Srinivasan to chair ICC, 'big 3' get more power
The International Cricket Council board Saturday approved wide-ranging structural and governance reforms despite complaints that they place too much power in the hands of the "Big Three" of India, England and Australia.Updated: Feb 08, 2014 17:05 IST
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday approved its radical reform plans, giving India a strong control over the revenue and power structure of the parent body and paving way for controversial BCCI president Narainswamy Srinivasan's appointment as the ICC chairperson.
In the face of protests by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the proposals aimed at ICC's restructuring were passed at a meeting in Singapore. Of the 10 full members of ICC, eight gave their nod to the plans of India, England and Australia as the two sub-continent power houses abstained from the meeting.
As part of the changes, which still need to be formally adopted by the ICC's council, a new revenue-sharing model will give the lion's share of money to India, and to a lesser extent England and Australia.
That was based, the ICC said, on the big three's larger contributions to the governing body through their rich commercial rights deals.
"It's very important for the ICC to have more commitment from those three members," ICC president Alan Isaac said.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Srinivasan will become the ICC chairman for two years starting July when Isaac's term ends, cementing India's dominant position at the world body.
"I think that's probably what would have happened anyway," outgoing president Isaac said.
Srinivasan, whose administrative career in cricket has weathered a storm following his son-in-law's alleged involvement in a spot-fixing and betting scandal, will be the third Indian to assume the top job in the ICC.
Former ICC presidents Jagmohan Dalmiya (1997-2003) and Sharad Pawar (2010-2012) are the other two.
Wally Edwards, the head of Cricket Australia, will chair a newly-formed executive committee for that "transitional period" through to 2016, with three of the five places permanently reserved on that body for India, England and Australia.
Giles Clarke, the head of the England and Wales Cricket Board, will chair the influential finance and commercial affairs committee to 2016. The big three also have permanent seats on that committee, with two other countries to be voted on.
"The structure of the model will ensure that none of the full members (Test countries) will be worse off than they are at present and if forecasts of revenue generation prove to be correct, all will be significantly better off," the ICC said in a statement.
As expected, the doomed inaugural test cricket championship, planned for 2017, was dumped and the 50-over Champions Trophy competition will be played in its place in 2017 and 2021.
Cricket will also introduce a test fund to give money to the so-called "smaller seven" current Test nations who do not command the wealth India, England and Australia do through their commercial rights.
The existing ICC-regulated international cricket calendar will also be wiped away and countries will instead negotiate series bilaterally through to 2023, allowing India, England and Australia to pick and choose who they want to play over the next decade and avoid unprofitable or inconvenient tours.
The only opponents to some of the proposals, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, had "pledged to further discuss the issues," the ICC said.
Former Pakistan captain and television commentator Ramiz Raja told Pakistani TV channel Geo Television that Pakistan should have "played their cards right."
"Maybe now Pakistan won't feature prominently in the bilateral series because the other board members will remember that you didn't favor them," he said. "We didn't understand the reality, 80% of the cricket economy is from India whether you like it or not."
(With PTI and AP inputs)