December 17, 2018

BCCI chief says ‘Big Three’ revamp is ‘bullying’

Shashank Manohar

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar Thursday criticised the imbalance of power in the ICC, reports ESPNcricinfo.

He reportedly called ICC’s constitutional revamp “bullying.”
Manohar was quoted to have said there are faults in the ICC which he hopes to rectify during his term as the body’s chairman a term which will end in June 2016.

After last year’s constitutional revamp of cricket’s governing body, the Indian, Australian and British boards have a greater share of the revenue and more authority.

Speaking to The Hindu, Manohar said, “I don’t agree with the three major countries bullying the ICC… That’s my personal view, because as I have always said, an institution is bigger than individuals. You cannot guarantee which individual will occupy the top position in either of these countries. And, the ICC constitution, as it stands today, said that in all the major committees of the ICC, these three countries will be automatically there.”

He went on to say that control of the financial and commercial aspects of the body, as well as its executive committee, by representatives of the Big Three is “wrong”, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

“You should have the best man, whether he comes from Zimbabwe, or West Indies, or even from an associate or affiliate to work on a committee, who will promote the interests of the ICC.”

During a visit to Dubai last week, the BCCI named Manohar as a replacement for N Srinivasan who became the inaugural chairman last July and had been the main architect behind the Big Three plan which had been passed by the ICC board last February.

Manohar, when questioned about whether he would propose revoking decisions taken last year, said, “I don’t agree with that in principle. I am talking about myself. I don’t know what will happen in the future.”

The BCCI president also said he doesn’t agree with the revenue-sharing formula, according to the report.
“It’s nice to say that India (BCCI) will get 22% of the total revenue of the ICC, but you cannot make the poor poorer and the rich richer, only because you have the clout. The ICC runs cricket throughout the world.”

He reportedly said India generates money because other countries play there.

“If you do not have a fierce competition, the broadcasters are not going to pay you and the sponsors are not going to sponsor your events. So whatever you generate through bilateral series is because there are good teams playing against you. If all teams are of the standards of the low placed ninth and tenth team and India is a good side, who is going to pay you; what interest would be left with the spectators to watch a game, if it’s a one-sided game always. So if you reduce their corpus, their development is going to be hampered and ICC has to think from that point of view.”

Manohar was said to have addressed the possibility of conflict of interest because of dual roles held by officials at the ICC and their home board.

“There is a conflict now at the ICC level, which I have to sort out. Under the present ICC constitution, the chairmanship is offered to the representative of the BCCI. Under the ICC constitution, after the annual conference, there is going to be an election and the person who is elected the chairman will continue only till the time he continues to be the representative of his country.”

“So tomorrow here could be a scenario, wherein ‘A’ person is elected the chairman and after 10 days he is removed by his board, ‘B’ would take over as the chairman, and after four months that person is removed, ‘C’ would take over as chairman. When people vote, they vote for an individual; they don’t vote for a member board. It’s the competence of a person to lead the ICC is important, and keeping that in mind, people vote for him. According to me that clause is also a bad clause.”

He added: “Secondly when I am at the ICC as a BCCI representative, it’s my paramount duty to protect the interests of the BCCI; then how can I protect the interests of the ICC, sitting as its chairman? If there is a conflict between the interest of the BCCI and the ICC, I will have to protect the interest of the BCCI. Then I am failing in my duty, sitting there as chairman of the ICC and not protecting its interests.

He reportedly said he had raised the above issues with senior-ranking ICC officials. “I have spoken about these issues to Giles Clarke and he agreed with me.”

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