number of unviable tours." Cricket Australia, the ECB and the BCCI it is stated, are "committing" to enter into FTP agreements from 2015 to 2023.

"It's a fundamental outcome for us to be left with a playing programme which sees us play all the Test-playing countries in a four-year cycle like in the FTP. Ratification of the existing schedule would be an excellent outcome. It's early stages but we've got a good chance of doing that. I need to stress there's nothing wrong with India, Australia and England working together to produce something for everyone," Snedden said.

"Don't jump to the conclusion what they're doing is not good for world cricket. Get this right and the FTP playing programme can be extended to 2023 and we can line it up with ICC events like the World Cup and World T20. That'd be a stable platform to work from."

The BCCI continues to generate the majority of the income for the ICC and though Snedden admitted that it will be more of the same, he said that cricket boards will have to embrace India's control.

"I've walked back into a different world from what I left in 2007. When I exited, there was no IPL and the broadcasting rights were headed in India's direction but that has escalated over six years," Snedden said.

"Whatever the formula reached, India will take a greater slice. I think that's fair because they create 70-80 per cent of the revenue. That's not unusual in the world of sporting rights agreements. The Indian market's escalated out of proportion to everyone else since last time.

"We need to remove any doubt over their involvement in 2015-23 tours. If they're fully committed to the programme, that puts the ICC negotiating team in a strong position to exploit commercial rights."

The proposals will be presented to the ICC Executive Board during its quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28 and 29.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 21:33 GMT)

"the BCCI for everything in spite of it single handedly keeping the sport alive"

And here I thought it "takes two to tango". But apparently not. What is India's Test XI without world class opposition, such as South Africa's Test XI?

If Indian fans love cricket so much, that they want to see only India, then I say BCCI may have killed (international) cricket, not cultivated it.

Posted by ProdigyA on (January 24, 2014, 21:34 GMT)

" I think that's fair because they create 70-80 per cent of the revenue. That's not unusual in the world of sporting rights agreements." - How hard this fact must hit the haters. Blame the BCCI for everything in spite of it single handedly keeping the sport alive.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

It is very sad that world cricket is passing a very difficult time now a days. Where is viewer are demanding more cricket, but the decision which is going to take place at ICC will be devastating for World Cricket. This is money play. The viewers will suffer in the future if it pass through ICC.

One side ICC is telling us they want to expand the cricket sport all over the globe, one the other hand they are restricting through this arrangement. Bad luck for World Cricket.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 22, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

As is so often the case, NZ is a sole voice of reason among a shed full of headless chooks. I don't pretend to understand much of what these proposals actually mean or what the long-term implications are but simply condemning them out of hand because you don't like the look of them is, well, stupid.

Why not hear the 3 out? Get them to lay their plans out fully and then examine them closely with an open mind?. .. What's to be lost by doing that? .. As it stands the FTP is a mess anyway so I would have thought that ANY plan to improve it should be considered calmly and rationally.

Good on you Sneddon. Sometimes it takes real courage to NOT jump on a bandwagon and as usual the Kiwi's show us what real courage is.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

The non-relegation clause has to be done away at all costs. It is about the financial security of the "Big 3" (and not of the game) at the cost of the other teams.

There are writers mentioning that the smaller boards will have to become more efficient. But with the non-relegation clause this will not be possible. What will be the reward for promoting the game when you can not pass the Big 3 in rankings.

The incentive of better performance in cricket on the field is to have a higher ranking which will create more interest for the team translating to more sponsorships and higher revenues. But the non-relegation clause ensures the opposite. It ensures that even if G7 reach the top of the rankings, the Big 3 will not relinquish a place for them ensuring that the G7 can not increase their share. Revenue will be guaranteed for the Big 3 and a lack of it for the G7.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

I believe this could lead to the end of cricket in New Zealand as we know it... it is very sad... the sport is being sold off all for the mighty dollar.. or should that be the rupee....DON'T VOTE for this proposal NZC...if you do it will be too late to put the genie back in the bottle...

Posted by kiwifan82 on (January 22, 2014, 0:10 GMT)

Contrary to what many of the posters here are saying NZC does not appear to have decided on it's response and I don't think a vote for the proposal is guaranteed. This article doesn't contain anything saying that NZC will vote for the proposal, it more states that this MAY not be as bad as it is being made out to be. He says that NZC has no power atm anyway.

I have just read an article on a NZ website that states that NZC board have just held a meeting and will only consider this if the FTP is kept as it is until 2020. It also states that they agree with CSA that any changes need to meet the ICC constitution and should not be rushed through.

From a personal point of view I am hoping that Snedden and the other members of NZC come to their senses and vote against the proposal. I think the fact CSA and PCB have come out strongly against the proposal in public is excellent. Hopefully it will encourage other boards to also vote against the proposal (knowing they won't be the only ones).

Posted by slasher on (January 21, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

Martin Snedden is one of the best sporting administrators around. He will approach this from a pragmatic point of view and reach a compromise that benefits NZ Cricket don't worry about that. I don't think his words are "gutless" I think, in the circumstances they are smart. I don't think any party should be forced to undertake tours that will cost them money but surely the ICC could find a system that underwrites these tours while allowing countries to develop in crease the fan base by holding tours in countries less exposed to cricket

Posted by sab24 on (January 21, 2014, 21:22 GMT)

The fact that many non-big3 nations generate so little in revenue is because the big 3 do not want to play with these countries, thereby creating a cycle which is hard to break.

Posted by StevieS on (January 21, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

Crips, I thought Snedden had more ummm marbles than that. Was a great CEO back in the day. I guess John Key's bend over attutude is rubbing off on the general population now.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 21, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

They bought of NZC. Unbelievable NZC is traitor and stooge for cabal

Posted by playinrain on (January 21, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

Snedden is sitting on the fence it seems. As long as there is an improvement that allows meaningful test series instead of these useless 2 Test series we in NZ would be happy. There should be a tier system of sorts with promotion and relegation. I'd fully support a breakaway tournament if the big three couldn't manage to organize that. teams like the West Indies and NZ need to play the same amount of tests a year as India or Australia/England get. I cant imagine the big three wanting to exclude South Africa from their comp at any level, as SA are still probably the team to beat in a series. They would sure give the Aussies a better fight than England!

Posted by kentjones on (January 21, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

This is the third post I am making. Please publish this. I am disappointed in Mr. Snedden. Mr. Snedden please consider the other cricketing nations, who will be impacted by this decision by the big three. You must not be indifferent to their plight. Cricinfo I am looking to see if you publish this one now!

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 21, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

@Tamilpower ... As a South African cricket supporter ... I stand by the CSA decision not because I am South African, but because the bill will be unfair on anyone that is not part of the big three ... it would give India, England and Australia licence to do as they please ... Maybe CSA should form a breakaway from the ICC with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nepal, UAE, New Zealand, West -Indies and all the other associate countries ... Maybe let all of the countries play test cricket with South Africa, Sri-Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ireland forming the Premier league and the rest in a minor league with a 4 year league. At the end of each 4-year period the bottom team of the Premiership will be relegated and the top team of the minor league will be promoted.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (January 21, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

Whatever; if an idea originates from India or events and proceedings get implemented by India it will end up bad for the whole world. However fortunately since Australia and England are involved there would be a kind of balance.

Posted by GermanPlayer on (January 21, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

They need 7 votes out of 10. They have NZ in the bag. BAN and ZIM will come along easily as ZIM can't even afford to invite SA(that's how bad their situation is) and BAN will be easy target as they will get something from it because India will ensure Pakistan doesn't get much.

That leaves us with WI, Pak, SL and SA. I would say WI will also agree once they are offered something. The trio won't need the votes from SA, Pak and SL at all!

I am sure they had worked this out before drafting this document. Also, the trio ruling, though I don't agree with it being successful, is not as bad as people here are thinking. It's not that they are going to play each other all year round. This means they will play each other for 5 tests in their peak season and 7ODIs 3T20s so to say. They will predetermine these tours for the next 6-8 years. Then, with the time left, they will invite other nations to fill the gaps. That's not ideal but that's the reality.

Posted by Tamilpower on (January 21, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

Its actually very simple: South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies need to get together and form their own International organization! They should include all the top associate sides and create a new platform for development whereby they create their own T20 leagues in West Indies, SA and Asia! Its high time that these 3 greedy money orientated fools go off and play on their own! Simple! Why be a slave all your life when you can cut the strings and be free! Pakistan has fans all across the world and would pack out stadiums in Pakistan if cricket got going again there! PAK, SA, SL, WI along with 6 associate sides would actually raise the game of the associate nations thus increasing number of test playing nations! Let the 3 along with its lap dog NZ have all the money and the rights and keep playing each other! If these others boards had any shame or decency they would immediately pull out and begin afresh free from the slavery and colonial underpinnings of the IMPERIALISTS

Posted by Rally_Windies on (January 21, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

We in the West Indies have experience dealing with these kinds of "administrative improvements" ...

All you need to do is look at what Mr. Snedden will gain personally and you will see why the head of a cricketing body , will vote for a measure which is not in the best interest of the Board he represents ,,,,

This is a core problem with ALL republican type organisations where one person (usually the president) can easily go against the wishes of his electorate....

ICC is SUPPOSED to represent the wishes of PLAYERS !

players make up clubs... players vote for club presidents, club presidents vote for Board Presidents (in the WI, Board presidents vote for yet another board) ... and then the national Board votes for ICC positions ....

Somewhere in all of that ... the original voter (the player) , ends up with no say in the governance of cricket....

The ICC is in breach of every single democratic principle enshrined in the constitutions of its member countries....

Posted by NostroGustro on (January 21, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

To all you posters slinging names at Mr Sneddon, consider the current state of affairs of NZ cricket. Putting aside the relegation ridiculousness, the NZ cricket team struggles to get enough tests to develop its game. We're very lucky to get a 3 test series, mostly left with 2. Never do we get 5 tests (oh the thought!). We play 6-8 tests a year and play Bangladesh more than any other team. How can this get any worse? Get real everyone, the BCCI, CA, and ECB already rule the financial side of the game. Accepting reality but advocating adjustments to the draft is the sensible approach in my opinion.

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 21, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

Well Done to Sneddon, he would have realised that the ignoramus - and they number quite a few - would call him gutless etc. Most of the people criticizing here haven't understood the proposal but simply jumped on the hating bandwagon.

They may be labelled "The Big Three" but the reaction is as if it's the "Big One", if people bothered to take a deep breath they'd realise that shouting from the rooftops isn't going to succeed.

There's too many cricket playing countries who essentially contribute little revenue wise but receive an outrageous portion of the proceeds. It's like the lazy citizens of counties with socialist policies who live off benefits. The moment you threaten to cut off their welfare, they want to riot.

Posted by Skittled on (January 21, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Snedden is a disgrace and has rolled over and shown how weak willed he is. Thank you SA for putting up a fight against is this nonsense proposal.

Posted by ashlatchem on (January 21, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

As a NZ cricket fan how truly and absolutely devastating.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 21, 2014, 4:44 GMT)

I did not expect NZ to roll over so quickly, but it seems that way!

Posted by Udendra on (January 21, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

Leave the FTP aside, do you agree with non-relegation for 3 countries?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 2:25 GMT)

Everybody seems to be coming to a premature conclusion that only the three teams will be playing each other all the time.. What I have understood from this is that they have agreed on touring each other until 2023 in regular intervals without interruptions.. The intervals will be filled up with other teams.. Somebody points out that the Ashes was not the most watched series, it will never be as long as India plays some other country.. Even Bangladesh.. England getting drubbed 5-0 will probably get more eye balls than say a New Zealand or West Indies getting drubbed 3-0.. So far as USA, Mexico and Japan raising the most money for fifa is concerned, I think personally that that is plain stupidity.. Mainland Europe and Latin America are the main markets.. Even so, the balance of power in football is more evenly spread.. There is not one single board which generates 70 percent of its revenue..

Posted by VanceStandEnd on (January 21, 2014, 1:28 GMT)

"The draft FTP, as it stands, contains a large number of unviable tours."

"Ratification of the existing schedule would be an excellent outcome."

So CA, the ECB and BCCI will commit to what they see as unviable tours for the next nine years, as long as they are handed all of the power this year. Martin Sneddon is clearly very trusting of the big three, even though they would have the power and a clear incentive to go back on this commitment.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 23:55 GMT)

Just like he played his cricket, limp and ineffectual. Way to put up a fight Marty.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 20, 2014, 23:30 GMT)

if NZ accepts this proposal (which it looks it has in principle) then its the death of NZ cricket. do you think the big 3 will care much for NZ afterwards? how many tests do they play with NZ currently? and more to the point NZ will be left in tier 2 with minimum icc funding. how are you going to get your future youngsters to come and play cricket? ever thought of that mr sneddon!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:32 GMT)

Of course NZ would say that. Who are they currently playing right now. Gutless comment. Don't want to upset the touring team.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:30 GMT)

Of course NZ board would

Posted by Jonocricketnz on (January 20, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

Martin Sneddon might not be worried but I'm sure plenty of the NZ public are! I hope CSA and other boards make a big fuss - for the good of the game.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:12 GMT)

What a sell out this guy is he is actually saying that India is gonna look out for New Zealand cricket interest sad part is this guy is in charge of nz. Cricket

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 20, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

I have long harboured concerns about New Zealand Cricket, ever since the departure of Chris Doig.

The USA, Mexico and Japan are three of the six biggest financial contributors to FIFA's purse. Should the football World Cup now reserve three of its Quarter Final berths for them?

If money talked in football like it seemingly will in cricket tournaments would be structured in such a way that Messi's Argentina and Ronaldo's Portugal were scrapping to join the rich at the top table.

It reminds me of the poem "First They Came". NZ, WI, SA and SL seem to be blundering into surrender because they think that they will all be treated as a special case. They clearly won't.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

its not all about money, they can take money but the proposed changes will effect the no of games other teams are getting. how many tests nz has played vs india in last 5 years and how many india vs aus played? small teams wont attract much money so you see lot of cricket among top team.

Posted by CodandChips on (January 20, 2014, 18:33 GMT)

I think NZC need to read Jarrod Kimber's article.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 17:58 GMT)

So whatever happened to attracting other nations and make cricket more popular.If cricket is to be solely run on financial model then let it be.Let Aus/Ind/England play among themselves and generate all the money they want.Ridiculous.

Posted by cris89 on (January 20, 2014, 17:48 GMT)

Let's examine how each board stands at this stage: 1. For the Proposal- Eng,Ind,Aus 2. Against the Proposal- Pak 3. Likely vote for the proposal- NZ(from this article), Zim and WICB(friends of BCCI) 4. Likely vote against- SA

Examine SL and Ban. I think that even Bangladesh MAY oppose this move as the BCCI rarely deigns to play Tests/ODIs against them. This leaves just SL. This is where I begin to lose hope when you consider the fact that Indian ODI tours are gold dust to them and they toe the BCCI line faithfully.

Even though I'm appalled by this power grab, I'm pessimistic about this proposal being defeated since SA and Pak are the only naysayers to this Gang of Three. The troika should easily get 7 (maybe 8) votes out of 10. It's easy to say that the other boards should grow a spine but being cut off by the ICC would mean financial ruin for all of them.

Can any reader/columnists on Cricinfo come up with a real world solution to stop this farce?

A Disgusted Indian Fan

Posted by shahzaibq on (January 20, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

So one cricketing nation already on Board with the absurd proposal... I'm sure the others will soon follow suit... At this point, it's certain that the Big 3 have a "my way or the highway" attitude and standing up against them might just put them at a disadvantage WHEN this goes into effect, not IF. And for Dave Richardson to have been in on the proposal just speaks volumes of the clout that the Big 3 have over ICC and even its most respected officials. I wonder what Rahul Dravid has to say about all this, after his big speech about BCCI using their power responsibly!

Posted by cricpolitics on (January 20, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

Mr. Snedden has accepted that NZC does not have any say or influence in the ICC affairs, so based on his own admission his comments or views don't really mean anything.

Posted by cricpolitics on (January 20, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

Let's have Aus, Eng, and India play with each other over and over again and see if they can keep attracting the crowds. They can probably keep producing the one sided results like in the current Ashes test series in Australia. If you think the recent Ashes series was an advertisement for test cricket then think again. Test cricket is about two teams competing with each other but in this case England never showed up so it was just a boring one sided affair in the end.

Posted by reality_check on (January 20, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

I am guessing that WICB and SLC will come out and make the similar statement. I commented on another similar story that with the "new world order", NZ will be backed by CA, WICB by ECB and SLC by BCCI so they will support the new proposal. This will leave out CSA, PCB and BCB. CSA is financially strong and are current number 1 team in the world so they will be included to make it "big 4" once Lorgat is sidelined.

The big three would not have floated this proposal without some backing from some of the smaller members. With NZ breaking the silence, I expect WICB and SLC to come out in favour as well.

Mark my words. If this proposal is passed, which I think it will, In two to three years time, cricket will be gone forever from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Posted by reality_check on (January 20, 2014, 15:18 GMT)

Looks like the latest Indian tour to NZ has "convinced" Snedden that the new proposal is a good thing.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

What a cop out from NZC! Really disappointed by this decision. For shame!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (January 20, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

To be honest, I agree. My first reaction when i found out that the 'Big Three' could possibly run world cricket, i thought "Good Idea". Simply because, first of all, not a hell of a lot would change. India is and will always be a big player in these matters and if England and Australia tag along, there is someone to keep them in check, it's pretty much what happens today anyway and it's also brings in some accountability. The ICC is like the Queen of England, their important, but you don't really know why, they have no power at all, just a figure head.

Also, the FTP is not as good as it sounds, i support Australia but I can't remember the last time we faced Bangladesh while England has played them home and away. We havn't played Pakistan for ages though that is soon ro be rectified but the tour has been reduced to 2 tests and we had no say! SA is the top team and they can't play more than 3 tests a series, it's rubbish.

I reckon the 'Big 3' could be good for cricket.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

It is a fashion to bash Bcci and indian cricket team even if they do good things .The world doent like indians because india s economic boom. Indians love their cricket team doent matter who runs it. .

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

He's a businessman. Wasn't really a great cricketer, but did much better when it came to generating revenue.

Posted by dreamliner on (January 20, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

The inclusion of the relegation clause in the proposal is in itself proof that the big 3 care more about their preservation and commercial viability than they do about the integrity or growth of the game. Do we want such minds at the helm of a new setup? Not in my name.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

that very lame thinking. he is just securing his position if that gets approved and he knows if this gets rejected his statements won't have any effect either....

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 13:57 GMT)

Oh dear, the apparent ratification of a small select power base, or oligarchy is a concern. Martin Sneddon is both a former cricketer and astute businessman with a legal background. If it were anyone else, I would suggest a naive and trusting outlook, but he seems to suggest that there already exists an oligarchic structure. I still believe that to formalize an arrangement of this type is a serious backward step. Reading the article by Martin Crowe, there would seem to be divergent views on the issue between both Martins. I prefer the views of MDC.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

This is a very mature view and one which leads to thinking that might need to be applied across sport, worldwide. However one must caution a Board Room that controls sporting outcomes. If the three countries controlling cricket cannot sustain teams with a standard that keeps them in the top flight, then they should be relegated like anyone else. It should be after all, a level playing field.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Is this guy a cricketer, or a businessman?

Lets say, the head of the largest corporation of NZ says that he will decide the prime-minister of NZ, as he generates more revenue. Fine I guess, from your point of view.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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