BCCI keen to modify FTP

The proposed 2019-20/22-23 Future Tours Programme “puts India at a disadvantage,” according to a BCCI official.

The India-Sri Lanka series of fixtures across formats has seen the BCCI’s revenue jump by close to Rs. 450 crore.   -  Vivek Bendre

If some BCCI office-bearers and member units are chafed at the proposed current four-year 2019-20/22-23 Future Tours Programme (FTP), then they are justified. Influential people in the BCCI and its members do not in anyway want to compromise on the pre-eminence accorded to the high-stakes home international season because it’s here the BCCI makes its moolah. “The present FTP puts India at a disadvantage,” said a BCCI official.

The BCCI wants a thorough discussion about it and effect changes to it at a general body meeting before it is taken up for consideration with other full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

According to the present FTP drawn for 2018-23, which the BCCI wants to change, India is scheduled to play 36 Tests, 73 ODIs and 18 Twenty20 matches in total, with 15 Tests, 30 ODIs and six Twenty20 matches to be played at home and 21 Tests, 43 ODIs and 12 Twenty20 matches played abroad. According to the BCCI, there is a shortfall of 25 home internationals for the 2018-2023 period.

Revenue cut

The BCCI members feel that the present FTP is lopsided, with India allotted only two Tests, 10 ODIs and one Twenty20 for the home international season of 2021-22 and only 10 ODIs and one Twenty20 for the home international season of 22-23. All this will considerably see a big dip in the BCCI’s income from media and other rights.

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With the new four-year media rights cycle to come up in 2018, the BCCI members are keen to optimise the revenue potential; in the last two years (2016 and 2017), the BCCI has seen receipts in excess of Rs. 2100 crore from its media rights, team, series and apparel sponsorships. The last-minute arranged nine-match series against Sri Lanka itself has seen the BCCI’s revenue jump by close to Rs. 450 crore.

Need to ‘protect the home season’

The BCCI and its member units are thrilled at Star India making a successful bid at Rs. 16,347.50 crore for the IPL media rights from 2018 to 2022. The present BCCI’s media rights agreement with Star India for bilateral home internationals will come to a close in March 2018, although the last Twenty20 match to be played against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium on December 24 will virtually signal the end of the home international broadcasts by Star India.

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In a note that has been circulated to the BCCI members for the Special General Meeting to be held in New Delhi on December 11, it has been emphasised that, “The BCCI, through its representatives, has been part of the exercise since the ICC initiated the process to draft a consolidated new FTP. The representation is necessary to safeguard the interest of the BCCI, protect the home season and to safeguard its interest, as it is due for a four-year media rights cycle in 2018.”

Balancing FTP

The BCCI members have also been told about a number of ICC initiated conferences, member scheduling workshops, CEC and ICC Board meetings in Dubai, Edinburgh, Cape Town, London and Auckland from February 2016 to October 2017 to consider the new FTP. The next CEOs meeting will again consider the new FTP in Singapore on December 7 and 8.

The BCCI’s note also makes it a point to say that a new FTP is necessary to redress the current imbalance in the current FTP, and to incorporate the ICC Test Championships, ICC ODI leagues and also the ICC Women Championship. The BCCI’s position as of now is that its Operations Team is working closely with the ICC and other Boards to ensure a proposal, which has a fixed home season in the next cycle (2018-2023) and also is eligible for the ICC Test and ODI leagues.