Did India-SA tour deal swing it?

2014-02-08 15:45
Haroon Lorgat (Getty Images)

Cape Town – It appears that a hasty meeting between the respective presidents of the Indian and South African boards turned CSA in favour of a proposal to significantly reshape the governance of world cricket.

This country’s vote was decisive – only Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained – on Saturday in controversially ensuring that the “Big Three” of India, England and Australia will henceforth have a stronger decision-making and financial stake in the game.

CSA had initially been among the key dissenting nations over proposals to greatly alter the complexion of the International Cricket Council, potentially with the ability to scupper the plan.

But on the eve of the major ICC board summit in Singapore, where approval for the new model was achieved, CSA president Chris Nenzani and Indian counterpart N Srinivasan met and are reportedly on the verge of completing an eight-year bilateral agreement over tours between the two countries between 2015 and 2023.

Such a deal would represent a major olive branch after the ructions over the last, greatly shortened tour by the Indians to our shores earlier this season, causing CSA to take a major financial hit.

While unlikely to significantly ease public perceptions that CSA “sold out” by eventually voting in favour of the new administrative model, it appears as if the South African contingent bowed to the “if you can’t beat them, join them” school of thought – matches against India at home or away are considered manna from heaven by all the major countries given the clout generated through television broadcast rights and the like.

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A major part of the structural revamp to cricket involves dismantling of the ICC’s long-time Future Tours Programme, and conversion to “legally binding bilateral agreements” which understandably has raised the fear that the Big Three will simply play each other more and marginalise countries with less monetary influence.

Meanwhile, there has been a mixed first reaction to Saturday’s developments from Tony Irish, CEO of the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA).

Irish told Sport24: “On first look at the media release (from the ICC gathering) it looks as though (CSA) has thrown in the towel ... particularly disappointing to us is the dominance of three boards in governance.

“But we are awaiting greater clarity on what has occurred – it is possible in some aspects that we will have achieved a better result than was initially on the table.”

“Will there be rules about how the bilateral agreements henceforth (from 2015, when the FTP will be dismantled) will be conducted?

“It is possible the situation has improved but if there are no clear-cut regulations of how the ‘bilaterals’ are arranged it would be disappointing.”

Irish said he also wished to know more on the division of revenue from future ICC tournaments.

“It would be extremely worrying if this has stayed as it was in the (proposal document) with the biggest share of the pie going to the big three.”

Irish said he had tried to make contact with CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat, but he was in transit and unavailable for immediate discussion.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    csa  |  haroon lorgat  |  cape town  |  cricket

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