ICC rights bidders to be called to Dubai by month-end

MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that this month will mark the next stage of its sale of media and sponsorship rights for events from late 2007 to 2015.

Information available with indicates that potential commercial partners that meet the ICC’s criteria for bidding will be invited to Dubai at the end of this month. The aim is to to further progress the process that began in April when the ICC’s Executive Board decided the host for its tournaments in that eight-year period.

The period will have 18 ICC tournaments. The five big ones are the two World Cups, in Asia (2011) and Australia/ New Zealand (2015) respectively, and a minimum of three Champions Trophy tournaments. The deal will also include the first two, Twenty World Championships, in South Africa (2007) and England (2009). The latter takes place in the ICC’s centenary year.

Potential partners who meet the ICC’s qualification criteria that have already made expressions of interest will shortly be receiving correspondence detailing when they will be able to meet ICC officials for talks.

The ICC says that any interested parties yet to express interest in the rights can still do so by contacting, the ICC.

The ICC’s team of negotiators will include former President Ehsan Mani, who played a key role in securing the current agreement with Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), which is owned by News International Limited.

That agreement, which began in 2000 and ends with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies next March and April, includes two ICC Cricket World Cups and four ICC Champions Trophy tournaments. The GCC had paid out $550 million to secure the rights after a fierce bidding war with Subhash Chandra's Zee Telefilms. At the time of bidding the GCC was a 50:50 JV between News Corp and World Sport Nimbus (itself a 50:50 JV between Harish Thawani's Nimbus and the UK-headquartered World Sport Group). News Corp subsequently bought out WSN's stake in the JV.

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said, “The sale of the ICC’s commercial and broadcast rights makes this a hugely significant and exciting time for cricket. That sale gives us the opportunity to place cricket on a sound financial footing for the next eight years and, by doing that, it will provide all our members with the chance to both sustain and grow the game.

“We have been gratified and encouraged by the expressions of interest we have already received. We are now looking forward to meeting our potential partners and have only one aim in mind – securing the best deal for cricket.”

The ICC has also included two women's World Cups in the timeframe. One takes place in Australia in 2009 and the other takes place in India in 2013.

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