Ever since the draft proposing an overhaul of the functioning of International Cricket Council (ICC) was leaked to a few journalists, radical reactions have come out from various cricket pundits and scribes. The backlash is understandable since the revamp, if formalised, will leave all the main decision-making of the body in the hands of three boards, the BCCI, the ECB and CA, meaning the other cricketing boards would be just there to make up the numbers. While it is a fact that most of the revenue for the sports comes out of India, the proposal of BCCI joining ECB and CA to restructure cricket governance is rather prejudiced towards the stronger nations.
Some of the points mentioned in the ‘position paper’ are rather scary. According to the proposal, the BCCI, ECB and CA, termed as the ‘Big Three’, will walk away with the major chunk of the revenue generated, while the rest will be distributed among the other member boards. This is hugely unfair since nether India, England nor Australia are the current number one Test team in the world, but it is South Africa, and there is no mention of CSA in the draft.
You need not be a rocket scientist to discover that teams must be rewarded for their performances. But, as per the position paper, the ‘Big Three’ will get away with the maximum amount of revenue irrespective of how their teams perform. That is not all. According to a key proposal in the paper, the ICC will form an Executive Committee (ExCo) where BCCI, CA and ECB will be permanent members. There will be a fourth member as well, but that will be decided by the ExCo as well, which means further power to them. Also, the annual chairman for the committee will be chosen from the ‘Big Three’ only, which again means performance won’t count.
Even more dangerous is the proposal wherein all ICC members except the BCCI, ECB and CA will be subject to relegation and promotion in Test cricket. The proposal states that this is being done to protect the finances of the ICC, but it is possibly the worst of all propositions from a cricketing point of view. If put into effect, it will ensure that performance doesn’t matter at all as far as India, England and Australia are concerned. They will be immune to relegation even if their performances are worse than other nations. What is the point of having a competition in the first place then?
Further, the Future Tour Programme (FTP) will also be put out of place, which means the boards can decide whom and when they want to play against. This could lead to a chaotic situation in the future. Finally, the paper adds that only people from BCCI, ECB and CA can be appointed as Chairman of the ICC. In effect, the proposal is stating that the ‘Big Three’ will be given all the power to rule, while the other member boards will be at their mercy. In short, if passed, the proposal will create a major imbalance in world cricket.
--By A Cricket Analyst