MUMBAI: After having spent hours behind closed doors to come up with a solution for the various issues facing the International Cricket Council (ICC); the ICC board - today - has approved a comprehensive resolution relating to the governance, competition and financial models of the cricket governing body at a meeting in Singapore.
The key elements of the resolution are as follows:-
Protecting Test cricket
A Test Cricket Fund will be introduced to help ensure all of the Test playing teams will be able to sustain a home programme of Test cricket through to 2023. The fund will be available to all Test playing members except the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
There was also confirmation that all full members will enter into a series of contractually binding bi-lateral agreements as a matter of urgency so that they can confirm a comprehensive schedule of matches in a Future Tours Programme that will now be extended to 2023.
Breaking the glass ceiling
Associate Members will now have a clear pathway to playing Test cricket. The winner of the next ICC Intercontinental Cup will be entitled to take part in a play-off against the bottom-ranked full member and, if successful, obtain Test status. This complements the pathways that are already in place for any member to be able to qualify for the major events in ODI and T20I cricket.
A certain and attractive package of ICC major events
The World Test Championship will be replaced with an ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021.
Since there was a low probability of coming up with a format for a four-team finals event in Test cricket that fits the culture of Test cricket and preserves the integrity of the format.
The most recent ICC Champions Trophy event proved to be popular among supporters around the world and the future events would build on this success. It’s also an event that any ICC member (including the top Associate Members) can aspire to qualifying for by improving their performances in ODI cricket.
With the ICC Champions Trophy alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 and the formats and venues already confirmed for all of these events the ICC has a really attractive package for 2015-23 to take to the market.
A new financial model for full members
Full members will gain greater financial recognition based on the contribution they have made to the game, particularly in terms of finance, their ICC history and their on-field performances in the three formats.
This decision is the outcome of a negotiation between members that has been required to provide long-term certainty of participation of all members in both ICC events and bilateral series against other members. Without that certainty, the rights for ICC events, which are to be taken to market this year, would have been significantly impacted and, by extension, so would the financial support that has driven the growth of cricket around the world.
The structure of the model will ensure that none of the full members will be at a lesser position than they are at present and - if forecasts of revenue generation prove to be correct - all will be significantly better off. The agreement of the model has been an important part of a wider negotiation that will now provide long-term certainty of participation in ICC events by all of the full member teams.
Enhanced support for the leading associate members
Funds that will be directly distributed to Associate and Affiliate Members (AMs) will continue to grow, building on a dramatic increase in the previous cycle (2007-15) if revenue targets are achieved. There is also a commitment to continue to support tournaments for all of the AMs and a range of centralised services.
The planning process for the next cycle can now begin in earnest and as part of this - there will be a review - in partnership with the AMs and their representatives - of the appropriate scope of services and tournaments and the suitability of the current scorecard distribution model of the funds.
BCCI’s N Srinivasan to chair the ICC board from mid-2014
The ICC Board will continue to be the primary decision-making body. From the start of July this year, the ICC chairman will be N Srinivasan from the BCCI.
A new Executive Committee will be formed to report into the Board. The initial Chair of this Executive Committee (ExCo) will be Wally Edwards from Cricket Australia while the Chair of the Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA) will continue to be Giles Clarke from the ECB. These roles will be for an initial two year transitional period to 2016 only.
Once this transitional period is completed, the Chair of the ICC Board will be elected from within the ICC Board with all Full Member Directors entitled to stand for election.
BCCI, CA and ECB - will be represented on both sub-committees, along with two representatives of the other Full Members (who will be elected by the Board).
Several of these decisions are yet to be considered and adopted by the ICC’s Full Council. The relevant resolutions will now be drafted through the appropriate committees, including the Governance Committee and the Board before being submitted for approval to Full Council.
A set of proposals was initially developed by the respective Chairs of BCCI, CA and ECB – N Srinivasan, Wally Edwards and Giles Clarke before being presented to a meeting of the Full Members on 9 January.
These proposals were then discussed, negotiated and modified at two subsequent ICC Board meetings. A resolution was put to a vote today and supported by the required majority of the ICC Board, including eight Full Members. Two of the Full Members - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) - abstained in the vote as they felt they needed more time to discuss the amended resolution with their respective Boards.
ICC president Alan Isaac said: “The Board has made some significant decisions today which provide us with long-term certainty in relation to the future governance, competition and financial models of the ICC.
“This decision comes after extensive discussions between Members that I helped initiate and were given impetus through a position paper presented by the BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB in early January,” he added.
“Since this time a set of resolutions have been drafted, negotiated and modified - based on a set of principles agreed by the ICC Board on 28 January - and finalised at the meeting today. There were eight full members who were in a position to support the resolution today and the two who abstained have pledged to further discuss the issues with an aim to reaching unanimous approval over the coming weeks,” Isaac ended.
ICC CEO David Richardson said: “We now have clear direction from the Board and it is our job to implement the approved resolution.”