The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board received a thumping mandate from its full member directors to implement the changes to its constitution (governance) and financial (revenue) structure that were agreed in principle at its quarterly meeting on February 4.
At the Board meeting in Dubai on Wednesday, eight directors, excluding representatives from BCCI (Amitabh Choudhary) and Cricket Sri Lanka (Thilanga Sumathipala), voted in favour of the change in governance structure. Nine directors, excluding the BCCI, voted for the revenue model. The three associate members from Singapore, Ireland and Namibia also supported the resolutions.
The ICC Board rejected a BCCI request to defer the matter on two key issues till after the ICC annual conference in June. ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, after consulting the members of the Special Working Group (SWG) that worked on the administrative structure, offered to increase BCCI’s share by $100 million. An hour or so before the Board meeting began, the BCCI conveyed its decision of declining the offer.
The ICC Board will now recommend the changes to its AGM at London in June; sources say it’s just a formality of getting the approval of the AGM, as ten full members have a 75% weight in vote and 95 associate and affiliate have a 25% weight.
According to influential officials who were privy to the proceedings in Dubai, a letter from the BCCI proposed that the ICC directors constitute a committee (replacing the SWG) to look at the administrative structure afresh. Clearly miffed at the ICC’s decision to abandon the 2014 resolution that vested powers with the Cricket Boards of India, Australia and England and guaranteed 20.3% of the ICC’s gross revenue for an eight year cycle (2016-2023), the BCCI stuck to its guns, but as the outcome of the division showed, virtually the entire ICC Board backed the changes as proposed by the SPW which had worked for more than 12 months to prepare the draft recommendations.
With the BCCI rejecting the $100 million raise, the ICC Board decided to add $4 million to what was initially proposed by the SWG to each of the ten full member nations. The BCCI’s share now would be $293 million (from $289 million). An official said that that BCCI may have even gone to the extent of asking for $610 million (20.3 % of $ 2.7 billion — gross revenue for eight years — plus an additional $62 million allocated to all members). The England and Wales Cricket Board will receive $143 million, Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa, West Indies Cricket Board, Pakistan Cricket Board, Bangladesh Cricket Board, Cricket New Zealand and Cricket Sri Lanka will receive $132 million each and Zimbabwe Cricket will get $94 million.
A few modifications were made to the governance structure with the Board dropping the idea of relegating any of the present full members to the associate category. The case of Afghanistan and Ireland for promotion as a full member will be put before the membership committee.
But all may not be lost for the BCCI. The news heard on the grapevine suggests that the ICC may still keep open its offer of $ 100 million to the BCCI.
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