ICC “Unanimous” on Principles

The International Cricket Council released a media statement on Tuesday, following the meeting to discuss the far-reaching proposals put forward by the boards of Australia, India and England.

The ICC Board unanimously supported the following principles:

  • 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.
  • A Test Cricket Fund paid equally on an annual basis to all Full Members (except the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board) will be introduced to encourage and support Test match cricket.
  • A larger percentage from the increasing Associate Members’ surplus will be distributed to the higher performing non-Full Members.
  • Mutually agreed bi-lateral FTP Agreements which will be legally binding and bankable and will run for the same period as the ICC commercial rights cycle (2015-2023).
  • Recognition of the need for strong leadership of the ICC, involving leading Members, which will involve BCCI taking a central leadership responsibility.
  • A need to recognise the varying contribution of Full Members to the value of ICC events through the payment of ‘contribution costs’.

ICC President, Alan Isaac, expressed his disappointment with the misconceptions that had been created as a result of a leaked draft position paper, produced by three ICC Members.

“Several months ago I encouraged BCCI, CA and ECB to enter into a constructive dialogue together to help resolve some of the key commercial and governance issues facing the game. These leading cricket nations have worked tirelessly to produce a document which provided the basis for the past few weeks of extremely constructive discussions.”

“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.”

“The principles agreed today provide clear evidence that through the course of further discussions over the coming weeks we can be increasingly confident in achieving consensus.”

David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive, added: “An enormous amount of effort has gone into developing a comprehensive set of proposals that include input from all Members.

“The Board has held some very constructive, inclusive, wide-ranging and far-reaching discussions and I am looking forward to bringing to fruition some of the principles that have been proposed and accepted in relation to the cricketing structures of the global game.”

ESPN also commented on the meeting:

The first sign of any opposition to the “position paper” came late on Monday, when the representatives of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa asked for a deferral of the proposals, after which Bangladesh became the first board to formally communicate to the ICC on Tuesday that it was “against” the proposal.

According to one insider, none of the Big Three pressed for voting, “since they knew that a vote wouldn’t be feasible”, adding: “The next round of negotiations, read bargaining, begins now.” A follow-up meeting will be held to discuss the proposals again next month.

A few hours after the ICC sent its press release, the PCB issued a statement saying, “No decision with regard to any proposed changes as per the Position Paper submitted by BCCI, CA and ECB have been made in today’s ICC Board meeting. The PCB clearly stated at the meeting that the guiding principles were subject to PCB’s Governing Board’s approval. These matters will be placed before the BOG (board of governors) and thereafter PCB will take its position at the next ICC Board meeting.”

CSA also sent out a release to “clarify” the ICC’s statement, and said its board would meet soon to discuss the principles. “The support is subject to the approval of the respective Boards of the member countries, after which a final decision will be taken at a follow-up ICC Board meeting on February 8,” the release said.

Business Day commented as follows on another important decision:

A disappointing decision, taken at the meeting, was to cancel the World Test Championship (WTC), which was to have seen its inauguration in 2017, in favour of resurrecting the Champions Trophy, which was scrapped after last year’s tournament.

“It was left to ICC CE Dave Richardson, who had explained at a gala dinner in Abu Dhabi on October 12 why the WTC was a good idea despite the challenge of finding a viable format, to explain on Wednesday why the WTC was a bad idea.”

“We were always struggling to find a format for the WTC that could be completed in a relatively short space of time, and that would not lead to more damage than good,” Richardson said.

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