ICC changes may be discussed clause-by-clause in April

The International Cricket Council's constitutional and financial changes that were given a go-ahead in its board meeting on Saturday, may be dissected clause-by-clause at the next meeting in April.

Shashank Manohar

ICC president Shashank Manohar seemed to be clear the cricket governing body's decisions would be based on "equity and conscience".   -  Getty Images

After the long-awaited facelift and remodelling of the International Cricket Council’s constitutional and financial changes was given the thumbs up on Saturday, the full members may be given an opportunity to discuss the salient features of the new governance and revenue sharing model, clause-by-clause, at the next board meeting in Dubai in the last week of April. It’s possible that the constitutional changes and revenue sharing model will be put to vote separately and not as a merged one as it was done on Saturday.

> Read: BCCI votes against restructuring of ICC's revenue sharing model

The ICC’s press release, after the three-day meetings of its Chief Executives Committee and the board, did not reveal the real gains from the special working group’s proposed change. But a board member said that “equity” was the theme around which the revenue sharing model has been given shape to, although India (Board of Control for Cricket in India — BCCI) will receive more than double the sum that’s been apportioned to England and Australia. The five-member working group has worked out a revenue sharing model taking a post-expenditure line; the 2014 resolution had set aside 32 per cent to be paid to its members first and then to pay for expenses incurred.

The 2014 constitutional changes gave the cricket boards of India, Australia and England, the “Big 3” status with all executive powers. Then it was resolved that India would take a big share of the annual revenue, much of it from the broadcast agreement with Star Sports (around 22 per cent, before the ICC paid for its expenditure and another 4 per cent after all expenses were paid) and with England’s share being 4.5 per cent, Australia’s 2.9 per cent and South Africa’s 1.3 per cent. Converted to Indian rupees, the BCCI’s share would have been Rs. 3,250 crore; now it has been scaled down to around Rs. 2,500 crore for the 2016-2023 eight-year cycle.

An ICC member said that its independent chairman, Shashank Manohar, in the course of his 20 minute speech at the start of the board meeting, explained that there cannot be any “straightjacket” formula to determine revenue sharing model, that “equity and conscience” should be the heart of the matter and that a wrong notion exists that India contributes about 70 per cent to the ICC annual revenue kitty.

The ICC understood the BCCI representative Vikram Limaye’s view that the two important matters could be put off to the next board meeting in April, but it went ahead to get the approval. Having been appointed to the Committee of Administrators (CoA), Limaye was altogether new to the ICC environment. An official said: "He also attended the important ICC Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee and perhaps could have found out the other full members’ distrust of the BCCI.”

Reversal

The outcome at Saturday’s ICC board meeting would have indeed hurt the people who worked towards the 2014 arrangement, especially the former ICC Chairman, N. Srinivasan. The BCCI members first rejoiced because of the potential windfall they would reap, and then ditched him, including the former BCCI Secretary, Ajay Shrike, as unsavoury events in the Indian Premier League (IPL) unfolded.

They pointed fingers at Srinivasan for all the troubles the BCCI was facing; then they brought back Shashank Manohar, following the initiative taken by Arun Jaitley, Shirke and Anurag Thakur. At the ICC quarterly meeting in Cape Town, in October 2016, about half a dozen BCCI officials made an attempt to dislodge Manohar as the ICC Chairman and even told a senior ICC functionary that they are willing to throw out Thakur (as BCCI president).

Events have come a full circle with a large number of BCCI members — those who backed his candidates at the election in Chennai in March 2015 — opting to rally behind Srinivasan. It would be interesting to see how they respond to the latest developments at the ICC.

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