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The world versus the BCCI: Who will win?

January 28, 2014 18:08 IST

The world versus the BCCI: Who will win?

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Harish Kotian

The BCCI, which provides close to 80 percent of the ICC's revenues, is adamant that a revamp of world cricket must go through, failing which it will pull out of ICC events. Rediff.com's Harish Kotian explains what the ICC board meeting in Dubai is all about.

The all-important two-day International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai got underway on Tuesday morning. The agenda: The controversial revamp of the governing body and a new formula for distribution of revenue.

The three most powerful boards in world cricket -- the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia -- are pushing for a revamp of the ICC's administrative and financial structure, which could see them take control of its functioning and have a bigger share of revenues.

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Image: BCCI President N Srinivasan, right, with Cricket Australia Chairman Wally Edwards.
Photographs: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

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Harish Kotian

Earlier this month, the BCCI, the ECB and CA distributed a 21-page document to ICC members.

There are reports that the proposal has been redrafted in the last couple of days. There has also been hectic lobbying, because, as per ICC rules, seven of the 10 Board members, which comprise the Test-playing nations, need to approve the controversial proposal, which has understandably met with resistance.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf claimed on Tuesday that Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will vote against the Big Three's proposals.

'Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka, we all have one stance. We will stick to our stance,' Ashraf told Pakistan's ARY TV channel.

The BCCI, which provides close to 80 percent of the ICC's revenues, is adamant that the revamp must go through, else it will pull out of ICC events and schedule bilateral tours on its own.

The Indian board's stand has divided the cricketing world. While New Zealand Cricket is backing the controversial proposal, some countries and the Federation of International Cricketers Association have rejected it.

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Image: BCCI President N Srinivasan, right, with ICC President Alan Isaac.
Photographs: Jack Dabaghian/Getty Images for the ICC

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The world versus the BCCI: Who will win?

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Harish Kotian

A two-tier format for Test cricket is one of the most contentious points in the Big Three's draft proposal, and Bangladesh was quick to reject it, since relegation will mean competing in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

The Big Three -- Australia, England and India -- are protected from relegation.

The fate of the revamp depends on how the BCCI convinces other ICC members. Using bait, like a full tour for countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh who are desperately in need of funds to sustain their cricket, could be one of the methods the BCCI deploys at the Dubai meeting.

India is also looking to gain further control of the ICC by proposing the new post of ICC chairman.

N Srinivasan is the favourite for this job. If created, it will make the ICC president into a virtual dummy.

The consensus among the aggrieved parties is that the ICC revamp will swell the coffers of the Big Three even more while leaving other members at their mercy.

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Image: BCCI President N Srinivasan.
Photographs: Jack Dabaghian/Getty Images for the ICC

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Harish Kotian

According to The Times of India newspaper, if the ICC revamp proposal goes through, the BCCI will gain a windfall between 2015 and 2023.

Its revenues could increase from Rs 737.43 crore (Rs 7.37 billion) to Rs 3,564.768 crore (Rs 35.64 billion).

In the same time-frame the ECB will earn Rs 1,085.748 crore (Rs 10.85 billion) while CA will make Rs 819.018 crore (Rs 8.19 billion)

Those increases will come at the cost of revenues of other ICC members. South Africa's revenue will fall from Rs 737.43 crore to Rs 583.668 crore (Rs 5.83 billion) and Pakistan's to Rs 599.358 crore (Rs 5.99 billion).

A series with India could, of course, make up for such losses.

Aggrieved ICC members will incur a huge risk if they decide to take on the BCCI at the Dubai meeting.

Cricket South Africa recently suffered a big loss after India cut down its tour last month, angered by Haroon Lorgat's appointment as CSA CEO.

Other ICC members may not want to rub the BCCI the wrong way and pay the price.


Image: The BCCI logo.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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