ICC would be mad to allow Big Three takeover: Mani

Published: February 7, 2014
"If these proposals are accepted then the Big Three will decide how the ICC runs and what it does." PHOTO: ICC/FILE

"If these proposals are accepted then the Big Three will decide how the ICC runs and what it does." PHOTO: ICC/FILE

LONDON: Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani says it would be “sheer madness” for the governing body to effectively hand over control of the sport to India, Australia and England.

It was announced after a board meeting in Dubai last month that a new five-member ICC executive committee would be established to include representatives from the ECB, Cricket Australia and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. However, the plan has received widespread criticism.

The current executive committee includes representatives from all 10 test-playing countries, and some suggest the new proposals will allow the ‘Big Three’ to take over at the expense of other cricketing nations.

“If these proposals are accepted then the Big Three will decide how the ICC runs and what it does,” Mani told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in Islamabad.

“The board of the ICC cricket council will effectively have no powers apart from approving whatever India, Australia and England do,” Mani said.

“If these proposals are accepted they are going to be doing severe damage to world cricket. It would seriously affect the credibility of the ICC as the governing body.”

Mani believes three of the 10 test-playing nations will reject the new proposals.

“As far as I know, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will not vote for it and without those three this cannot go through,” said the 68-year-old businessman who presided over the ICC between 2003 and 2006.

“Do you really want to run World Cups and such like without these countries and without South Africa who are the number one-ranked test team in the world? That would be sheer madness,” Mani exclaimed.

India have long been regarded as the traditional powerhouse among the test-playing nations and the Pakistani says England and Australia might think again about the new proposals if they are rejected.

“What will be interesting is what the Big Three will do if the plan is blocked,” said Mani.

Bangladesh and West Indies have only supported the Big Three because they’ve been given the incentive that they will get more tours from these countries, hence more money from television rights.

“I question the morality of that but if this move is blocked, then it will be a serious time for England and Australia to think about how much damage they might be doing to the game just to fall into line with something that India wants,” he further said.

Free for all

Mani said the new proposals would encourage a free-for-all scenario to develop in terms of future test series. “Under the present Future Tours Programme every country is obliged to play every other country in a four-year cycle home and away at least once,” he explained.

“What the Big Three are saying is do away with that, let all the countries decide who they will play against, with no obligation to play any of the other members.

“So you will have a free-for-all situation that certain countries will misuse to go where they want … it will totally unsettle international cricket because members will only play against countries where they make money,” said Mani.

He added, “It would mean they won’t be interested in countries like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand or possibly even West Indies where they will lose money to tour.”

Earlier this week, ECB Chairman Giles Clarke said the new proposals would help give countries greater financial stability.

Yet Mani believes the lesser cricketing nations who are outside the 10 test-playing elite will suffer financially under the new plans.

“The Big Three are also proposing to cut the funding of the associate and affiliate members and that will kill off the development programme of the ICC,” he said.

“What they are saying is we’ll give $210 million to associate members, half of that will go to the top six countries so the other 90-odd will have to share $105 million.

“What they further say … is that the new ICC executive board will decide which of those countries will get money and how much – that goes against the very constitution of the ICC,” Mani added.

“The constitution says the associate members will get 25 percent of ICC revenues. It doesn’t give the board of the ICC the right to decide who gets how much.

“What the executive board doesn’t appreciate is that although these countries don’t necessarily play a high standard of cricket, there are big economies involved like China and the United States that over time with the right sort of investment could give the ICC a huge amount of returns in terms of money,” he concluded.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Ahmer
    Feb 7, 2014 - 10:18PM

    I support Mani’s arguement!


  • Ajab Khan Baloch
    Feb 7, 2014 - 11:04PM

    Mr. Ehsan Mani is making very valid and powerful observations.


  • Ankur
    Feb 7, 2014 - 11:30PM

    Mani is mad. How come India cannot take 20% when it contributes 80% of the total revenue? BCCI should boycott ICC a play with friendly nations on bilateral basis, If small 3 are not ready to give 20% then they will loose 80% That would be quite awesome. Why we will give money generated from our economy to others? Also, we don’t get any money from International olympic founderation and International hockey council etc.. Don’t they feel they should invest in 2nd fastest growing economy in the world? So, India will keep it’s money. And help friendly nation like WI, NZ and Zimbabwe. BCCI should try and talk to CSA, they are not emotional chops like Pakistan and Sri lanka, If they donnot agree then boycott World T20. Their revenue will decrease to naught without BCCI.


  • justice
    Feb 7, 2014 - 11:33PM

    me too


  • LSE
    Feb 8, 2014 - 12:19AM

    He totally make sense!


  • ARW
    Feb 8, 2014 - 12:54AM

    We have such people in our country who headed ICC and we are looking for a person to head PCB. Politics apart, govt. should consider this man as PCB Chairman!


  • PeaceMonger
    Feb 8, 2014 - 5:24AM

    What is wrong with an entity asking for its rightful share when it contributes the lion’s share? The only ones who will feel bad are the free-loaders. They contribute nothing and want everything.


  • Khan
    Feb 8, 2014 - 8:41AM

    I think u dont know how governing bodies are being run, look at the fifa how they distribute the revenues amongst the diff footballs playing teams, the countries like spain, france, england, etc contribute the most revenue to the fifa get the least amount and countries with poor game infra structure get the better share.the soul purpose of the the money generated by the governing bodies is about the development of game not any other way around.


  • Silent Observer
    Feb 8, 2014 - 11:32AM

    @ankur First produce some bowlers who can take 10 wickets in a match and then talk about the revenue that you want to have, Lets not forget how Indian team is being treated in NZ and take my word BCCI is no insecure to competition that they don’t wish to do any foreign tours.


  • Ankur
    Feb 8, 2014 - 4:55PM

    @Khan So why don’t India and pakistan gets any money from FIFA? India is fastest growing economy and pakistan will grow after 10 years.?

    @Silent we won champions trophy just recently and India has tour set for England, NZ and Australia again just before 2015 WC which is again going to happen in NZ and Aus. So don;t say we are scared. Recommend

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