The International Cricket Council (ICC) has moved ahead with its proposal of limiting the power of the ‘Big Three’ by agreeing to remove their permanent positions from two key committees.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) held permanent seats on the five-member Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee and the Executive Committee.
The amendment was aimed at allowing fair access to membership for all Full and Associate Member directors, with the ‘sole criteria being the skill, competence and experience of the relevant director.’
A controversial and wide-ranging shake up of the ICC in 2014 gave India — which contributes 80 per cent of global revenues –– and fellow powerhouses England and Australia, control how cricket affairs were run.
The change in the structure also ended the Futures Tour Programme (FTP) with countries instead negotiating series bilaterally through to 2023, allowing India, England and Australia to pick and choose who they want to play over the next decade and avoid unprofitable or inconvenient tours.
Though there were ‘discussions’ over how the FTP ought to be structured there was no clear indication that the ICC would revert back to the old, centralised system for scheduling tours.
The ICC Board also agreed to re-establish the ‘independent’ position of the governing body’s chairman“in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and to follow best practice principles of good governance.”
It was agreed that a new Chairman should be elected by the Board for a two-year term commencing at the June 2016 meeting through a secret balloting process overseen by the ICC’s independent Audit Committee Chairman.
“We had very purposeful and positive meetings, and the decisions taken clearly reflect that we collectively want to improve the governance in a transparent manner, not only of the ICC but also the Member Boards,” ICC Chairman Mr Shashank Manohar said in press release.
“This, in turn, will enhance the image and quality of the sport. No Member of the ICC is bigger than the other and I am determined to make a meaningful contribution in this regard with support of all the Members.”
The ICC Board also directed that the governing body’s constitution be reviewed in its entirety with a view ‘to establishing governance, finance, corporate and cricketing structures that are appropriate and effective for the strategic role and function of the ICC and all of its members.’
In November last year, Manohar hit out at the imbalance of the sport’s governing body which he said allowed Australia, England and India to bully the ICC.
Manohar, who replaced India’s scandal-tainted former supremo Narayanaswami Srinivasan, said he disagreed with changes to the ICC which handed more power to the big three nations of the game.
“I don’t agree with the three major countries bullying the ICC,” Manohar told The Hindu newspaper in an interview published on Thursday.
“That’s my personal view, because as I have always said, an institution is bigger than individuals.”