The Intertiol Cricket Council (ICC) is going whole hog to usher in reforms, recently adopting a revised constitution to make its working more democratic. Affiliate membership has been removed, leaving only Full Members and Associates in the world cricket body. The number of Test playing Full Members has been increased to 12, the newest entrants being Afghanistan and Ireland. Each member will have equal votes, with a two-third majority required to pass any resolution. To ensure a level playing field for all member countries, the ICC has also decided to scrap the ‘Big Three’ model of revenue sharing in which the Indian, Australian and English cricket boards were given preference over others. Under this earlier model, India’s BCCI used to get 579 million dollars from the ICC. As the richest cricket body, the BCCI demanded 570 million dollars across the next 8-year cycle under the new system, but was completely outvoted 9-1 early this year. Slighted on being offered 293 million dollars, the BCCI stuck to its guns. Last week though, the stalemate was broken after BCCI accepted an offer of 405 million dollars for the 2016-23 cycle. This is still substantially more than what second-placed England and Wales Cricket Board will be getting ($139 million); the boards of Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will follow with $128 million each, while Zimbabwe will get $94 million. While BCCI will now have the same voting rights as the Afghanistan board, it seems happy that its value as the biggest cash-generator in the game has been recognised by the world body headed by its former chief Sashank Manohar. Another point the BCCI maged to put across successfully in the protracted negotiations is that holding bilateral cricket series will henceforth be the right of the host country. For example, if BCCI refuses to host Pakistan on feasibility grounds, that will be its prerogative and there will be no pelty like the earlier system of splitting points. But even as BCCI has maged to extract a satisfactory deal from the world body, it is itself making heavy weather of the winds of reform buffeting it from within. So much so, that the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) made it clear to BCCI on Saturday that the Lodha reforms will have to be implemented in toto. This warning was sounded after several state cricket associations opposed reform measures like one state one vote, 70-years age cap for cricket administrators, 3-year cooling off period after every office term, and cutting the number of tiol selectors from 5 to 3. It remains to be seen how soon the BCCI adopts the reform constitution drafted by the RM Lodha panel, for only then can state affiliates be made to fall in line.
ICC goes for reforms