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India’s dominance and clout in world cricket likely to shrink

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The unprecedented change in the world cricket order is on the cards, particularly after the International Cricket Council (ICC) nodded to alter cricket’s financial model and governance structure which will end up in substantial reduction in revenue and clout of the Big Three  – India, England and Australia.

Following a meeting at its Dubai headquarters, cricket’s global governing body said on Saturday it had reached “agreement in principle to constitutional and financial change, further progress on future international cricket structures and agreement around the consistent use of DRS (the Decision Review System).”

Seven countries (member boards of ICC) voted in favour of the proposal to undo the Big Three model, while India, represented by senior banker Vikram Limaye, and Sri Lanka voted against it. Zimbabwe abstained from voting. Bangladesh felt obliged to vote in favour of the changes because they were included in the Working Group of the ICC, reported the Times of India.

The report quotes BCCI’s own past president, Shashank Manohar, who is now independent chairman of ICC. As saying:

“India does not deserve to earn a lion’s share from the game’s governing body just because it brings the lion’s share to the table.”

How much India actually earns?

In the existing revenue model, India earns 20.3% of the ICC’s global revenues. Manohar’s effort has been to reduce it by around 8%, which reportedly projects a 14-year cycle loss of Rs 3,000 crore to the BCCI.

The BCCI has been categorically objecting to the proposed new financial and governance models in the last few months.

While the Cricinfo points out that under the new financial model proposed by the ICC, the BCCI will earn $290 million from ICC revenues in the 2015-2023 rights cycle. It quotes a BCCI member familiar with the numbers, is the net amount of earning and amounts to a 34% cut from what would have been their net earning under the Big-Three model – the net earning in that model was $450 million.

ICC's chief operating officer Iain Higgins, chairman Shashank Manohar and chief executive David Richardson during the ICC Board Meeting in Dubai.

ICC’s chief operating officer Iain Higgins (L), chairman Shashank Manohar (C) and chief executive David Richardson (R) during the ICC Board Meeting in Dubai.

Having come on board as member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) to run BCCI in the interim period, Limaye “expressed concern over both the documents (newly proposed financial and governance models) especially in light of the insufficient time available to the COA to take an informed view on the said proposal, and also there being no scientific basis behind the percentage distribution allocation that was being proposed other than ‘good faith and equity’.”

Limaye requested that both proposals be taken up at the next ICC board meeting in April 2017.

“The ICC Chairman requested each member to vote for/against these proposals being base documents, to be taken up for final approval in April 2017, adding that members could suggest changes to these documents between now and the next board meeting,” a statement from the BCCI read.

ICC’s revised revenue distribution model talks about a “more equitable distribution” of world cricket revenues. Sources in the BCCI quoted by TOI, nevertheless, say this model – that effectively nullifies the Big Three model that was in place – wasn’t passed through the ICC’s own Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee in the first place.

In 2014, control of the ICC was effectively ceded to the ‘Big Three’ with many observers arguing they took too large a share of the game’s global revenue.

But under the guidance of India’s Shashank Manohar, the current ICC chairman, the governing body has been trying to curb the power of the ‘Big Three’.

The ICC said the “broader principles” that have been agreed included a “revised financial distribution ensuring a more equitable distribution of revenues” and the “equal weight of votes for all board members regardless of membership status”.

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