International Cricket Council passes controversial reform plans, N Srinivasan to chair ICC Board

Written by PTI | Updated: Feb 8 2014, 20:14pm hrs
International Cricket CouncilIn the new resolution, the International Cricket Council has replaced the World Test Championship with the Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021. Reuters
International Cricket Council (ICC) today approved its radical reform plans aimed at bringing about improved governance, a move that will give India significant control over revenue and power structure of the world's governing body.

Despite strong resentment from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, the controversial proposals related to the restructuring of the ICC was passed at the Executive Board meeting after gaining the support of eight of the International Cricket Council's 10 full members with Sri Lanka and Pakistan -- who have both been vocally opposed -- abstaining from the meeting.

The key elements of the resolution are the establishment of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board representatives.

As per the resolution passed at the meeting, current BCCI president N Srinivasan will chair the International Cricket Council Board from mid-2014 which will be the primary decision-making body, the world body said in a statement.

A new Executive Committee will be formed to report to the board. The initial chair of this Executive Committee (ExCo) will be Wally Edwards from Cricket Australia while the chair of the Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) will continue to be Giles Clarke from the ECB. These roles will be for an initial two year transitional period to 2016 only, the statement further said.

Once this transitional period is completed, the chair of the ICC Board will be elected from within the International Cricket Council board with all Full Member Directors entitled to stand for election, it said, adding that BCCI, CA and ECB - will be represented on both sub-committees, along with two representatives of the other Full Members (who will be elected by the Board).

The relevant resolutions will now be drafted through the appropriate committees, including the Governance Committee and the board before being submitted for approval to Full Council.

Among other key elements of the resolution are the creation of Test Cricket Fund to protect the traditional format of the game, providing opportunities to associate members to play Test cricket, a new financial model for Full Members and enhanced support for the leading Associate Members.

The ICC also said that that there was confirmation that all Full Members will enter into a series of contractually binding bi-lateral agreements as a matter of urgency so that they can confirm a comprehensive schedule of matches in a Future Tours Programme that will now be extended to 2023.

In the new resolution, the International Cricket Council has replaced the World Test Championship with the Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021.

"It proved impossible to come up with a format for a four-team finals event in Test cricket that fits the culture of Test cricket and preserves the integrity of the format,"

the statement.

"With the ICC Champions Trophy alongside the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 and the formats and venues already confirmed for all of these events the ICC has a really attractive package for 2015-23 to take to the market."

The reform plan also provides enhanced support for the leading Associate Members.

The International Cricket Council claims that funds that will be directly distributed to Associate and Affiliate Members (AMs) will continue to grow, building on a dramatic increase in the previous cycle (2007-15) if revenue targets are achieved.

There is also a commitment to continue to support tournaments for all of the AMs and a range of centralised services.

The reform plan will now provide Associate Members a clear pathway to play Test cricket.

The winner of the next ICC Intercontinental Cup will be entitled to take part in a play-off against the bottom-ranked Full Member and, if successful, obtain Test status.

This complements the pathways that are already in place for any member to be able to qualify for the major events in ODI and T20I cricket.

International Cricket Council President Alan Isaac hailed the move and said: "The Board has made some significant decisions today which provide us with long-term certainty in relation to the future governance, competition and financial models of the ICC.

"This decision comes after extensive discussions between members that I helped initiate and were given impetus through a position paper presented by the BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB in early January."

"Since this time a set of resolutions have been drafted, negotiated and modified based on a set of principles agreed by the International Cricket Council Board on January 28 and finalised at the meeting today.

There were eight Full Members who were in a position to support the resolution today and the two who abstained have pledged to further discuss the issues with an aim to reaching unanimous approval over the coming weeks," he said.

International Cricket Council Chief Executive David Richardson added: "We now have clear direction from the Board and it is our job to implement the approved resolution."

The International Cricket Council stated that a set of proposals was initially developed by the respective chairs of BCCI, CA and ECB - Srinivasan, Edwards and Clarke before being presented to a meeting of the Full Members on January 9.

"These proposals were then discussed, negotiated and modified at two subsequent ICC Board meetings. A resolution was put to a vote today and supported by the required majority of the International Cricket Council Board, including eight Full Members. Two of the Full Members - Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket - abstained in the vote as they felt they needed more time to discuss the amended resolution with their respective Boards," it said.

In the passed resolution, there is a new financial model for the Full Members who will gain greater financial recognition based on the contribution they have made to the game, particularly in terms of finance, their International Cricket Council history and their on-field performances in the three formats.

This decision is the outcome of a negotiation between members that has been required to provide long-term certainty of participation of all members in both International Cricket Council events and bilateral series against other members.

The International Cricket Council claims that the structure of the model will ensure that none of the Full Members will be worse off than they are at present and - if forecasts of revenue generation prove to be correct all will be significantly better off.

The agreement of the model has been an important part of a wider negotiation that will now provide long-term certainty of participation in ICC events by all of the Full Member teams.