The money power alone is not working. Board of Control for Cricket in India is set to lose on its share in the International Cricket Council revenue; and its clout in the politics of international cricket. The BCCI on Wednesday lost the vote on ‘governance and constitutional changes’ by a 1-9 margin while the revenue model, which was the bigger bone of contention, saw India getting only two votes in their support and eight against. The only country that voted alongside BCCI was Sri Lanka, reported PTI.
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were expected to vote in favour of BCCI. That did not happen. BCCI’s hegemony in world cricket came under severe threat as the richest board was comprehensively out-voted at the ICC Board Meeting in Dubai. India was checkmated by former BCCI boss Shashank Manohar, who now heads the ICC affairs as its first independent chairman.
The BCCI were opposing changes on two counts — ICC’s Governance model, which required a change in its constitution with review of full membership, and a two-tier Test structure. The bigger issue was the contentious revenue model, which is set to bring India’s share down to half from $570 million (Rs 3,660 crore). Manohar has advocated a more equitable distribution from the earlier ‘Big Three’ Model where India, Australia and England were the primary earners, say media reports.
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“Yes, the voting is over. It was 8-2 in favour of revamped revenue model and 9-1 in favour of constitutional changes,” PTI quoted a senior BCCI functionary present in Dubai as saying. “The BCCI has voted against both as we had, in principle, maintained that all these changes are completely unacceptable for us. At this point, we can only say that all options are open for us. We would have to go back to our SGM and apprise the members of the situation,” he added.
BCCI outrightly rejected the additional $100 million (Rs 645 crore) pay-out in revenue, it was once again given the original option of $290 million (Rs 1,860 crore) which is a $280 million (Rs 1,800 crore) cut from the $570 million (Rs 3,660 crore) India had been getting till last year.
A peeved senior official on Wednesday said that while it was expected that there will be resistance with current BCCI dispensation’s bete noire Manohar at the helm, they were taken by surprise when Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, the two votes that BCCI thought of as assured, never came their way.
It is also a sort of embarrassment for the Committee of Administrators (COA) as it was dealing with a lot of member nations and was extremely confident of pulling it in India’s favour. The heavy defeat indicates that the COA failed to read the minds of the likes of Nazmul Hasan Papon, David Peever, Haroon Lorgat, all of whom came to India to discuss the changes.
“Zimbabwe have been promised $19 million (Rs 122 crore) by the ICC. On what grounds has Manohar made this promise? But strangely Bangladesh also went the other way. Today at the meeting, Manohar, in fact, said that the $290 million (Rs 1,860 crore) is a ‘take it or leave it’ offer,” the fuming BCCI official said.
“Now at the SGM, there were only two resolutions passed. Our representative had two mandates. Propose for deferment of the decision which was rejected. And the next option was voting against during a floor Test. Our aim was to protect India’s interest. Our tone was extremely conciliatory at the meeting for the best interest of the game. But what was shocking was Mr Manohar’s stance,” the official claimed.
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. This leaves India’s participation in the upcoming Champions Trophy in United Kingdom under a cloud. BCCI had not named its squad for the tournament by the April 25 deadline as it was waiting for the conclusion of the ICC meeting.
Asked if a withdrawal from CT was on the cards, the official said: “All options are open. They have basically disrespected the Members Participation Agreement that was earlier signed. As of now, the joint secretary will go back and an emergent SGM will be called. He will then apprise the General Body about the developments and an appropriate decision will be taken.”
“The ICC is yet to tell us what is the basis on which a nation like Singapore stands to gain more. What exactly are the grounds? Can they explain how are they trying to cut down the Operational Costs of ICC which is USD 160 million (Rs 1,026 crore)” he asked.