Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI's acting secretary, has said the $400 million offer the ICC has left on the table is not "anywhere even close" to the Indian board's contribution to global cricket revenues. Choudhary contended that the Indian market contributed 70 % of the global cricket revenue and that it was natural for India to get the lion's share.
Under the ICC's new finance model, the BCCI's share of ICC revenues across the 2015-23 cycle stands at $293 million. That share is based on the ICC's projected income of $2.7 billion. While the BCCI wanted $570 million in accordance with its revenue percentage under the previous Big Three finance model, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar made a counter-offer of an additional $100 million to bring the BCCI's share to nearly $400 million.
During the ICC meetings last week in Dubai, Manohar placed that offer in person to Choudhary, which the BCCI rejected. The offer was once again made to Choudhary when he sat as the BCCI representative in the ICC Board meeting that eventually passed a new constitution, a new governance structure and the new finance model.
While the ICC constitution comprising the governance structure will be ratified at the ICC annual conference, the revenue model will be approved by the ICC Board separately. "Because it is far less than what India deserves fairly," Choudhary told the Indian Express, when asked why he did not agree to the settlement deal.
While presenting the finance model for the first time this February, Manohar said the basic premise was to allow every member country to get an equitable share. The BCCI objected, saying it could not accept the finance model without any scientific basis. Choudhary reiterated that stand.
"Why do you forget that a disproportionate share of revenues to cricket comes from India? It's very easy and misleading to say that India is getting a disproportionate share. The facts are that over 70 per cent of cricket's revenue world over comes from the Indian market. That [the $293 million offered by the ICC] is not even close to the contribution that India makes."
In addition to hardening its stance over the finance model, the BCCI has also delayed announcing India's squad for the Champions Trophy, which starts on June 1. Although the ICC and the ECB, the tournament hosts, are not breaking sweat yet, both are aware the BCCI is trying to use the Champions Trophy to facilitate a deal.
Choudhary said any decision on revoking the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) could only be taken by the BCCI, which has called for a special general body meeting (SGM) on May 7. The Committee of Administrators (COA), appointed by the Supreme Court to supervise the BCCI, is vigilant to the BCCI moves. Vinod Rai, the COA chairman, said pulling out of the tournament was "hypothetical" at the moment. Ramachandra Guha, part of the four-member COA, tweeted in his personal capacity, saying a boycott should not be an option.
"Speaking in my personal capacity, as a cricket fan, I believe the Indian cricket team absolutely must take part in the Champions Trophy," Guha tweeted, and went on to add: "Boycotting or threatening to boycott a prestigious international tournament does not become a great cricketing nation."
According to Choudhary the decision was the BCCI's and the COA, in his opinion, had no say in the matter. He also said the broadcaster would be the biggest loser if India were to pull out of the Champions Trophy. "It's common sense; if India doesn't play, it will become very difficult for the broadcasters to even produce [the event]."