ICC and India reach compromise on share of revenues
The International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have resolved a dispute over revenues from global events with the latter to earn more than $400 million over an eight-year cycle.
In April, the ICC board voted 13-1, with India the only dissenter, in favour of a new revenue distribution system under which the BCCI was set to receive only $293 million between 2016 and 2023.
This was significantly more than any other country, but far below the $570 million it would have got under a controversial previous model.
The disparity prompted unrest at the BCCI and fears that India could boycott the ICC Champions Trophy held in England and Wales this month, as they delayed the naming of their squad, although these ultimately proved unfounded, and the team finished as runners-up to Pakistan.
A financial compromise was reached at a meeting of the ICC Council, held as part of the Annual Conference, at The Oval in London yesterday, under which the BCCI will receive $405 million from the proceeds of tournaments including the Cricket World Cup and World Twenty20, acknowledging India’s role as the cash cow of the international game.
Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board will receive $139 million (down from the $143 million pledged in April), Zimbabwe Cricket $94 million (unchanged) and the ICC’s other existing seven full members $128 million (down from $132 million).
Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Ireland were, as expected, promoted to full membership, meaning they will be able to contest five-day test matches in the future, and will share revenues of $240 million to 2023.
In addition, the ICC has adopted a more equitable constitution following an outcry over previous changes in 2014, which increased the revenues and influence of the ‘big three’ cricket countries of India, England and Australia.
As part of this, Imran Khawaja, a lawyer from Singapore, has today been unanimously elected as deputy chairman of the ICC board, representing the second-tier associate members.
He will deputise for chairman Shashank Manohar when the Indian official is unable to fulfil his duties.
Manohar said on Thursday: “I would like to thank all ICC members for their commitment to changing the constitution for the good of the global game. This is the first step towards the ICC improving its governance and I believe that these changes will benefit all members and enable us to continue to grow the global game.
“Throughout this process we have shown the strength of a collective and unified approach and I would like to pay tribute to my board colleagues who have been so determined to reach consensus. They have not focused solely on their own country but have ensured cricket around the world benefits.”
Meanwhile, the ICC is to launch a new governing body for cricket in USA after the Council voted to expel the USA Cricket Association.
USACA had been suspended since June 2015, with the ICC citing concerns over the governance, finance, reputation and cricketing activities of the association.
The Council vote following a board recommendation in April and a recent dispute resolution committee before Michael Beloff, a leading UK barrister, which ended last week.
A sustainable foundation advisory group comprising officials from across the US cricket community will work alongside the ICC Americas team incorporating a USA project team to oversee the sport in the country while a new entity is created and a board appointed.
The ICC has identified USA as a potential major growth market for cricket, but development has been handicapped by the tribulations of USACA and rival bodies claiming to represent the sport in the country.
In addition, the ICC has given its support for a three-match Pakistan vs World XI Twenty20 series in Lahore later this year as part of efforts to restore international cricket to one of the sport's major markets.
Pakistan have not hosted a series against a leading cricket country since a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankans in Lahore in 2009, with security concerns proving to be the major deterrent.
• The Australian Cricketers’ Association has rejected a new pay offer from Cricket Australia, prolonging a dispute with the governing body over new contracts.
In a statement, the ACA said the two bodies remain “far apart.”
It added: “The parties have not reached agreement on many fundamental issues.”
The ACA and CA have clashed over the latter’s proposal to switch from the revenue-sharing model that has been in place for the past 20 years to a fixed payments system.
The present memorandum of understanding expires on 30 June, after which all men's and women's national team and most domestic players will be out of contract unless a new deal is signed.
The dispute could threaten the Australian men's team's tour of Bangladesh in August and possibly even the home Ashes series against England starting in November.