The Bangladesh Cricket Board pursued a larger share of the ICC revenue on the basis of the team's improved results on the field and the emergence of a stronger market for the game in the country, board president Nazmul Hassan has said. Under the new revenue model, approved by the ICC Board and to be ratified at the annual conference in June, the BCB will received US $132 million in the 2015-2023 rights cycle, compared to the $76 million they had received previously for the same period.
Hassan, who attended the ICC Board meeting earlier this week, said the increased share of revenue is a boost to Bangladesh cricket, and he had persuaded the ICC Board to re-evaluate Bangladesh's stature as a cricket market.
"There used to be a notion that Bangladesh doesn't generate any revenue, that the market here is weak," Hassan said at a press briefing in Dhaka on Friday. "But I think Bangladesh generates more revenue than many nations. Bangladeshi companies are sponsoring our away tours. The market here has changed. I asked them to reevaluate our situation, because now there's a new perspective about Bangladesh.
"We used to get $76 million but now are going to get $132 million [during the eight-year cycle]. This means while we used to get $9.5 million per year, the amount will be $16.5 million per year. It is almost double, a big boon for Bangladesh."
Hassan said that during discussions over the new financial model, he had insisted Bangladesh should receive an amount larger than what had been decided in 2014. Hassan is also a member of the ICC board and was part of the working group that had proposed changes to the ICC's constitution and financial models.
"Bangladesh deserved to get more [revenue] than West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka whichever criteria is being considered," Hassan said. "Performance is not the only factor. My first objective was to increase Bangladesh's share. We agreed on the financial model that not just Bangladesh, everyone else should get more money.
"When I am at the ICC, I have two roles. I am an ICC director so I have to consider everyone, I cannot leave out anyone. But because I was representing Bangladesh as the BCB president, I have to look at Bangladesh's interest. So definitely, I feel this model is highly acceptable."
When asked why the BCB did not support the BCCI's objections to the proposed revenue model, Hassan said he could not support his board getting less money. He was hopeful, however, of a new formula being worked out.
"India's concern is only with the finances. We support them for everything," Hassan said. "I spoke to the BCCI, and assured them of our support in everything. But I cannot support Bangladesh getting less money. I personally believe that the BCCI is against this model. They have no problem with the amount we are getting, but they are trying to come up with a new formula.
"There's still time till June although it won't go to the AGM since this is not part of the constitution. If they can give us an agreeable proposal by June, we will agree with it. If they can find a logical way to show that they should get more money, we would have no objections. I feel, that's what they will do. They will come with a new formula, which we can all agree upon, and the issue will be solved.
Hassan pointed out that the instability in the BCCI's governance structure was also hampering the Indian board's discussions with the ICC.
"I think it is more of an ego issue. They have an interim board running at the moment," Hassan said. "They have different people coming to the ICC meeting. We saw someone in the last meeting who was appointed by their Supreme Court, and this time we saw someone else, BCCI's joint secretary. There's no continuity, and it is hard to deal with a new person every few months. If someone comes to the ICC meeting and agrees with us, he will be blamed for agreeing to a lesser amount. So I don't think anyone wants to take this responsibility. I am hopeful that soon, we will be able to come to an agreement."
Commenting on the BCB's opposition to any changes in the ICC constitution that would compromise a board's Full Membership, Hassan said the board had objected to such a change with the objective of saving Zimbabwe and any new Associate Member who may be granted Full Member status in the future.
One part of the governance reforms was the proposal to look at membership as a fluid concept, with Full Members being regularly evaluated against set criteria. If the Full Member failed to meet certain requirements, it would be relegated to Associate status. The response from the BCB earlier this week, however, had suggested that such reclassification should apply only to Associates who were given Full Member status on a "temporary" or a "provisional" basis. Hassan's letter had also stated that the Full Membership status of the ten Test nations should "not be compromised under any circumstances and should be made irrevocable."
"Bangladesh isn't going to be relegated in the foreseeable future but we raised the objection about relegation," Hassan said on Saturday. "We could see that Zimbabwe was in danger of relegation, even though it wasn't entirely connected to performance.
"Associate Members who become Full Members, you can't leave them out too. I considered all nations when I said that a Full Member can never be relegated."