TELFORD VICE in Cape Town
THE Big Three is dead, the Big One rudely alive, and one of the Big Brothers still kicking.
Those, essentially, are the most important aspects of what the International Cricket Council (ICC) accomplished in five days of board and committee meetings in Dubai this week.
But there could yet be a sting in this tale, what with calls for India to boycott the Champions Trophy in retaliation – which would cost the global game many millions in lost revenue.
In 2014 India, England and Australia hijacked world cricket financially, cajoling and conjuring agreement to secure for themselves most of the international game’s earnings from the sale of rights.
And why not, some said – between them those three countries earned most of that money.
But the Small Seven, after they had been cowed into collusion, cried foul.
Matters came to a head at this week’s meetings.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) arrived in the boardroom wanting US$570-million from the 2016 to 2023 rights cycle.
Instead, they will get US$293-million. Or US$277-million less than what they had demanded.
Consequently, perhaps, the BCCI were the only board among the 10 full members to vote against the proposal to change the current financial model.
The England Cricket Board will bank US$143-million, and everyone else – including Cricket South Africa – US$132-million. Everyone, that is, except Zimbabwe Cricket, who will earn US$94-million.
“This is another step forward for world cricket and I look forward to concluding the work at the annual conference (in June),” ICC chairperson Shashank Manohar was quoted as saying in a statement.
“I am confident we can provide a strong foundation for the sport to grow and improve globally in the future through the adoption of the revised financial model and governance structure.”
But reports from India say some suits want Virat Kohli’s team to pull out of the Champions Trophy in England in June.
“Until (Wednesday) the idea of pulling out of the Champions Trophy wasn’t such a realistic one,” the Times of India quoted a “senior cricket administrator” as saying.
“But 24 hours is a long time. Going by what happened (on Wednesday), the ICC has clearly and abrasively breached the contract that it has signed with the BCCI.
“Let India not play this tournament as a protest and then let’s see how many ICC members still like the idea of going ahead with the policy changes. Someone has to call their bluff.”
The Indians, along with the Sri Lankans, also voted against a proposed new ICC constitution that would seek to increase the number of test-playing countries.