New Zealand Cricket board member Martin Snedden is optimistic despite dark clouds hovering over New Zealand cricket.
The former Kiwi paceman will present New Zealand’s case in Dubai on January 28 and 29 when the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) executive meeting takes stock of a draft proposal which would give India, England and Australia most of the decision making power.
Snedden confirmed to the local media that the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee, which includes New Zealand’s ICC president Alan Isaac, had worked on the proposal for months.
There are apprehensions that revenue from cricket could nosedive for New Zealand if the ICC’s Future Tours Programme goes for a toss. Then, bilateral arrangements would come in for ICC’s obligatory tours. And a country such as New Zealand could lose out with the Big Three taking the decisions.
Snedden remains hopeful. “We must have a Test-playing programme which sees New Zealand playing all of the major countries in the same sort of cyclical way as we have been doing. That is a fundamental outcome for us and just about every other country,” he told Dominion Post.
“If we get a ratification of the existing schedule (which runs until April 2020), that’d be an excellent outcome. I think we’ve got a chance of doing that. We’re in the early stages of this process and there are some good positive signs in there.”
Under the FTP, New Zealand is slated to host Australia in February 2016, England in March 2018, and India for three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 in February-March 2019.
On the distribution of revenue, though, Snedden saw India’s point of view. “India now generates 70-80 per cent of world cricket’s revenue and they want a bigger slice of the pie which I don’t think is unreasonable,” he said.
Much of New Zealand’s chances would depend on India committing fully to agreed tours schedule and world tournaments, in exchange for a bigger revenue slice.
The two-tier system for Tests is only up in the air but the opposition to it here has been total. There have been angry voices here that suggest such a move could destroy cricket’s very soul.
New Zealand wants its interests to be protected. But as Snedden said, it does not mind India getting more money.