I would say then people have not understood the proposal. I do not think that the proposal envisages a takeover of cricket by three boards. The proposal deals with a lot of the issues that the game faces today. And it has suggested improvements by way of changes to the way the game is structured today.
One has to be more specific. I'm quite happy to address each one of the proposals and discuss with you if you have specific queries on each one of the proposals.
It's clear that India brings in most of the money in world cricket, and even in these proposals it's not taking as much as it gets. But the distribution formula is not based only on the contributions made. It took into account the history of the game, the participation of the boards in various tournaments, the achievements of these boards.
It is not simple. It's a combination of sponsorship, broadcast rights fees and all that. One can't have a precise figure but I would say between 70% and 80%. This was even the assessment of ICC.
There's a difference. You can't compare the BCCI to ICC. You can't say that all money is coming out of Bombay. And all the other boards recognise this, and they also recognise a certain amount of leadership has to come out of India, which is what we are trying to provide.
"Somebody has to prepare a draft for discussion. So three out of ten sit together and prepare a draft, others can go through it, suggest changes, and in fact, a lot of changes have taken place"
A strong India with a vibrant commercial structure is good for world cricket.
I'll explain it to you. In the last rights cycle, a total of $314 million was allocated to the Associates. But actually the Associates, in terms of money, got directly from the ICC $125 million. And then the balance, the difference between the two, went by way of subscriptions collected from them, then there were ICC administration costs, event costs, tournament costs, and costs of running tournaments and some umpires' programmes or some other high-performance programmes etc. So basically it is 125 plus cost.
You will see when it is finally tabled. Some small, minor changes have been made to the earlier draft. Let's wait for it to get approved.
The present FTP is not a guaranteed FTP.
For your information, the present FTP is not signed. That is indicative, but it is not a legal document. It is not and it was never binding. Whereas, the FTP bilateral agreement will be stronger. India has sat down during the Dubai meeting and discussed with a number of countries the proposed FTP for going forward, which we are going to coincide with the right cycle.
We are working out details. We have worked out with a number of countries. One or two are left and that also is being finalised.
No, you are saying that. I am not saying it.
I don't know who has said that but certainly not India.
Our team of three or four officials from India sat in Dubai and have held discussions of all the possible FTPs with various countries there. Now, we have only so much time in a year to play. I also want to have a good domestic season and we want to have inbound tours. We want to have at least two inbound tours during our home season, because that is very important to BCCI. Our fans must see our cricket. So therefore, with all this in mind, we are working on a schedule. It is a question of whoever comes first, whoever comes and we are able to accommodate, fine. If we are filled up, then we have a difficulty but we are trying our best to see as many as we can accommodate.
We are open for them. About South Africa, somewhere some wrong information is floating around. We are due to sit with them and discuss the FTP. Somebody is coming here over the next two days and discussions are going to happen.
Possible, but I have to balance both. I must play sufficient cricket in India, and I don't think anyone will deny that. We have excellent venues and all venues should see cricket. Our matches are allotted by rotation, so every state wants matches. We have got 21 ODI centres. We have so many international venues and I think cricket should be seen in the length and breadth of India.
There were a lot of issues we had on the MPA, genuine issues. I would not have signed the last MPA, but whoever signed it, I don't know how it got signed. There are a lot of disadvantages.
"The present FTP is not a legal document. It is not and it was never binding. Whereas the FTP bilateral agreement will be stronger"
I don't want to get in to details, but we have had substantial issues on the MPA. Secondly, it is no secret that we have had many issues at ICC, not with ICC, at the ICC.
I'm just saying there were a lot of issues at ICC. Now, I think BCCI is quite happy to be involved with the leadership of cricket. We will embrace this ICC in the new structure, which will be good for cricket as a whole. All of us are on the same page, so to that extent I think these new proposals, if you take them one by one, you will see how they are inclusive. Basically it is more inclusive now.
I have already said that now we can have an ICC that India can be fully involved with.
We had made it clear that we could not sign the MPA in the form in which it was. It needed many changes. And the other members in the committee realised that India's concerns were legitimate, and therefore it led to a discussion, a lot of discussions, out of which all those proposals came.
I think this is not fair. What did we do? The F&CA [Financial and Commercial Affairs committee] has a working group to prepare and suggest. So we discussed amongst ourselves and then invited other members and presented them with a draft proposal. This was for discussion, it was not for approval.
That alone has stayed. We had said that the chairmanship will rotate between the three - that has been dropped. Anybody can become a chairman. We have only said that the first chairman will be so-and-so, and after that it will be elected by the committees.
Because they are providing a leadership role also. On the ICC board and the IBC [ICC Business Company], all members will be directors. Even in the ExCo and the F&CA, there will be two other members from the remaining seven, so four will already be there out of the seven. Seven people will be in one or the other committee, then the decision is democratic isn't it? There is a casting vote for a chairman.
Someone has to do the work to start thinking, someone has to come up with a draft. And it was a draft that was open for discussion.
There is no veto here. Except the fact that the three boards will be members of the F&CA and the ExCo, it doesn't say anywhere that there will be a veto. There are two other members at all times. Anyone can become the chairman after the first chairman.
We must understand, cricket is a great game. In the beginning and for a very long time, we only knew Test cricket. I think the first thing is that the primacy of Test cricket must be established. We must also look at possible reasons why spectators in some or many geographies are no more coming to the grounds to watch Test cricket. I think it's a concern. Administratively, today the ICC has spread cricket to a number of countries, there are a lot of Associates and Affiliates. Some who knew cricket earlier are now developing it, some who never played cricket are entering cricket. From that point of view, the propagation of cricket, taking it around, that is already in place, that is going on.
No, I'm not saying expanding, I'm saying it's already in place. I believe resources should be used more efficiently, and those areas and geographies where there is a lot of interest in cricket, we should give greater attention, obviously. It is very important, now that we have three forms of cricket, that all these forms flourish and grow. I think that is a very big challenge. And you will agree that all the three forms are not equally popular in all countries. That is also a challenge. And, importantly, I think the ICC has to deliver truly world-class events.
The Test championship did not have the kind of support one would have liked. There were difficulties in the format. We are used to Test series - two Tests, three, four or five. So a one-off Test match... whether it would sustain the interest - these were the questions that were going around the table. And finally I think the feeling was that the last Champions Trophy in England was such a great success, we should persist with it.
This is what we are doing. We are encouraging even Full Members [by giving them] additional resources so that they don't give up Test cricket, because for many members, they incur losses running Test series. So this might help fund that, so that it helps them to sustain Test cricket.
Sambit Bal is editor-in-chief of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here