World cricket was set for a shake-up after the first day of the ICC’s board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday gave “unanimous support” for a set of principles relating to its future structure, governance and financial models.
Leaked draft proposals from the sport’s ‘Big Three’ nations argued for more power to be placed in the hands of cricket boards in India, England and Australia. However, the ICC appeared to end talk of a two-tier system for Test cricket in which India, England and Australia were insulated from relegation because of their commercial importance.
“There will be an opportunity for all Members to play all formats of cricket on merit, with participation based on meritocracy; no immunity to any country, and no change to membership status,” the ICC statement said.
The statement also signalled the end of the proposed World Test Championship, whose delayed launch was supposed to take place in England in 2017 and its replacement by the one-day Champions Trophy whose final edition was meant to have been staged in England last year.
While resistance from the other seven of the sport’s leading 10 Test nations appears to have seen some of these plans watered down, a core plan to give the ‘Big Three’ a greater say in the running of the world game remains on course to take effect.
These include the formation of a new five-man executive committee, with three seats reserved for the BCCI, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia.
Our New Delhi Special Correspondent reports
The Board unanimously supported the formation of an Executive Committee (ExCo) and a Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) to provide leadership at an operational level, with five members, including BCCI, CA and ECB representatives.
The meeting agreed that a BCCI representative would chair the ICC Board, a CA representative the ExCo and an ECB representative the F&CA for period of two years, from June 2014.
The Board also agreed on the need to recognise the varying contribution of Full Members to the value of ICC events through the payment of ‘contribution costs’.”
A Test Cricket Fund, to be paid equally on an annual basis to all Full Members except the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, will be introduced to encourage and support Test cricket.
ICC president Alan Isaac, meanwhile, expressed his disappointment at the misconceptions that had been created as a result of the draft position paper being leaked.
“Several months ago I had encouraged the BCCI, CA and the ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game.
“It is obviously very disappointing that a draft position paper from these Members was leaked as this prompted a debate that ignored the ongoing negotiations between all Members and led to unwarranted criticism of many of those involved in the process.”