Which way will the ICC and the BCCI go?

The ICC Board has expressed readiness to amend some of the decisions it approved at the quarterly meeting in February; especially in relation to the changes to its Constitution and Financial models. The ICC Board will meet in Dubai on Wednesday.

The ICC Board has expressed readiness to amend some of the decisions it approved at the quarterly meeting in February; especially in relation to the changes to its Constitution and Financial models. The ICC Board will meet in Dubai on Wednesday.

Initially the BCCI resented the changes in public and the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Vikray Limaye voted against the changes at the ICC Board meeting and thereafter he wrote an 11-page letter declining to accept the revenue model. As a consequence, the ICC, under the Chairmanship of Shashank Manohar, opened communication channels to convey to the BCCI that it was willing to raise its share by $100 million, which would take its receipts for the period 2016-2023 from the proposed  $289 million to $390 million. The BCCI had, in fact, at its SGM here on February 19, 2016, agreed to reduce its share by $150 million.

Many BCCI members have tried to impress upon Jt. Secretary Amitabh Choudhary (BCCI’s representative at the ICC Board) to accept the ICC’s revised sum, but he doesn’t have the leeway to look beyond the two resolutions he has been ordered to adhere to; to request the ICC to defer any discussion on the matter beyond June or vote against it.

Clearly the BCCI wants to re-look at the entire matter after Shashank Manohar’s exit at the annual conference in June.

While the BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry is keeping himself busy to turn things around in Dubai, it is learnt that a couple of individuals (not connected with the BCCI) have also called up ICC Board members to hold all matters in abeyance. The BCCI’s ultimate objective is to regain its exalted position in world cricket and also get its larger share because the ICC generates a high percentage of revenue from India than any other cricket playing nation.

In another development on Tuesday, a few full members of the BCCI started talking privately about the haphazard way resolutions related to the ICC matters were proposed at the adjourned Special General Meeting in New Delhi on April 18. A BCCI member of several years and a former vice-president has gone to the extent of conveying to certain officials in Dubai that resolutions were proposed and discussed at the SGM, but he would not vouch for anything further.

After the BCCI office-bearers agreed to shelve a resolution to enable its representative to invoke the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and withdraw from the ICC Champions Trophy (if the ICC did not agree to keep alive the 2014 resolution that gave executive  powers to the BCCI, Cricket Boards of Australia, England and the revenue model that gave 22 % share to BCCI before expenses were paid for) a handful of resolutions were proposed that did not give scope for Choudhary to take a hands-on call.

On February 4, the ICC Board had agreed in principle to accept the Special Working Group (SWG) proposed changes by an overwhelming majority; the proceedings of that Board meeting has been minuted. But the ICC Board also asked its ten full members to propose suggestions that could be considered at the April meeting. Apart from the BCCI’sLimaye, Sri Lanka also voted against the changes and Zimbabwe abstained because it did not agree with a few clauses related to the relegation rule applied to full member countries.

Last year the Big 3 governance model was scrapped at the ICC annual conference in Edinburgh, and the former ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan (barred by the Supreme Court to represent the BCCI at the ICC meetings) has not taken it lying down; after all he was the architect of the 2014 resolution, along with ECB’s Giles Clarke and Cricket Australia’s Wally Edwards. N. Srinivasan and the present ICC Chairman Manohar, not long ago the BCCI Secretary and President, have fallen apart and one can see the reason why Srinivasan,  through the present BCCI office bearers, is trying hard against all odds to get some ICC members come around his ways of thinking. Reports also emerged that the BCCI would suggest alternate ways of governance and sharing the revenue. What the ICC Board members think of the whole issue will be known soon and Choudhary’s mandate is to report back to the BCCI.