CoA’s role in clearing the ICC Champions Trophy hurdle

The CoA was convinced that the BCCI got things done in a heavy-handed way. The CoA learnt on Saturday that the BCCI had not shared the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) with its members.

After returning from the ICC Board meeting in Dubai in the first week of February, Vikram Limaye of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) had told Sportstar that the BCCI had to be collaborative with the ICC rather than adopt an attitude of threatening and arm-twisting. This point of view was articulated by the CoA during its interaction with the full members in New Delhi on Saturday. The CoA members included Vinod Rai (Chairman), Vikram Limaye and Diana Edulji.

READ: India announces squad for Champions Trophy

The CoA’s terse response came about after a member stated that the other cricket Boards signed the two-page Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of their volition in 2014. The MOU is signed by two countries for the conduct of bilateral series and it touches upon security, logistics, money matters among other aspects. A number of full member Boards had confided to the CoA that they were “arm-twisted” to agree to the overhaul of the ICC’s administrative structure in 2014.

Transparency International and Lord Woolf, the one-time Chief Justice of England who was engaged by the ICC in 2011 to report on its governance said, “Many members will be effectively disenfranchised. The intention to entrench a privileged position for ‘The Big Three’ appears to be an abuse of entrusted power for private gain, giving them disproportionate, unaccountable and unchallengeable authority.”

  • It was only when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan handed over a copy of the MoU to Shashank Manohar last year did the unfairness of the agreement come to light. The MoU, signed by the Chief Executive of the BCCI, said the agreement would be valid only if the PCB agreed to the changes in the governance model (Big Three) and revenue sharing model.

It was only when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan handed over a copy of the MoU to Shashank Manohar last year did the unfairness of the agreement come to light. The MoU, signed by the Chief Executive of the BCCI, said the agreement would be valid only if the PCB agreed to the changes in the governance model (Big Three) and revenue sharing model. The PCB and Sri Lanka abstained from voting when the resolutions were moved at the ICC Annual Conference at Melbourne in June 2014.

The CoA was convinced that the BCCI got things done in a heavy-handed way. The CoA was also informed on Saturday that the BCCI had not shared the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) with its members. After understanding the events that transpired at the ICC meetings in Singapore (February 2014), the CoA chose to tell the BCCI and its full members in writing and orally, that they cannot take a decision that will compel the Committee to approach the Supreme Court on the controversy surrounding India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Appointed by the Supreme Court on January 30 to oversee the BCCI’s activities, the CoA may have at times seen the pompous side of some of the BCCI officials and members. One of them told the CoA that the meeting between two entities should have happened before, to which the CoA chairman Vinod Rai replied, “It was the BCCI that did not agree to reschedule the SGM.”

The CoA has gone to the extent of asking the BCCI to raise the ICC’s governance model issues. The BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket is opposed to the move of increasing the voting profile of the ICC Board from 11 (ten full members and the chairman) to 15 (ten full members, three associate members, one female director and the chairman). “The BCCI feels its clout will be reduced. But no one is going to take away its vote. If one is fair, people will support you. The BCCI fears that it will not be able get sufficient numbers,” said a BCCI official familiar with ICC-related matters.

The ICC’s annual conference will take place from June 19 to 23, with the AGM scheduled for the last day. The ICC has agreed to increase the BCCI’s share from $293 million to $393, provided it accepts the changes in the constitution.

The ICC may have already accepted a suggestion to drop the “major observations” on each member’s annual audited statement. It is learnt that BCCI has asked for seven changes.

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