ICC supports cricket shake-up

2014-01-28 20:13
ICC (File)

London - World cricket was set for a shake-up after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave "unanimous support" for "principles" to change its structure and governance.

Leaked draft proposals from the sport's most financially powerful 'Big Three' nations argued for more power to be placed in the hands of India, England and Australia.

But Tuesday's statement, following the first of a two-day ICC meeting at its Dubai headquarters, ruled out talk of the 'Big Three' being spared relegation in any new two-division Test set-up because of their commercial importance.

It even indicated the likes of Ireland might join the existing 10 Test nations but without any details.

"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.

But the statement was clear in signalling the end of the proposed World Test Championship.

Its delayed launch was supposed to happen in England in 2017.

But instead it has been replaced by the reprieved one-day Champions Trophy, a more commercial and broadcast-friendly proposition.

The 'mini World Cup' was spared after a successful 'final' edition in England last year.

Plans to give the 'Big Three' a greater say in running ICC include the formation of a new five-man executive committee, with three seats reserved for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA).

End of the Future Tours Programme

Meanwhile the ICC board agreed to discontinue the centralised Future Tours Programme -- a well-meaning if not always well-enforced scheme -- designed to ensure the 10 leading countries hosted and toured one another during an eight-year span.

Instead there will be a return to bilateral agreements between nations. These will run from 2015-2023 in common with the ICC's next commercial rights cycle.

Trying to allay fears about a lack of top-class cricket for the likes of 'commercially unattractive' countries such as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and even New Zealand, the ECB and CA have said they will play a minimum number of fixtures against all other full members.

But the BCCI which generates some 80 percent of the ICC's global revenue, has yet to declare its hand.

Indeed Tuesday's statement said a further meeting has been scheduled for February to work out the details of the new structure.

'Proposals underpin prosperity of global game'

Nevertheless, ICC president Alan Isaac insisted Tuesday: "It is extremely encouraging that the ICC board has unanimously supported a set of far-reaching principles that will underpin the long-term prosperity of the global game.

"These principles emphasise the primacy of Test cricket and that for the first time in cricket's history participation will be based entirely on meritocracy, giving everyone powerful incentives to play better cricket and develop better cricketers," the New Zealander added.

"Extensive work will now be undertaken in advance of a follow-up board meeting next month."

The fact ICC used the words "unanimous support" rather than gave a breakdown of figures indicates no formal vote took place in a closed meeting that lasted several hours.

Cricket South Africa had said the 'position paper' was "fundamentally flawed, with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh weighing in behind CSA's stance.

But CSA, whose side top the world Tet rankings, may have been mollified by being included in a 'Test Cricket Fund', created by the 'Big Three' to benefit the other seven nations in which the five-day game struggles for support.

There were reports the BCCI, cricket's financial powerhouse, had threatened the 'nuclear option' of quitting ICC events if more money and authority did not cone its way.

That already powerful India should have an even greater say in running world cricket was acknowledged when the ICC spoke Tuesday of the "BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility".

Meanwhile Isaac insisted he'd "encouraged" the 'Big Three' to devise their 'position paper, adding he'd been disappointed by a leak that led to "unwarranted" criticism of their motives.

"These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions," Isaac said.

"The principles agreed today provide clear evidence that...over the coming weeks we can be increasingly confident in achieving consensus."

Read more on:    icc  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.