President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), N Srinivasan addresses a press conference in Kolkata in this photograph taken on May 26, 2013.
NEW DELHI: A controversial shake-up of the governance and structure of cricket’s world body will benefit the game and ensure its financial health, India’s powerful boss N Srinivasan said yesterday.
“I think it’s good for cricket overall, good for the financial health of all full, associate and affiliate members. There is meritocracy,” Srinivasan told The Hindu newspaper.
The reforms, which will give more power and money to India, Australia and England, were passed by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Executive Board in Singapore on Saturday.
Eight of the 10 Test nations approved the proposals -- which also make Srinivasan the first incumbent of the newly-created post of ICC chairman -- while Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained.
Srinivasan, asked if he will try to convince Pakistan and Sri Lanka to come on board, said it was for the entire ICC, and not him alone, to work on it.
“It’s an ICC resolution and eight members have approved it. It (reaching out to Sri Lanka and Pakistan) is not just my responsibility. It’s for everybody to work on.”
Srinivasan, who heads the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), defended Cricket South Africa’s last-minute decision to vote in favour of the revamp after it had supported Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the lead up to the meeting.
“Maybe some members had some lingering doubts on the proposals. When the doubts got clarified, the proposals found support.”
Srinivasan vehemently denied accusations that the cricket boards of India, Australia and England had formed an oligarchy, which could even veto suggestions made by other members.
In the revamped ICC, India -- which contributes 80 percent of global revenues -- and fellow powerhouses England and Australia will have permanent seats on a new, five-member executive committee.
Meanwhile, the global players’ association said yesterday that “Self-interest” and “short-term deal making” will prevail over cricket’s long-term health following the recent structural reforms in the ICC. The restructuring will see the “Big Three” pocket greater share of the ICC revenue and occupy key posts within the governing body.
“This is a very sad day for our game,” Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) executive chairman Paul Marsh said in a statement.
“This should be an indicator to the future for all of us, where self-interest and short-term deal making will override the long-term health of the game and views of its key stakeholders.”
FICA had urged other test playing nations to block the proposals but only Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained from voting in Singapore.
“Whilst unfortunately the final outcome had an air of inevitability about it once the process became clear, it again highlights how poorly our game is governed,” Marsh said.
“Of extreme concern to all involved in FICA is the fact that so many key stakeholders in the game condemned the proposed changes ... yet the ICC Board still approved these changes,” said Marsh, adding FICA and its members would continue to oppose the reforms.