Going into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) much-awaited Board meeting that begins on Wednesday in Dubai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is hoping to block the proposal to roll back the 2014 Big Three plan that guaranteed them the lion’s share in revenues and a big say in governance.
Though the BCCI exudes confidence it will get the four votes from other boards required to block the move and force further rounds of discussion before the ICC Annual Conference in June, it is not yet clear whether it will actually manage it. The meeting which will end on Thursday is bound to be a heated affair.
A senior BCCI official claimed it has the support of four other boards, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but there hasn’t been any official word on the issue.
Although the Supreme Court nominated acting secretary, Amitabh Chaudhary to add the ICC meeting, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has also reached Dubai early to try and convince other boards on the sidelines of the official meetings.
The BCCI officials have aggressively campaigned to retain the controversial 2014 proposals though the Committee of Administrators has asked them not to be confrontational.
“The ICC has offered BCCI a slightly higher share (than they would get in the reworked revenue model) to get them around to accept the new model. However, the BCCI stand is that what money is being doled out actually belongs to us,” a Board source said.
If BCCI gets the four votes, it has a good chance to defer the decision till after the Annual Conference in June when ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar, who wants the new model in place, vacates the chair.
All eyes are on the smaller boards. While they will all be in favour of reverting to the old financial model where they will be assured of a larger share of the revenues, they are not happy with changes planned in the cricket structure, especially the two-tier Test structure proposed.
However, it has been learnt that some of the boards are happy with the new financial model and could side with those boards opposed to the 2014 model, as long as the two-tier system that would rob them of Tests with top teams doesn’t come into place.
“Cricket structure is not part of the board meeting. It is there only at the Chief Executives Committee level and may not be discussed at the board meeting,” said a source.
“The decision can be taken later and it is possible the ICC may agree not to bring in the two-tier system and they vote against BCCI (on the revenue issue). It could all depend on how they are convinced with the carrot of bilateral series promised by India.
“As of now, these consultations are happening only on the sidelines.”
BCCI’s final weapon in this fight will be pulling out of the Champions Trophy. Only India among the eight teams didn’t name the squad before the Tuesday deadline.
However, it could be only a bargaining tool and the extreme step is likely to be taken. If BCCI go ahead to boycott the Champions Trophy, they could be penalised and be out of the ICC events till 2023, which means out of the under-19, women’s and every other event. However, India’s absence will mean a huge drop in revenue.
From what HT has learnt, the reason for BCCI delaying team announcement is due to logistics problems caused by the IPL, and their request will be accommodated by the ICC.