BCCI’s grip on ICC threatened as Shashank Manohar plays hardball
The Indian cricket board’s dominance of world cricket came under severe threat after the world’s richest cricket board was comprehensively outvoted on the sport’s governance structure and revenue model at the ICC board meeting in Dubai on Wednesday.
India was effectively undone by former Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India chief Shashank Manohar, who now heads the ICC as its first independent chairman.
BCCI was thrashed 1-9 when representatives of all other member nations, except India’s Amitabh Chaudhary, voted in favour of a change in the governance structure.
Its opposition to change of the revenue model was also rejected 8-2 by the ICC board, with Chaudhary only finding support from Sri Lanka Cricket’s Thilanga Sumathipala. BCCI was opposing changes on two counts—ICC’s governance model that required a change in its constitution, with a proposed 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 the current $570 million. Manohar has advocated a more equitable distribution from the earlier ‘Big Three’ model where India, Australia and England were the primary earners. Interestingly, this new model was supported by England and Australia.
“Yes, the vote is over. It was 8-2 in favour of revamped revenue model and 9-1 in favour of constitutional changes,” a senior BCCI functionary present in Dubai told PTI.
The defeat is an embarrassment for the Committee of Administrators (COA) that currently runs BCCI and which was confident of pulling the vote in India’s favour.
The heavy defeat indicates that the COA failed to read the minds of the heads of several boards with whom it has held talks. The BCCI official added that BCCI considers the outcome not so much as a setback as “the vendetta of one man (Manohar)”. “The ICC is yet to tell us what is the basis on which a nation like Singapore stands to gain more (financially in the new model). What exactly are the grounds (for this)? Can it explain how it is trying to cut down the operational costs of ICC which is $160 million?” he questioned.