Mumbai: The BCCI's working committee has rejected the key recommendations of the Woolf report concerning the restructuring of the ICC, the Indian board president N Srinivasan has said. This is the first formal response from any national board to the recommendations - made public ten days ago - and, given the BCCI's dominant position in world cricket, could render the report a non-starter for all practical purposes.
"The working committee discussed all the main recommendations of the report submitted to the ICC by a committee headed by Lord Woolf. The working committee was of the opinion that these recommendations were not acceptable and rejected it," Srinivasan said after the meeting in Chennai. "The working committee was in particular not agreeable to the changes in the structure of the management of ICC that had been proposed."
Srinivasan, however, did not specify which of the several recommendations of the Woolf report the BCCI was opposed to.
The suggestions of the review are not binding on the ICC, which will examine it at the next board meeting in April.
The ICC's independent governance review, headed by Lord Woolf, had called for sweeping changes in the administration of cricket and the functioning of its governing body. It recommended a restructuring of the ICC's executive board to make it more independent and less dominated by the bigger countries and also a re-examination of the rights and benefits of the Test-playing Full Member nations, calling for measures to increase transparency in dealings by the ICC and its members.
The most important recommendation concerned revamping the ICC's executive board, its top decision-making body, to reduce the numerical strength of the Full Members and to offset their influence by bringing in independent directors, in keeping with best corporate governance practices.
The board currently comprises the heads of all Full Member nations, three representatives from the Associates and Affiliates and the ICC's president, vice-president and chief executive. Woolf's plan incorporated five independent directors - three from within the game and two from outside to bring in diversity of opinion and experience - with voting rights and the additional stipulation that they should not be in a minority. It suggested that the Full Member nations eventually have four representatives, and the Associates two, with the chairman, president and chief executive making up the desired dozen.
It also suggests that an ICC director should not concurrently hold any leadership or executive post with their home boards. For example, N Srinivasan is currently both an ICC director and president of the Indian board but, if the recommendations are accepted, he can't retain both posts. As for independent directors, they must not have recently held positions of authority on any member board or any commercial body that has had significant contractual relationships with the ICC.