New Zealand news January 20, 2014

NZC not worried over power takeover - Snedden

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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.