International cricketers body urges others to block proposal favouring ‘big three’

(Reuters) – The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) urged test playing nations on Wednesday to reject the controversial proposals that would effectively place Australia, England and India in charge of the world game.

A working group of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Finance and Commercial Affairs committee has come up with the proposal recommending international calendar and revenue share be controlled by the three boards who bring the most income to the game.

Cricket boards of South Africa and Pakistan have objected to the restructuring proposal, while FICA said it was “extremely concerned about the future of international cricket”.

“This proposal is designed to vest control of the game in the three Boards of India, Australia and England,” FICA executive chairman Paul Marsh said in a statement.

“The game deserves far better than this and all within FICA call on the other seven ICC Board members to reject this proposal at next week’s board meeting. The future of the game depends on them doing so,” he said.

The proposal will be put to the ICC Executive Board at its quarterly two-day meeting in Dubai starting on Tuesday and would need votes from seven of the 10 member countries to be passed.

Australian Marsh said cricket chiefs have a duty to put ICC’s interest ahead of those of the individual boards and questioned whether it was met in this case.

“It is not in the best interests of the global game and we have real fears that it will only serve to strengthen the ‘big three’ countries whilst the rest are left to wither on the vine.”

The proposal would also give the ‘big three’ a bigger share of the ICC’s revenue pot, which Marsh feared would only increase the gulf separating them from other teams.

“The result of this will be the countries that need ICC income most will receive the least, whilst the ‘big three’ will get the lion’s share even though they are already financially healthy because of the value of the rights to their bilateral series.”

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