It is the big bully of world cricket, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India is ready to open another front against the International Cricket Council and other member boards.
HT has learnt the BCCI is unhappy with the ICC’s system of distributing 75% of its net profit equally among full members. It feels it deserves a bigger share and is now looking to extract its pound of flesh.
The BCCI’s demand for a larger share of the pie stems from India’s centrality to the sport and its global governing body. India generates over 70% of the game’s revenue and is also the reason why the ICC attracts big broadcast and sponsorship deals for its events such as the 50-over World Cups and World T20s.
Banking mainly on the Indian market, the ICC has projected $1.58 billion as the value of its commercial rights for the period 2007-15. Moreover, BCCI’s research says, without India, ICC’s bargaining power in broadcast deals straightaway falls by 40%. The most significant example of India’s impact on an ICC event was the 2007 World Cup, where its early exit sounded the death knell for the event.
The BCCI already has its say in the Champions League T20 — where its share of the revenue is 50%, Cricket Australia’s is 30% and Cricket South Africa gets 20%. It is now set to fight to have a similar model replicated at the global stage.
But the move is sure to raise the hackles of the rest of the cricket world, including smaller boards which are otherwise India’s allies. Srinivasan and Co plan to look for support from other big boards such as those of Australia and England which, though not equal to India, can also ask for bigger shares.
“Perha“ We have told England and Australia to also demand bigger shares,” a board source said. What got the BCCI’s goat is that most of the money distributed by the ICC is being used by other boards to meet office expenses.
“If you go through their accounts, most of the money is used for administrative expenses. It has to be used for cricket activities. For the board’s functioning, they have to generate revenue on their own and we are going to push for it,” said the source.
India wants an arrangement similar to the one in the Spanish League, where the two biggest draws — Real Madrid and Barcelona — receive a much larger share of the TV rights deal.
One can expect a long-drawn fight and, going by the BCCI’s record, boycott threats are likely to fly unless its stand is okayed.