CHENNAI: Before taking the financial battle to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the BCCI is receiving support from unexpected and influential quarters. After Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has expressed unwillingness to accept the proposed Future Tours Programme (FTP) from 2023-31, which has eight ICC tournaments.
The BCCI has maintained that it finds this unacceptable because a World Cup or a global event every year in the 50 or 20-over format will reduce the value of the bilateral series featuring the Indian team. Its argument is that broadcasters will exhaust most of their money in securing rights for those events instead of paying a hefty sum to the individual boards for the series they organise. The new proposal is still to be discussed by the member boards of the ICC. It is likely to come up at the next ICC meeting.
That two of the most powerful boards after BCCI have opposed the proposal is a shot in the arm for the body headed by Sourav Ganguly, who immediately after becoming the president had said that addressing this issue is a priority. Both CA and ECB voted against India in the revenue-share revamp in 2017, under ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.
“If three of the biggest boards are not welcoming the proposal, then in whose interest is the ICC coming up with this idea?” BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told this newspaper on Saturday. “It’s my personal opinion, and the BCCI will convey its official stand after consulting the members. But I don’t think the ICC’s proposal will hold any value, considering that these boards have made their displeasure clear.”
“In the beginning, it was only the BCCI opposing the idea. But with the CA and ECB also saying the same, I’m not sure how many boards will back the proposal now. In my opinion, the ICC should introspect. But let me add that I am saying this in a personal capacity. The BCCI will finalise its stand and announce it at the appropriate forum at the right time,” added Dhumal.
It’s possible that the matter will come up for discussion at the general body meeting which will be called by the BCCI in the first week of December. According to rules, the BCCI secretary has to issue a notice to the member associations 21 days before the meeting. That notice is still to be sent out.
ECB chairman Colin Graves to ICC CEO
ECB is not in a position to support the current proposal for ICC events from 2023-2031. The impact of the proposed schedule on ICC events on bilateral cricket is a serious concern for the ECB. The proposed schedule risks compromising the time available and thus value and integrity of the bilateral cricket calendar for all members. ECB cannot support a schedule where our best players need to play more than they currently do. Players’ welfare is primary concern.