It’s not a power game, says Board secretary Sanjay Patel

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unanimously approved the draft proposal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Commercial Rights Working Group at the emergent working committee meeting, here on Thursday.

The proposal was aimed at apportioning the bulk of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) executive decision-making powers among the BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA), and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The outcome was on predictable lines with the BCCI being one of the key stakeholders of the proposal.

The proposals will be put to vote at the quarterly meeting of the ICC Executive Board to be held in Dubai on January 28 and 29. They will need seven out of 10 votes to pass.

The chief implication of the proposals being ratified is that the BCCI, CA, and ECB will receive a bigger percentage of the ICC’s earnings following a change in the revenue-distribution model. Under this, the contribution of individual member countries to ICC’s revenue will directly impact their earnings.

The BCCI appeared to indicate that its participation in ICC events will depend on the proposal’s approval.

In a release, the Board said it had authorised the office-bearers “to enter into agreements with the ICC for participating in the ICC events and host ICC events, subject to the proposal being approved in the ICC board.”

The office-bearers, the release said, could also discuss bilateral matches with other full members (“including Pakistan”) and sign formal Future Tours Programme agreements.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel insisted the proposal “wouldn’t shrink cricketing activity”. “It’s not a power game,” he told reporters at the end of the meeting. “It’s recognition of India’s cricket-involvement. It’s our legitimate right and we aren’t asking for more than what we should.”

The draft proposal has already caused panic in sections of the cricketing community with Cricket South Africa (CSA) registering its opposition.

Quizzed about the prevailing apprehension, Patel initially said: “We have not received any confirmation or rejection from anybody.”

When a reference was made to the letter — that termed the proposal ‘fundamentally flawed’ — written by Chris Nenzani, CSA’s president and board chairman, to ICC president Alan Isaac, Patel responded, “We might have differences but these are things to be deliberated upon at the ICC meeting. It’s a question of understanding.”

He, however, remained tight-lipped on the revenue-distribution model.

“There are numerous proposals on the financial models and they will be deliberated upon in the ICC meeting. But I can say the revenue-percentage will be three to four times more than what we get now.”

The other important decision was to push for the reinstatement of the Champions Trophy. Patel clarified it wouldn’t be at the expense of the Test championship and that the creation of a separate fund in this regard was proposed.

The meeting was chaired by BCCI vice-president N. Shivlal Yadav after president N. Srinivasan was absent owing to his mother’s death early on Thursday morning.

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