The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) new constitution moved a step closer to reality on a dramatic afternoon in Dubai as cricket’s Full Members exercised their collective will to outvote the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Indian board was the only Full Member to object against the new financial model and was one of only two Full Members to vote against the new governance changes. The finance model received a 9-1 vote in favour, while the governance structure was passed by an 8-2 margin.
Although the majority was overwhelmingly in favour of the new ICC constitution, it will be approved formally only after being ratified at the annual conference in June.
In the financial model that was passed in Dubai yesterday, the BCCI’s share of ICC revenue was only $293 million, a little more than half the amount the Indian board wanted. Apart from the BCCI, Sri Lanka Cricket was the other board to oppose the governance structure – the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wanted to see the changes that had been made after the ICC received feedback from the members.
The BCCI was alone in its opposition to the finance model after its office bearers – secretary Amitabh Choudhury and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry – had rejected the ICC’s settlement offer worth approximately $400 million on Tuesday. The Indian board wanted $570 million, the amount it was getting under the Big Three model.
The settlement offer was made to Choudhury by the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, the head of the working group that prepared the new constitution.
The BCCI then approached most of the major Full Members with a counter offer: it gets $570 million but none of the other Full Members get anything less than what was stated in the new constitution.
The other Full Members rejected the BCCI’s offer, ESPNcricinfo has learnt, leaving Choudhry and Chaudhry in a tight position hours before the ICC Board meeting yesterday morning.
“The alternative left for them was to adopt the middle ground,” an official present in Dubai said. The BCCI was told that it would do well to consider Manohar’s offer. “It is INR 700 crore, and they were told to consider hard before making a move.”
While presenting the finance model to the ICC Board for the first time in February, Manohar said his focus was an equitable distribution of revenues. Incidentally, the Committee of Administrators overseeing the BCCI on the Supreme Court of India’s instructions was happy with Manohar’s settlement offer when they met in March.
Manohar got to Dubai last weekend and is understood to have had lengthy meetings with the BCCI office bearers as well its chief executive Rahul Johri. The BCCI was asked to respond on Monday, as the ICC working group was meeting to finalise the resolutions based on the feedback given by all Member boards including the Associates.
“Shashank was trying to get them (BCCI) across the line, but they declined,” an official present in Dubai said.
Some BCCI office bearers had previously blamed Manohar for harming its interests, but Choudhury did not take an aggressive stance during the ICC Board meeting. People present said Choudhury was “friendly and very charming,” and he said that though he wanted to find a solution he had to disagree with the finance model and the governance structure.
“He was restating the BCCI’s reservations expressed last month,” an official said. Neither Choudhury nor any of the BCCI administrators in India made a statement in response to the developments in Dubai. According to PTI, the BCCI would call a special general meeting to decide on the next step.
The ICC agreed to remove one significant proposal from its new governance model – the reclassification of Full Member status to Associate membership if a set of criteria was not met when a board was evaluated.
Many Full Members including the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Zimbabwe Cricket and Sri Lanka Cricket were against it.
“Based on the feedback from the members, it was felt that there was a need to sustain the boards already there as well as grow the number of members,” the official said.
The ICC Board also approved an increase in the number of votes from 10 (Full Members only) to 15 – 10 Full Members, three Associates, one independent female director, and the chairman.(cricketinfo)