The first day of the International Cricket Council's Board meetings concluded in Dubai on Tuesday with unanimous support for a set of principles relating to its future structure, governance and financial models.
ICC President Alan Isaac said: “This is an important time for world cricket and it is extremely encouraging that the ICC Board has unanimously supported a set of far-reaching principles that will underpin the long-term prosperity of the global game.
"These principles emphasise the primacy of Test cricket and that for the first time in cricket's history participation will be based entirely on meritocracy, giving everyone powerful incentives to play better cricket and develop better cricketers.
"There is more work to be done by the Members in developing their schedules of bilateral cricket while at the ICC we need to work through the detail of the manner in which these principles will be implemented.
"Extensive work will now be undertaken in advance of a follow-up Board meeting next month."
Isaac also expressed disappointment with the misconceptions that had been created as a result of a draft position paper produced by three ICC Members being leaked.
"Several months ago I encouraged BCCI, CA and ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game. These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions.
"It is obviously very disappointing that a draft position paper from these members was leaked as this prompted a debate that ignored the ongoing negotiations between all Members and led to unwarranted criticism of many of those involved in the process.
"The principles agreed today provide clear evidence that through the course of further discussions over the coming weeks we can be increasingly confident in achieving consensus."
David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive, added: “An enormous amount of effort has gone into developing a comprehensive set of proposals that include input from all members.
"The Board has held some very constructive, inclusive, wide-ranging and far-reaching discussions and I am looking forward to bringing to fruition some of the principles that have been proposed and accepted in relation to the cricketing structures of the global game."
According to a statement from the ICC, the following principles were unanimously supported:
- Opportunity for all members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status.
- A Test Cricket Fund paid equally on an annual basis to all Full Members (except the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board) will be introduced to encourage and support Test cricket.
- A larger percentage from the increasing Associate Members’ surplus will be distributed to the higher performing non-Full Members.
- Mutually agreed bi-lateral FTP Agreements which will be legally binding and bankable and will run for the same period as the ICC commercial rights cycle (2015-2023).
- Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility.
- Need to recognise the varying contribution of Full Members to the value of ICC events through the payment of ‘contribution costs’.
- The establishment of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, CA and ECB representatives.
Anybody from within the Board can be elected to chair the Board and anybody from within ExCo and F&CA can be elected to chair those committees.
With the ICC undergoing a transitional period that includes a new governance structure and media rights cycle, this leadership will be provided for two years from June 2014 by: a BCCI representative to chair the ICC Board, a CA representative to chair the ExCo and an ECB representative to chair the F&CA.
- A new company will be incorporated to tender future commercial rights for ICC events. There will be three major ICC events in each four-year cycle, including the ICC Champions Trophy which will replace the ICC World Test Championship.
- The ICC will utilise a more efficient operating model for all ICC events, with a simplified accounting model across ICC income and expenditure to help better manage ICC administrative and event costs.
Image: ICC president Alan Isaac and BCCI chief N Srinivasan