ICC board backs governance changes for world cricket

BCCI opposes threat to Indian financial and political power.

ICC board backs governance changes for world cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) board has voted for changes to its governance and financial model.

Cricket's global governing body will reverse reforms made in 2014, which gave more political and financial power to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The new changes will create a more equitable distribution of revenues from ICC global events and partnerships but will not revert to the equal share among Test-playing full members that existed until three years ago. The 14-member board voted at the end of its meeting this week at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

The BCCI, however, is believed to have been the sole opponent to the financial changes, which must be ratified by the ICC council in June. Rumours emanating from India suggest that the board will consider pulling out of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales, having already missed the deadline for submitting a squad.

The changes will be seen as a blow to India's increasingly dominant position in the international game, with the ICC known to be aiming to decrease its financial and cultural dependence on the sub-continental market through its efforts to further globalise the sport.

Over the current eight-year cycle to 2023, the BCCI would now stand to earn US$293 million rather than US$570 million, the ECB would take US$143 million, and Zimbabwe Cricket would receive US$94 million. The remaining seven full member boards - from Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - will receive US$132 apiece, with second-tier Associate members set to share US$280 million.

Revisions to the ICC constitution were also approved by 12 votes to two. These include measures to add full members to the organisation subject to meeting key requirements, with a new membership committee established to consider applications. The third-tier Affiliate level of membership is also set to be scrapped, with the lower two tiers consolidated under the Associate banner.

The new reforms also call for the introduction of an independent female director and a deputy chairman to sit in for the independent chairman in the event of absences. Equal voting rights for all board members, irrespective of the membership status of their national associations, and all members will now be invited to attend the ICC's annual general meeting.

"This is another step forward for world cricket and I look forward to concluding the work at the Annual Conference," said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, who has delayed plans to resign from the post until the reform package is passed. "I am confident we can provide a strong foundation for the sport to grow and improve globally in the future through the adoption of the revised financial model and governance structure."

ICC chief executive David Richardson added: "It has been a very productive week. Progress has been made on a number of significant issues, in particular around international cricket structures. Efforts to find a solution, enhancing the context of international bilateral cricket and retaining the relevance of the international game, will continue."